Discovering the Region: Texts

10. William Clark, Account of Travels Down the Columbia River

William Clark’s account of travels down the Columbia River, November 18-28, 1805, in Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806, ed. Reuben Gold Thwaites, vol. 3 (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1905), 230-55.

[Clark, first draft:]

Novr. 18th Monday 1805

. . . . a little cloudy this morning. I set out at day light with 10 men & my servent. Shabono, Serjt. Pryor Odderway Jos & R. Fields Shannon Colter, Wiser, Lebiech & york proceeded on Down the shore from the 1st point N. W. 6 miles to a lodge at the entrance of a river on the Std. in the middle of a boggey Bay S. 79º W 7 miles to the mouth of a River (old cabins open bogs abound for 2 ms. back) we call after the nation Chin-nook River from this river to camp Point is S. 64º E to Bluff Point (a small Island in a nitch of the Bay in the same ground) is S. 20º W 1½ miles to Cape Disapt is South To point adams is S. 22º E about 25 miles. passed a part of a fish about 1 mile above I supposed to be a Grampass The men killed 4 brants & Leb. killed 48 plover of 2 different

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kinds yellow & black legs had them picked cooked and we Dined on them.

S. 80º W. 1 mile on the bottom of a nitch at a branch from a pond South 8º W. to an Isd. in the 2d nitch from this passed 2 points in the course To the center of the 1t nitch a run is 1 mile To the dº of the 2 dº is 1 mile

At a run & Island near the shore here the Traders ancher & trade. we passed at each point a soft clifts of yellow brown & dark soft stones here Capt Lewis myself & sevel of the men marked our names day of the month & by Land &c. &c. from this S.W. 3 miles to the Iner pt of Cape Disapointmt passed a point & 2 small nitches (Reuben Fields killed a Vulter) we found a curious flat fish shaped like a turtle, with fins on each side, and a tale notched like a fish, the Internals on one side and tale & fins flat wise This fish (Flownder)[1] has a white belly on one side & lies flat to the Ground passed from last nitch across to the ocean ½ a mile low land the Cape is a high Partly bald hill, founded on rock, I assended a high seperate bald hill covered with long corse grass & separated from the hight of countrey by a slashey bottom 2 miles N. 60 W of the Cape. thence  to a 2d Grassey pt is N. 50º W. 2 miles Those hills are founded on rocks & the waves brake with great fury against them, the Coast is sholey for several miles of[f] this Cape & for some distance off to the NW a Sand bar in the mouth, sholey some distance out from the mouth The coast from the Cape NW is open for a short distance back then it becomes thick piney countrey intersperced with points

Point addams is S. 20º W about 20 miles the course on that side bears S. 45º W. I cannot assertain the prosise course of the Deep water in the mouth of the river, the channel is but narrow. I proceeded on up above the 2d point and Encamped on the shore above the high tide, evening clear, for a short time Supd on Brant and pounded fish men all chearfull, express a Desire to winter near the falls this winter

1. This word “Flownder” was written in later.—Ed.

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November 18th Monday 1805

A little cloudy this morning I set out with 10 men and my man York to the Ocian by land. i.e. Serjt Ordway & Pryor, Jos. & Ru Fields, Go. Shannon, W. Brattin, J. Colter, P. Wiser, W. Labieche & P. Shabono one of our interpreters & York. I set out at Day light and proceeded on a Sandy beech

N. 80º W. 1 Mile to a point of rocks about 40 feet high, from the top of which the hill Side is open and assend with a Steep assent to the tops of the mountains, a Deep nitch and two Small Streams above this point, then my course was

N.W. 7 Mile[s] to the enterance of a creek at a lodge or cabin of Chinnooks passing on a wide Sand bar the bay to my left and Several Small ponds containing great numbers of water fowls to my right; with a narrow bottom of alder & Small balsam between the Ponds and the Mountn at the Cabin I saw 4 womin and Some children one of the women in a desperate Situation, covered with sores scabs & ulsers no doubt the effects of venereal disorders with Several of this nation which I have Seen appears to have.

This creek appears to be nothing more than the conveyance of Several Small dreans from the high hills and the ponds on each side near its mouth. here we were set across all in one canoe by 2 squars. to each I gave a small hook

S. 79º W. 5 Miles to the mouth of Chin nook river,[1] passed a low bluff [of a small hite] at 2 miles below which is the remains of huts near which place is also the remains of a whale on the sand, the countrey low open and Slashey, with elivated lands interspersed covered with (Some) pine & thick under groth, This river is 40 yards wide at low tide. here we made a fire and dined on 4 brant and 48 Plever which was killed by Labiech on the coast as we came on. Rubin Fields Killed a Buzzard [Vulture] of the large Kind near the [meat of the] whale we Saw [W. 25th] measured from the tips of the wings across 9 ½ feet, from the point of the Bill to the end of the tail 3 feet 10-¼ inches, middle toe 5-½ inches, toe nale 1 inch & 3-½ lines, wing feather 2-½  feet long & 1 inch 5

1. Wallacut River, on the U.S. Coast survey chart.—Ed.

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lines diamiter, tale feathers 14-½ inches, and the head is 6-½ inches including he beak. [head in Peale’s Mus.][1] after dineing we crossed the river in an old canoe which I found on the sand near Some old houses and proceeded on

S. 20º W. 4 Miles to a Small rock island in a deep nitch passed a nitch at 2 miles in which there is a dreen from Some ponds back; the land low opposite this nitch a bluff of yellow clay and Soft Stone from the river to the commencement of this nitch. below the countrey rises to high hills of about 80 or 90 feet above the water. at 3 miles passed a nitch. this rock Island is Small and at the South of a deep bend in which the nativs inform us the Ships anchor, and from whence they receive their goods in return for their peltries and Elk skins &c. this appears to be a very good harber for large Ships. here I found Capt Lewis name on a tree. I also engraved my name, & by land the say of the month and year, as also Several of the men.

S. 46º E. 2 Miles to the iner extremity of Cape Disapointment passing a nitch in which there is a Small rock island, a Small Stream falls into this nitch from a pond which is immediately on the Sea coast passing through a low isthmus. this Cape is an ellivated circlier [circular] point covered with thick timber on the inner Side and open grassey exposur next to the Sea and rises with a Steep assent to the height of about 150 or 160 feet above the leavel of the water this cape as also the Shore both on the Bay & Sea is a dark brown rock.[2] I crossed the neck of Land low and ½ of a mile wide to the main Ocian, at the foot of a high open hill projecting into the ocian, and about one mile in Si[r]cumfrance. I assended this hill which is covered with high corse grass.[3] decended to the N. of it and camped. [walked] 19 Miles [to-day]. I picked up a flounder on the beech this evening

1. This was the Californian condor (Pseudogryphus californianus) as large as the condor of the Andes.—Ed.

2. In the Courses and Distances (Codex H, p. 148) which here end, Clark entered “Ocian 165 Miles from quick sand river. Ocian 190 Miles from the first rapid. Ocian 4162 Miles from the Mouth of Missouri R.”—Ed.

3. Clark climbed to the top of Cape Disappointment, where the old light house stands, not far from Fort Canby.—O. D. WHEELER.

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from Cape Disapointment to a high point of a Mountn which we shall call [Clarke’s Point of View][1] beares S. 20º W. about 40 [25] miles, point adams is verry low and is Situated within the derection between those two high points of land, the water appears verry Shole from off the mouth of the river for a great distance, and I cannot assertain the direction of the deepest chanel, the Indians point nearest the opposit Side. the waves appear to brake with tremendious force in every direction quite across a large Sand bar lies within the mouth nearest to point Adams which is nearly covered at high tide. I suped on brant this evening with a little pounded fish. Some rain in the after part of the night. men appear much Satisfied with their trip beholding with estonishment the high waves dashing against the rocks & this emence Ocian

[Clark, first draft:]

November 19th Tuesday 1805

began to rain a little before day and continued raining untill 11 oClock  I proceeded on thro emencely bad thickets & hills, crossing 2 points to a 3rd on which we built a fire and cooked a Deer which Jos. Field killed from this point I can see into a Deep bend in the coast to the N.E. for 10 miles. after Brackfast I proceeded on N. 20º E 5 miles to commencement [of] a large sand bar at a low part ponds a little off from the coast here the high rockey hills end and a low Marshey Countrey suckceeds. I proceeded up the course N. 10º W 4 miles & marked my name & the Day of the Month on a pine tree, the waters which Wash this sand beach is tinged with a deep brown colour for some distance out. The course contd is N. 20º W. low coast and sand beech, saw a Dead Sturgen 10 feet long on the sand & the back bone of a whale as I conceived raind I then returned to the Clift & dined, some curious Deer on this course, darker large bodi[e]d short legs pronged horns & the top of the tale black under part white as usial passed a nitch in the rocks below into which falls a stream, after Dinner I set out on my return S.E. passed over a low ridge & thro a piney countrey 2½ miles to

1. Now known as False Tillamook Head.—Ed.

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the Bay, thence up the Bay on the mouth of the Chinnook River crossed in the canoe we had left there & Encamped on the upper side The Hills in the point of this bay are not high, & imedeately below this River the[y] present yellow Bluffs

Above the River and up for about 2 miles the land is low slashey and contains much drift wood, the countrey up this creek is low with Copse of high land or as I may say elevated. The Buzzard which Ruben Fields killed from the top of one to the top of the other wing is 9 feet 0 Inches, from the point of the Bill to the tale is 3 feet 10¼ Ins middle Toe 5½ Inches, Toe nale 1 Inches 3½ wing feather 2 feet ½ In. Tale Feathers 14¼ In. diameter of one feather is 1¼ & 1 line Head is 6¼ Inch long including the back

November 19th Tuesday 180[5]

a cloudy rainey day proceeded up the coast which runs from my camp 1-¼ miles west of the iner extry of the cape N. 20º W. 5 miles through a rugged hilley countrey thickly timbered off the Sea coast to the Comencment of an extencive Sand beech which runs N. 10º W. to point Lewis about 20 miles distance. I proceeded up this coast 4 miles and marked my name on a low pine. and returned 3 miles back (the countrey opsd this Sand coast is low and Slashey, crossed the point 2 miles to the bay and encamped on Chinnook river See another book for perticulars[1]

Cape Disapointment at the Enterance of the Columbia River
into the Great South Sea or Pacific Ocean

Tuesday November the 19th 1805.[2]

I arose early this morning from under a Wet blanket caused by a Shower of rain which fell in the latter part of the last night, and Sent two men on a head with directions to proceed

1. Here ends Codex H, which is immediately succeeded by Codex I (also in Clark's handwriting), covering the time from Nov. 19, 1805, to Jan. 29, 1896.—Ed.

2. The journal proper begins on p. 34 of Codex I, the preceding pages being occupied with a list of distances in their journey from Fort Mandan to the ocean, and observations on weather, natural history, etc.,—all which we have transferred to “Scientific Data.”—Ed.

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on near the Sea Coast and Kill Something for brackfast and that I should follow my self in about half an hour. after drying our blankets a little I set out with a view to proceed near the Coast the direction of which induced me to conclude that at the distance of 8 or 10 miles, the Bay was at no great distance across. I overtook the hunters at about 3 miles, they had killed a Small Deer on which we brackfast[ed], it Comen[c]ed raining and continud moderately untill 11 oClock A M.

After takeing a Sumptious brackfast of Venison which was rosted on Stiks exposed to the fire, I proceeded on through ruged Country of high hills and Steep hollers on a course from the Cape N 20º W. 5 miles[1] on a Direct line to the commencement of a Sandy coast which extended N. 10º W. from the top of the hill above the Sand Shore to a Point of high land distant near 20 miles. this point I have taken the Liberty of Calling after my particular friend Lewis.[2] at the commencement of this Sand beech the high lands leave the Sea Coast in a Direction to Chinnook river, and does not touch the Sea Coast again below point Lewis leaving a low pondey Countrey, maney places open with small ponds in which there is great numbr of fowl I am informed that the Chinnook Nation inhabit this low countrey and live in large wood houses on a river which passes through this bottom Parrilal to the Sea coast and falls into the Bay

I proceeded on the sandy coast 4 miles, and marked my name on a Small pine, the Day of the month & year, &c and returned to the foot of the hill, from which place I intended to Strike across to the Bay, I saw a Sturgeon which had been thrown on Shore and left by the tide 10 feet in length, and Several joints of the back bone of a Whale, which must have foundered on this part of the Coast. after Dineing on the remains of our Small Deer I proceeded through over a land S E with Some Ponds to the bay distance about 2 miles, thence

1. Regarding these figures, Coues says (L. and C., ii, p. 715): “Adjust all Clark’s compass-bearings about the mouth of the Columbia for a magnetic variation of 21º 30’ E.”—Ed.

2. This promontory is now known as North Head, where a new and modern lighthouse stands. North of it is Long Beach, a well-known summer resort, extending for several miles along the coast.—Ed.

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up to the mouth of Chinnook river 2 miles, crossed this little river in the Canoe we left at its mouth and Encamped on the upper Side in an open sandy bottom. The hills next to the bay [on] Cape disapointment to a Short distance up the Chinnook river is not verry high thickly Coverd with different Species of pine &c. maney of which are large, I observed in maney places pine of 3 or 4 feet through growing on the bodies of large trees which had fallen down, and covered with moss and yet part Sound. The Deer[1] of this Coast differ materially from our Common deer in as muech as they are much darker, deeper bodied, Shorter ledged [legged] horns equally branched from the beem the top of the tail black from the rute [root] to the end. Eyes larger and do not lope but jump.[2]

[Clark, first draft:]

Novr 20th Wednesday 1805

Some rain last night dispatchd 3 men to hunt Jo Fields & Colter to hunt Elk & Labich to kill some Brant for our brackfast The Morning cleared up fare and we proceeded on by the same route we went out, at the River we found no Indians, made a raft & Ruban Fields crossed and took over a small canoe which lay at the Indian cabin. This Creek is at this time of high tide 300 yards wide & the marshes for some distance up the creek covered with water. not an Indian to be seen near the creek, I proceeded on to camp & on my way was over taken by 3 Indians one gave us sturgeon & Wapto roots to eate I met several parties on [the] way all of them appeared to know me & was distant, found all well at camp, maney Indians about one of which had on a robe made of 2 sea orters skins. Capt Lewis offered him many things for his skins with others a blanket a coat all of which he refused we at length purchased it for a belt of Blue Beeds which the Squar had. The tide being out we walked home on the beech.

1. This Coues calls “the original description of the Columbian black-tailed deer (Cariacus columbianus),” a distinct species from that found on the Missouri.—Ed.

2. Like a sheep frightened.—BIDDLE (II, p.80).

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Wednesday November the 20th 1805

Some rain last night dispatched Labeech to kill some fowl for our breakfast he returned in about 2 hours with 8 large Ducks on which we brackfast I proceeded on to the enterance of a Creek near a Cabin. No person being at this Cabin and 2 Canoes laying on the opposit Shore from us, I deturmined to have a raft made and Send a man over for a canoe, a Small raft was Soon made, and Reuben Fields crossed and brought over a Canoe. This Creek which is the outlet of a number of ponds, is at this time (high tide) 300 yds wide. I proceeded on up the Beech and was overtaken by three Indians one of them gave me Some dried Sturgeon and a fiew Wappato roots, I employ[e]d those Indians to take up one of our Canoes which had been left by the first party that Came down, for which Service I gave them each a fishing hook of a large Size. on my way up I met Several parties of Chinnooks which I had not before Seen, they were on their return from our Camp. all those people appeared to know my deturmonation of keeping every individual of their nation at a proper distance, as they were guarded and resurved in my presence &c. found maney of the Chin nooks with Capt Lewis of whome there was 2 Cheifs Com com mo ly[1] & Chil-lar-la-wil to whom we gave Medals and to one a flag. one of the Indians had on a roab made of 2 Sea Otter Skins the fur of them were more butifull than any fur I had ever Seen both Capt Lewis & my self endeavored to purchase the roab with different articles[2] at length we procured it for a belt of blue beeds which the Squar-wife of our interpreter Shabono wore around her waste. in my absence the hunters had killed Several Deer and fowl of different kinds.

[Clark, first draft:]

November 21st Thursday 1805

a cloudy morning, most of the Indians left us, The nation on the opposite side is small & called Clap-sott, Their great

1. A daughter of this chief became the wife (1813) of Duncan M’Dougal, one of the associates of John Jacob Astor. See Irving’s Astoria (Phila., 1841), ii, pp. 219-221.—Ed.

2. Several of the men have robes made of brant-skins; one of them had a hat made of the bark of white cedar and bear-grass, very handsomely wrought and waterproof. One of our party purchased it for an old razor.—GASS (p. 242).

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chief name Stil-la-sha. The nation liveing to the North is called Chieltz. The chief is name[d] Mâ-laugh not large nation and wore his beards as informed by the Inds In my absence the hunters killed 7 Deer, 4 brants & a crane. Great numbers of the dark brant passing Southerley, the white yet stationary, no Gees & swan to be seen. The wind blew hard from the S. E. which with the addition of the flood tide raised emence swells & waves which almost entered our Encampment. Morng dark & Disagreeable, a supriseing climat. We have not had one cold day since we passed below the last falls of great Shute & some time before the climent is temperate, and the only change we have experienced is from fair weather to rainey windey weather, I made a chief & gave a medel this man is name[d] Tow-wâle and appears to have some influence with the nation and tells me he lives at the great shute. we gave the squar a coate of Blue Cloth for the belt of Blue Beeds we gave for the Sea otter skins purchased of an Indian. at 12 oClock it began to rain, and continued moderately all day, some wind from the S.E. waves too high for us to proceed on our homeward bound journey. (Lattitude of this place is 46º—19’—11” 1/10 North) Several Indians and squars came this evening I beleave for the purpose of gratifying the passions of our men, Those people appear to view sensuality as a necessary evill, and do not appear to abhore this as crime in the unmarried females. The young women sport openly with our men, and appear to receve the approbation of theer friends & relations for so doing maney of the women are handsom. They are all low both men and womin, I saw the name of J. Bowmon marked or picked on a young squars left arm. The women of this nation Pick their legs in different figures as an orniment the[y] ware their hair loose, some trinkets in their ears, none in the nose as those above, their Dress is as follows, i.e. the men were a roabe of either the skins of [blank space in MS.] a small fured animal, & which is most common, or the Skins of the Sea orter, Loon, Swan, Beaver, Deer, Elk, or blankets either red, blu, or white, which roabes cover the sholders arms & body, all other parts are nakd

The women were a short peticoat of the iner bark of the

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white Ceder or arber vita, which hang down loose in strings nearly as low as the knee, with a short Robe which falls half way down the Thigh. no other part is covered The ornaments are beeds, Blue principally, large Brass wire around their rists some rings, and maney men have salors clothes, maney have good fusees & Ball & Powder. The women ware a string of something curious tied above the anckle, all have large swelled legs & thighs The men [have] small legs & thighs and generally badly made. They live on Elk, Deer, fowls, but principally fish and roots of 3 kinds. Lickorish, Wapto &c The women have more privalages than is common among Indians. Pocks & venereal is common amongst them. I saw one man & one woman who appeared to be all in scabs & several men with the venereal their other Disorders and the remides for them I could not lern we divided some ribin between the men of our party to bestow on their favourite Lasses, this plan to save the knives & more valueable articles.

Those people gave me Sturgion Salmon & wapto roots, & we bought roots, some nuts &c &c for which we were obliged to give emence prices. we also purchased a kind of Cramberry which the Indians say the[y] geather in the low lands, off of small either vines or bushes just above the ground. we also purchased hats made of Grass &c of those Indians, some very handsom mats made of flags some fiew curious baskets made of a strong weed & willow or [blank space in MS.] splits, also a sweet soft black root, about the sise & shape of a carrot, this root they value verry highly. The Wapto root is scerce, and highly valued by those people, this root they roste in hot ashes like a potato and the outer skin peals off, tho this is a trouble they seldom perform.

Thursday November 21st 1805

A cloudy morning most of the Chinnooks leave our camp and return home, great numbers of the dark brant passing to the South, the white Brant have not yet commenced their flight. the Wind blew hard from the S. E. which with the addition of the flood tide raised verry high waves which broke

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with great violence against the shore throwing water into our camp the forepart of this day Cloudy at 12 oClock it began to rain and continud all day moderately, Several Indians Visit us to day of differant nations or Bands Some of the Chiltz Nation who reside on the Sea Coast near Point Lewis, Several of the Clatspos[1] who reside on the Opposit Side of the Columbia imediately opposit to us, and a Cheif from the Grand rapid to whome we gave a Medal.

An old woman & Wife to a Cheif of the Chunnooks came and made a Camp near ours. She brought with her 6 young Squars (her daughters & nieces) I believe for the purpose of Gratifying the passions of the men of our party and receving for those indulgiences Such Small [presents] as She (the old woman) thought proper to accept of.

Those people appear to View Sensuality as a Necessary evel, and do not appear to abhor it as a Crime in the unmarried State. The young females are fond of the attention of our men and appear to meet the sincere approbation of their friends and connections, for thus obtaining their favours, the Womin of the Chinnook Nation have handsom faces low and badly made with large legs & thighs which are generally Swelled from a Stopage of the circulation in the feet (which are Small) by maney Strands of Beeds or curious Strings which are drawn tight around the leg above the ankle, their legs are also picked [i.e., tattooed] with defferent figures, I saw on the left arm of a Squar the following letters J. Bowman, all those are considered by the natives of this quarter as handsom deckerations, and a woman without those deckorations is Considered as among the lower Class they ware their hair lose hanging over their back and Sholders maney blue beeds threaded & hung from different parts of their ears and about ther neck and around their wrists, their dress otherwise is prosisely like that of the Nation of War ci a cum as already discribed. a Short roab, and tissue or kind of peticoat of the bark of Cedar which fall down in strings as low as the knee behind and not

1. The Chehalis (Tsihalis), here called Chiltz, are a Salishan tribe; the name has often been used collectively to include several tribes of that family. The Clatsops belong to the Chinookan stock.—Ed.

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so low before. Maney of the men have blankets of red blue or Spotted Cloth or the common three & 2½ point blankets, and Salors old Clothes which they appear to prise highly, they also have robes of SeaOtter, Beaver, Elk, Deer, fox and cat common to this Countrey, which I have never Seen in the U States. they also precure a roabe from the native above, which is made of the Skins of a Small animal about the Size of a cat, which is light and dureable and highly prized by those people. the greater numbers of the men of the Chinnooks have Guns and powder and Ball. The Men are low homely and badly made, Small crooked legs large feet, and all of both Sects have flattened heads. The food of this nation is principally fish & roots the fish they precure from the river by the means of nets and gigs, and the Salmon which run up the Small branches together with what they collect drifted up on the Shores of the Sea coast near to where they live. The roots which they use are Several different kinds, the Wap pa to which they precure from the nativs above, a black root which they call Shaw-na-tâh-que[1] & the Wild licquorish is the most Common, they also kill a fiew Elk Deer & fowl. maney of the Chinnooks appear to have Venerious and pustelus disorders. one woman whome I saw at the Creek appeared all over in Scabs and ulsers &c.

We gave to the men each a pece of ribin. We purchased cramberies Mats verry netely made of flags and rushes, Some roots, Salmon and I purchased a hat made of Splits & Strong grass, which is made in the fashion which was common in the U States two years ago also small baskets to hold Water made of Split and Straw, for those articles we gave high prices.

1. This should be shanatawhee. It is the root of the edible thistle [Cnicus edulis]; the first year’s growth of the thistle, that has one straight root something like a parsnip, it is tender, sweet, and palatable.—S. B. SMITH (Wonderland, 1900, p.61).

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Clark’s Journal, November 22, 1805—January 6, 1806
Lewis’s Journal, November 29—December 1, 1805, and January 1-6, 1806
Orderly Book, January 1, 1806
[Clark’s, first draft:]

Novr 22nd Friday 1805

Some little rain all the last night with wind, before day the wind increased to a storm from the S.S.E. and blew with violence throwing the water of the river with emence waves out of its banks almost over whelming us in water, O! how horriable is the day. This storm continued all day with euqal violence accomplished with rain, several Indians about us, nothing killed the waves & brakers flew over our camp, one canoe split by the Tossing of those waves we are all confined to our Camp and wet. purchased some Wap to roots for which was given brass arm ban[d]s & rings of which the squars were fond. we find the Indians easy ruled and kept in order by a stricter indifference towards them

Friday November 22nd 1805

a moderate rain all the last night with wind, a little before Day light the wind which was from the S.S.E. blew with Such Violence that we wer almost overwhelmned with water blown from the river, this Storm did not sease at day but blew with nearly equal violence throughout the whole day accompany[i]ed with rain, O! how horriable is the day waves brakeing with great violence against the Shore throwing the Water into our Camp &c. all wet and confind to our Shelters, Several Indian men and women crouding about the mens shelters to day, we purchased a fiew Wappato roots for which we gave Arm-

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ban[d]s, & rings to the old Squar, those roots are equal to the Irish potato, and is a tolerable substitute for bread

The threat which I made to the men of this nation whome I first Saw, and an indifference towards them, is: I am fulley convinced the cause of their conducting themselves with great propriety towards ourselves & Party.

[Clark, first draft:]

November 23rd Saturday 1805

The [day] cloudy and calm, a moderate rain the greater part of the last night, sent out men to hunt this morning and they killed 3 bucks rained at intervales all day. I marked my name the Day of the Month & year on a Beech tree & (By Land) Capt Lewis Branded his and the men all marked their nams on trees about the camp. one Indian came up from their village on some lakes near Haleys bay. In the Evening 7 Indians of the Clatt-sopp nation, opposit came over, they brought with them 2 Sea orter skins, for which the[y] asked such high prices we were uneabled to purchase, with[out] reduceing our small stock of merchindize on which we have to depend in part for a subsistence on our return home, kiled 4 brant & 3 Ducks to day

Saturday November 22 [3]rd 1805

A calm Cloudy morning, a moderate rain the greater part of the last night, Capt Lewis Branded a tree with his name Date &c. I marked my name the Day & year on a alder tree, the party all Cut the first letters of their names on different trees in the bottom. our hunters killed 3 Bucks, 4 Brant & 3 Ducks to day.

in the evening Seven indians of the Clat sop Nation came over in a Canoe, they brought with them 2 Sea otter Skins for which they asked blue beeds &c and Such high pricies that we were unable to purchase them without reducing our Small Stock of Merchendize, on which we depended for Subcistance on our return up this river. mearly to try the Indians who

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had one of those Skins, I offered him my Watch, handkerchief a bunch of red beads and a dollar of the American coin, all of which he refused and demanded “ti-â-co-mo-shack”[1] which is Chief beads and the most common blue beads, but fiew of which we have at this time

This nation is the remains of a large nation destroyed by the Small pox or Some other [disease] which those people were not acquainted with, they Speak the Same language of the Chinnooks and resemble them in every respect except that of Stealing, which we have not cought them at as yet.

[Clark, first draft:]

November 24th Sunday 1805

a fare morning. sent out 6 hunters and Detained to make the following observations i.e.

Took time dis. & azomith of the Sun AM.
h. m. s.
8 33 20 22° 16' 30" S 64° E.
8 37 48 23 19 45 S 63° E.
8 41 35 24 13 0 S 62° E

Equal altitudes with Sextant
  H. m s h m s
A.M. 8 53 5.5 P.M. (lost)
" 55 33
" 58 3

Altitude produced [blank space in MS.]

observed Time & Distance of Sun & Moons nearest Limbs Sun
West P M

1. A word still in use among the coast Indians, in the “Chinook jargon” or “trade-language”; it is given by Horatio Hale as tyee-kamosuk, in Oregon Trade Language (London, 1890), pp. 52, 53. A dictionary of this jargon is also given by Granville Stuart, in Montana as It Is (N.Y. 1865), pp. 99-127. Cf. Boas’s Chinook Texts (Washington, 1894).—Ed.

– page 245 –

Time distance
h. m. s.
2 42 11 40° 32' 45"
" 43 38 40 33 15
" 44 53 " 33 30
" 46 9 " 34 15
" 47 29 " 34 30
" 48 53 " 34 45
" 51 29 " 35 15
" 52 50 " 35 30
" 54 00 " 36 00
" 55 38 " 36 15

Several of the Chennook N. came, one of them brought an Sea otter skin for which we gave some blue Beeds. This day proved to be fair and we dried our wet articles bedding &c The hunters killed only 1 brant no Deer or any thing else

Observed time and Distance of Moons [blank space in MS.] Limb an a pegasi Star East P.M.

h m s
6 16 46 67° 56' 30"
" 19 29 " 54 15
" 25 39 " 50 45
" 28 20 " 50 15
" 31 53 " 48 30

The old chief of Chinn-nook nation and several men & women came to our camp this evening & smoked the pipe

[A vote of the men, as to location of winter quarters.—Ed.][1]

Sergt J. Ordway
cross &
Serjt. N. Pryor
Sgt. P. Gass
Jo. Shields
to Sandy R
G. Shannon
T. P. Howard

1. Gass tells us (p. 245) that the commanders held a consultation with their men as to the location of their quarters. The present statement is apparently the vote taken on this occasion.—Ed.

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P. Wiser
J. Collins
S. R
Jo. Fields
Al. Willard
R. Willard
J. Potts
R. Frasure
Wm. Bratten
R. Fields
J: B: Thompson
J. Colter
H. Hall
S. R.
S. R.
Peter Crusatte
J. P. Depage
S. Guterich
W. Werner
Go: Gibson
Jos. Whitehouse
Geo. Drewyer
other side
Mc. Neal
falls Sandy River lookout up

Janey [Sacajawea?—Ed.] in favour of a place where there is plenty of Potas

Cp. L & F Proceed on to morrow & examine The other side if good hunting to winter there, as salt is an objt if not to proceed on to Sandy it is probable that a vestle will come in this winter, & that by proceeding on at any distance would not inhance our journey in passing the Rocky Mountains, &c

WC. In favour of proceding on without delay to the opposit shore & there examine, and find out both the disposition of the Indians, & probibilaty of precureing subsistence, and also enquire if the Tradeing vestles will arrive before the time we should depart in the spring, and if the Traders, comonly arrive in a seasonable time, and we can subsist without a depends on our stores of goods, to continue as the climent would be more favourable on the Sea Coast for our naked men than

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higher up the countrey where the climate must be more severe. The advantage of the arival of a vestle from whome we can precure goods will be more than an over ballance, for the bad liveing we shall have in liveing on Pore deer & Elk we may get in this neighbourhood.[1] If we cannot subsist on the above terms to proceed on, and make station camps, to neighbourhood of the Frendly village near the long narrows & delay untill we can proceed up the river. Salt water I view as an evil in as much as it is not helthy. I am also of opinion that one two or three weeks Exemination on the oppo[site] side if the prospects are any wise favourable, would not be too long

Variation of the Compass is 16’ East

Sunday November 24th 1805

A fair morning Sent out 6 hunters, and we proceeded to make the following observations[2] a Chief and Several men of the Chinnook nation came to Smoke with us this evening one of the men brought a Small Sea otter Skin for Which we gave Some blue beads. this day proved fair Which gave us an oppertunity of drying our wet articles, bedding &c &c nothing killed to day except one Brant. the variation of the Compass is 16º East.

being now determined to go into Winter quarters as soon as possible, as a convenient Situation to precure the Wild animals of the forest which must be our dependance for Subsisting this Winter, we have every reason to believe that the Nativs have not provisions Suffi[ci]ent for our consumption, and if they had, their prices are So high that it would take ten times as much to purchase their roots & Dried fish as we have in our possesion, encluding our Small remains of Merchindize and Clothes &c This certinly enduces every individual of the party to make diligient enquiries of the nativs [for] the part of the Countrey in which the Wild animals are most plenty. They generaly agree that the Most Elk is on the Opposit Shore, and that the

1. Coues thinks (L. and C., ii, pp. 720, 721) that Jefferson might have been excepted, in ordinary circumstances, to send a ship to the Columbia River, to meet the expedition; but that he preferred not to risk giving possible offence to Spain by such action.—Ed.

2. The astronomical data, being transcripts of those given in the first draft, are here omitted.—Ed.

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greatest Numbers of Deer is up the river at Some distance above. The Elk being an animal much larger than Deer, easier to Kill, & better meat (in the Winter when pore) and Skins better for the Clothes of our party: added to [this]a convenient Situation to the Sea coast where We Could make Salt, and a probibility of Vessels comeing into the Mouth of Columbia (“which the Indians inform us would return to trade with them in 3 months”) from whome we might precure a fresh Supply of Indian trinkets to purchase provisions on our return home: together with the Solicitations of every individual, except one of our party induced us [to] Conclude to Cross the river and examine the opposit Side, and if a Sufficent quantity of Elk could probebly be precured to fix on a Situation as convenient to the Elk & Sea Coast as we could find. added to the above advantagies in being near the Sea Coast one most Strikeing one occurs to me i.e, the Climate which must be from every appearance much milder than that above the 1st range of Mountains, The Indians are Slightly Clothed and give an account of but little Snow, and the weather which we have experienced since we arrived in the neighbourhood of the Sea coast has been verry warm, and maney of the fiew days past disagreeably so. if this Should be the case it will most Certainly be the best Situation of our Naked party dressed as they are altogether in leather.

[Clark, first draft:]

November 25th Munday 1805

a fine day several Indians come up from below, we loaded and set out up the river, and proceeded on to the Shallow Bay, landed to dine, The swells too high to cross the river, agreeabley to our wish which is to examine if game can be precured sufficient for us to winter on that side, after dinner which was on Drid pounded fish we proceeded on up on the North Side to near the place of our Encampment of the 7th Instant and encamped after night The evening cloudy wind of to day Generally from the E.S.E. Saw from near of [our] last campment Mount Ranier bearing [blank space in MS.]

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Monday 25th November 1805

The Wind being high rendered it impossible for us to cross the river from our Camp, we deturmind to proceed on up where it was narrow, we Set out early accompanied by 7 Clâtsops for a fiew miles, they left us and crossed the river through emence high waves; we Dined in the Shallow Bay on Dried pounded fish, after which we proceeded on near the North Side of the Columbia, and encamp[ed] a little after night near our Encampment of the 7th instant near a rock at Some distance in the river.[1] evening Cloudy the Winds of to day is generally E.S.E. which was a verry favourable point for us as the highlands kept it from us Mt St Hilians Can be Seen from the Mouth of this river.

[Clark, first draft:]

November 26th Tuesday 1805

Cloudy and some rain this morning at day light wind blew from the E.N.E. we set out and proceeded on up on the North Side of this great river to a rock in the river from thence we crossed to the lower point of an [blank space in MS.] Island passed between 2 Islands to the main shore, and proceeded down the South Side, passed 2 Inlets & halted below the 2d at a Indian village of 9 large houses those Indians live on an emenence behind a Island of a Channel of the river not more than 300 yds wide, they live on fish & Elk and Wapto roots, of which we bought a few at a high price they call them selves Cat-tar-bets (description)

We proceeded on about 8 miles and Encamped in a deep bend to the South, we had not been encamped long ere 3 Indians came in a canoe to trade the Wapto roots we had rain all the day all wet and disagreeable a bad place to camp all around this great bend is high land thickly timbered brushey & almost impossible to penetrate we saw on an Island below the village a place of deposit for the dead in canoes Great numbers of Swan Geese Brant Ducks & Gulls in this great bend which is crouded with low Islands covered with weeds

1. Pillar Rock, mentioned above.—Ed.

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grass &c and overflowed every flood tide The people of the last village is [blank space in MS.] they ask emence prices for what they have to sel Blue Beeds is their great trade they are fond of clothes or blankits of Blue red or brown

We are now decending to see if a favourable place should off on the So Side to winter &c

from a high Point opsd a high Isld down the South Side is S. 30º W 6 mls to a point of low land opds upr pt of Isd passed lowr pt 1st Isd marshey. at the upr pt of 2 low isd opsd each other at 4 miles


Tuesday 26th November 1805

Cloudy and Some rain this Morning from 6 oClock. Wind from the E.N.E. we Set out out early and crossed a Short distance above the rock, out in the river, & between Some low Marshey Islands to the South Side of the Columbia at a low

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bottom about 3 miles below Point Samuel[1] and proceeded [on] near the South Side leaveing the Seal Islands to our right and a marshey bottom to the left 5 Miles to the Calt-har-mar [Cathlahma] Village of 9 large wood houses on a handsom elivated Situation near the foot of a Spur of the high land behind a large low Island Seperated from the Southerly Shore by a Chanel of about 200 yards Wide, This Nation appear to differ verry little either in language, Customs dress or appearance from the Chinnooks & War. Ci a cum live principally on fish and pappato they have also other roots, and Some Elk meat.

We purchased Some green fish & Wap pâ to for which we gave immoderate pricies. after dining on the fresh fish which we purchased, we proceeded on through a Deep bend to the South and encamped under a high hill, where we found much difficuelty in procuring wood to burn, as it was raining hard, as it had been the greater part of the day. Soon after we encamped 2 Indians of the last town Came in a Canoe with Wap pa to roots to sell to us, Some of which we purchased with fish hooks. from the Village quite around this bend to the West the land is high and thickly timbered with pine balsom &c. a Short distance below the Calt har mer Village on the Island which is Opposit I observed Several Canoes Scaffold[ed] in which [were] contained their dead, as I did not examine this mode of depos[it]ing the dead, must refer it to a discription hereafter.

1. Point Samuel must be that cape now known as Cathlamet Head. On the explorers’ return (see March 24, 1806) they mention a Cathlamet village just below this point. Confusion has arisen because the present town of Cathlamet is on the north side of the river. Thomas U. Strong of Portland, Oregon, writes that “Some time after the expedition of Lewis and Clark the Cathlamet Tribe of Indians, very much reduced by some pestilence that prevailed, moved over to the north bank of the Columbia River and settled somewhere near the present town of Cathlamet where some kinsfolk of theirs, the Wahkiakums, had already a village.” The old village of the time of Lewis and Clark was on the south bank near the present town of Knappa, on the Columbia River Railway.—Ed.

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[Clark, first draft:]

November 27th Wednesday 1805

Some rain all the last night & this morning at day light 3 canoes and 11 men came down with roots meat, skins &c to sell, they asked such high prices we were unable to purchase any thing, and as we were about setting out, discovered that one of those Indians had stole an ax, we serched and found it under the roabe of one man whome we shamed verry much we preceeded on, around Point William[1] the swells became high and rained so hard we concluded to halt and dry our selves, soon after our landing the wind rose from the East and blew hard accompanied with rain, this rain obliged us to unload & draw up our canoes, one of which was split t[w]o feet before we got her out of the river, this place the Peninsoley is about 50 yards and 3 miles around this point of Land. water salt below not salt above

Wednesday 27th November 1805

Rained all the last night, and this morning it Continues moderately. at day light 3 canoes and 11 Indians Came from the Village with roots mats, Skins &c to sell, they asked such high prices that we were unable to purchase any thing of them, as we were about to Set out missed one of our axes which was found under an Indians roab. I smamed (Shamed) this fellow verry much and told them they should not proceed with us. we proceded on between maney Small Islands passing a Small river of [blank space in MS.] yds wide which the Indians Call Kekemarke[2] and around a verry remarkable point which projects about 1½ Miles directly towards the Shallow bay the isthmus which joins it to the main land is not exceding 50 yards and about 4 Miles around. we call this Point William below this point the waves became So high we were compelled to land unload and traw [draw] up the Canoes, here we formed a camp on the rock of Land Which joins Point William to the

1. Now Tongue Point, so named by Broughton in 1792 from a fancied resemblance to that member.—Ed.

2. This river is now known as the John Day River.—Ed.

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main at an old indian hut.[1] The rain Continued hard all day we are all Wet and disagreeable. one Canoe Split before we Got her out of the Water 2 feet. The water at our camp Salt that above the isthmus fresh and fine—[2]

[Clark, first draft:]

November 28th Thursday 1805

Wind shifted about to the S.W. and blew hard accompanied with hard rain all last night, we are all wet bedding and stores, haveing to keep our selves or stores dry, our Lodge nearly worn out, and the pieces of sales & tents so full of holes & rotten that they will not keep any thing dry, we sent out the most of the men to drive the point for deer, they scattered through the point some stood on the pen[in]solu, we could find no deer, several hunters attempted to penetrate the thick woods to the main South Side without suckcess the swan & gees wild and cannot be approached, and wind to high to go either back or forward, and we have nothing to eate but a little Pounded fish which we purchasd at the Great falls, This is our present situation ! truly disagreeable. aded to this the robes of our selves and men are all rotten from being continually wet, and we cannot precure others, or blankets in these places. about 12 oClock the wind shifted to the N.W. and blew with great violence for the remainder of the day at maney times it blew for 15 or 20 minits with such violence that I expected every moment to see trees taken up by the roots, some were blown down. Those squals were suckceeded by rain O! how Tremendious is the day. This dredfull wind and rain continued with intervales of fair weather, the greater part of the evening and night

Thursday 28th November 1805

Wind shifted about to the S.W. and blew hard accompanied with hard rain. rained all the last night we are all wet our

1. The camp was facing the site of Astoria, near the spot where the government now has a hydrographic station.—Ed.

2. The width of the Columbia just above Astoria and Tongue Point is between twelve and fifteen miles; and at the bar, between Point Adams and Cape Disappointment, it is six or seven miles wide.—Ed.

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bedding and Stores are also wet, we haveing nothing which is Sufficient to keep ourselves bedding on Stores dry, Several men in the point hunting deer without suckcess, the Swan and brant which are abundant Cannot be approached sufficently near to be killed, and the wind and waves too high to proceed on to the place we expect to find Elk, & we have nothing to eate except pounded fish which we brought from the Great falls, this is our present situation; truly disagreeable. about 12 oClock the wind shifted around to the N.W. and blew with Such violence that I expected every moment to See trees taken up by the roots, maney were blown down. This wind and rain Continued with short intervales all the latter part of the night. O! how disagreeable is our Situation dureing this dreadfull weather.

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