Skip to Content
HomeAbout this siteHelpSearch this site The Library of Congress
America's Story from America's LibraryMeet Amazing AmericansJump Back in TimeExplore the StatesJoin America at PlaySee, Hear and Sing
Meet Amazing Americans Adventurers & Explorers Meriwether Lewis & William Clark
Journal entry with handwriting and sketch of pipe
Lewis's sketch of the Shoshone peace pipe from his August 13, 1805 journal entry

Enlarge this image
Lewis and Clark Meet the Shoshone

Lewis wanted the Shoshone to know that he and his men came in peace. He gave them gifts and used sign language, a few Shoshone words, and red paint (the Shoshone color for peace) to tell them. Luckily, the Shoshone band and their chief, Cameahwait, were convinced.

They celebrated the peaceful meeting with hugs, shouts, and smoking a peace pipe. When they all sat on the ground to share the peace pipe, the Shoshone removed their moccasins (shoes) to show their sincerity. Lewis wrote many pages about this day in his journal including this drawing of the peace pipe. Lewis explained that the Shoshone took off their shoes to say they would "always go barefoot if they are not sincere; a pretty heavy penalty if they are to march throught the plains of their country." Lewis understood what they meant since the Corps had all hurt their feet on sharp rocks and prickly pear cactuses.

Back page 2 of 4 Next

Library Of Congress | Legal Notices | Privacy | Site Map | Contact Us