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John Work Party is the answer for Number 519 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country. Watch each day for another clue.
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Monday: Keen competition
Tuesday: They were second.
Wednesday: Came from Vancouver
Thursday: Came to Weippe in September
Friday: 35-60 men women and children
Saturday: They encountered snow.
Tuesday: Tried to discourage further US expansion
Wednesday: Nez Perce weren't very interested in trading
Thursday: They lost horses.
Friday: The leader's family came along.
Saturday: Lolo Trail
By 1831, competition betwenn the Hudsons Bay Company and American fur trappers had become quite keen, especially in southern Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. To challenge fur traders in this area and discourage furthe United State expansion westward, John Work or Wark left the Hudsons Bay post at Vancouver, across the Columbia River from present day Portland in the fall of 1831, according to The Clearwater Story: a History of the Clearwater National Forest.
The party of between 35-60 men, women and children included Work's wife and three daugthers. They reached Weippe on Sept. 26, 1831, and found the Nez Perce uninterested in beaver trapping. They were also hard bargainers when it came to horses.
The party traveled in the area for a little more than two weeks. They encountered early season snow and often did not have enough grass for their horses. According to the history they traveled to the Browns Creek area and then the Lolo Trail. It says they were also at Sherman Saddle, Hungery Creek and Bald Mountain, Indian Post Office, Spring Hill, and Cayuse Junction, though some would say they were at other locations while in this region.
Work's Party made it to what is Lolo Hot Springs on Oct. 13. Thus the second known white party crossed the Lolo Trail and found it just as difficult as Lewis and Clark. They returned to Vancouver by way of southern Idaho.
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