Daniel Potts Letter 3

Sweet Lake July 8th 1827


Respectid Brother

A few dass since our trader arived by whom I received two letters one from Dr. Lukens the other from yourself under date of January 1827 which gives me great congratulation to hear that you are both happy wilst I am unhappy also to hear from my friends

shortly after writing to you last year I took my departure for the Black-foot Country much against my will as I could not make a party for any other rout. We took a northerly direction about fifty miles where we cross Snake river or the South fork of Columbia at the forks of Henrys & Lewis's forks at this place we was dayly harrased by the Black-feet from thence up Henrys or North fork which bears North of East thirty miles and crossed a large ruged Mountain which sepparates the two forks from thence East up the other fork to its source which heads on the top of the great chain of Rocky Mountains which sepparates the water of the Atlantic from that of the Pacific. At or near this place heads the Luchkadee or Callifon Stinking fork Yellow-stone South fork of Masuri and Henrys fork all those head at an angular point

that of the Yellow-stone has a large fresh water lake near its head on the verry top of the Mountain which is about one Hundrid by fourty miles in diameter and as clear as crystal on the south borders of this lake is a number of hot and boiling springs, some of water and others of most beautiful fine clay and resembles that of a mush pot and throws its particles to the immense height of from twenty to thirty feet in height. The clay is white and of a pink and water appear fathomless as the it appears to be entirely hollow under neath. There is also a number of places where the pure suphor is sent forth in abundance one of our men Visited one of those wilst taking his recreation there at an instan the earth began a tremendous trembling and he with dificulty made his escape when an explosion took place resembling that of thunder. During our stay in that quarter I heard it every day

From this place by a circutous rout to the Nourth west we returned two others and myself pushed on in the advance for the purpose of accumalating a few more Bever and in the act of passing through a narrow confine in the Mountain we where met plumb in face by a large party of Black-feet Indians who not knowing our number fled into the mountain in confusion and we to a small grove of willows here we made every prepparation for battle after which finding our enemy as much allarmed as ourselves we mounted our Hourses which where heavyly loaded we took the back retreat. The Indian raised a tremendious Yell and showered down from the Mountain top who had almost cut off our retreat we here put whip to our Horses and they pursued us in close quarters until we reached the plains when we left them behind. On this trip one man was closely fired on by a party Black-feet several others where closely pursued. On this trip I have lost one Horse by accident and the last spring two by the Utaws who killed them them for the purpose eatting one of which was a favourite Buffaloe Horse this loss cannot be computed at less than four hundred and fifty Dollars by this you may conclude keeps my nose cllose to the grind stone A few Days previous to my arival at this place a party of about 120 Black feet approachid the Camp and killed a Snake and his squaw the alarm was immediately given and the Snakes Utaws and Whites sallied forth for battle the enemy fled to the Mountain to a small concavity thickly groon with small timber surrounded by open ground In this engagement the squaws where busily engaged in throwing up batterys an draging off the dead there was only six whites engaged in this battle who immediately advanced within pistol shot and you may be assured that almost every shot counted one the loss of the Snakes was three killed and the same same wounded that of the Whites one wounded and two narrowly made their his escape that of the Utaws was none though who gained great applause for their bravery the loss of the enemy is not known six where found dead on the ground besides a great number where carried off on Horses. Tomorrow I depart for the west we are all in good health and expect hope that this letter will find you in the same situation I wish you to remember my best respects to all enquiring friends particularly your wife

Remain yours most affectionately Vc

Danl. T Potts

I inform you I wrote Dr Lukens under the same date and wish you to write me immediately on the receipt of this after the former direction giving me the price of Bever