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Journal of Jedediah Smith: Second Expedition to California

I Had Seen But One Indian

Since I struck Adams River I had seen but one Indian, and he kept as close to Rock as a Mountain Sheep. I could not account for the indians being so wild. I passed one place where there was a little corn, but it was just in the tassel. Along the Creek I saw several works for making making the sugar or Candy of which I have before spoken.

From the Mouth of Pautch Creek nothing material occurred until my arrival at [Bitter] Creek. I stoped at the Salt Cave and took some salt. On the left hand side of the Creek about three Miles below my camp and 1/4 of a mile from the Creek I happened to observe a perpendicular bluff of Salt facing the Creek and like the salt of the cave with the exception, perhaps, that it is not quite as pure. The indians still continued as wild as on Pautch Creek.

From [Bitter] Creek I moved on to the Mouth of Adams River, where I found the old Pautch farmer still on the east side of the Colorado. From this place to the first Amuchaba village my route was the same as when I passed before, with the exception that instead of taking the ravine in which I had so much difficulty I took another further south and passed in to the river without difficulty.

As there had been no indians to carry news of our approach, on our arrival at the village the indians all ran off, but finding an opportunity to talk with one of them, they soon returned and seemed as friendly as when I was there before.

I remained a day to rest my fatigued animals and then moved down to the next settlement. The indians had heard of my approach and met me some distance above their village.

I went to the place where I intended to cross the Colorado and encamped in a situation where I found good grass, with the intention of giving my horses some rest. I exchanged some horses, Bought some Corn and Beans and made a present to the Chiefs. My interpreter, Francisco, who was still there, told me that since I had left there the last summer a party of Spaniards & Americans from the Province of Sonora, by the way of the Gila, had been there. He showed me some things they had got from them. He said the[y] had quarreled and separated, one party going up the Colorado and the other in another direction. This accounted for the tracks of horses and Mules I had seen on Ashley river and for the starved party which the Utas said had passed through their country.

[missing pages]

After weighing all the circumstances of my situation as calmly as possible, I concluded to again try the hospitality of the Californians. I had left with my party on the Appelamminy a quantity of Beaver furs, and if the Governor would permit me to trade, and I could find any person acquainted with the value of furs, I might procure such supplies as would enable me to continue my journey to the North.

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