Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates December 1805
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: December 24, 1805 - December 31, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates December 24, 1805 - December 31, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates December 24, 1805 - December 31, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates December 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates December 24, 1805 - December 31, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: December 24, 1805 - December 31, 1805

December 24, 1805
The next day, Tuesday 24, however, he came in a canoe with his young brother and two squaws. Having treated captain Clarke so kindly at his village we were pleased to see him, and he gave us two mats and a parcel of roots. These we accepted, as it would have been offensive to decline the offer but afterwards two files were demanded in return for the presents, and not being able to spare those articles, we restored the mats and roots. Cuscalah was a little displeased: in the evening however he offered each of us one of the squaws, and even this being declined, Cuscalah as well as the whole party of Indians were highly offended: the females particularly seemed to be much incensed at our indifference about their favours. The whole stock of meat being now completely spoiled, our pounded fish became again our chief dependence. It had rained constantly all day, but we still continued working and at last moved into our huts.

December 25, 1805
Wednesday 25. We were awaked at daylight by a discharge of firearms, which was followed by a song from the men, as a compliment to us on the return of Christmas, which we have always been accustomed to observe as a day of rejoicing. After breakfast we divided our remaining stock of tobacco, which amounted to twelve carrots, into two parts; one of which we distributed among such of the party as made use of it, making a present of a handkerchief to the others. The remainder of the day was passed in good spirits, though there was nothing in our situation to excite much gayety. The rain confined us to the house, and our only luxuries in honor of the season, were some poor elk, so much spoiled that we eat it through mere necessity, a few roots, and some spoiled pounded fish. The next day,

December 26, 1805
Thursday 26, brought a continuation of rain, accompanied with thunder, and a high wind from the southeast. We were therefore still obliged to remain in our huts, and endeavored to dry our wet articles before the fire. The fleas which annoyed us near the portage of the great falls, have taken such possession of our clothes, that we are obliged to have a regular search every day through our blankets as a necessary preliminary to sleeping at night. These animals indeed are so numerous, that they are almost a calamity to the Indians of this country. When they have once obtained the mastery of any house it is impossible to expel them, and the Indians have frequently different houses, to which they resort occasionally when the fleas have rendered their permanent residence intolerable; yet in spite of these precautions, every Indian is constantly attended by multitudes of them, and no one comes into our houses without leaving behind him swarms of these tormenting insects.

December 27, 1805
Friday 27. The rain did not cease last night, nor the greater part of the day. In the evening we were visited by Comowool, the chief, and four men of the Clatsop nation, who brought a very timely supply of roots and berries. Among these was one called culhomo, resembling liquorice in size and taste, and which they roast like a potatoe; there was also the shanataque, a root of which they are very fond. It is of a black color, sweet to the taste, and is prepared for eating in a kiln, as the Indians up the Columbia dry the pasheco. These as well as the shellwell berries, they value highly, but were perfectly satisfied with the return we made them, consisting of a small piece of sheepskin, to wear round the chief's head, a pair of earbobs for his son, a small piece of brass, and a little riband. In addition to our old enemies the fleas, we observed two mosquitoes, or insects so completely resembling them, that we can perceive no difference in their shape and appearance.

December 28, 1805
Saturday, 28. Again it rained during the greater part of last night, and continued all day. Five men were sent out to hunt, and five others dispatched to the seaside, each with a large kettle, in order to begin the manufacture of salt. The route to the seacoast is about seven miles in length, in a direction nearly west. Five miles of the distance is through thick wood varied with hills, ravines and swamps, though the land in general possesses a rich black moul?. The remaining two miles is formed of open waving prairies of sand, with ridges running parallel to the river, and covered with green grass. The rest of the men were employed in making pickets and gates for our new fort. Although we had no sun, the weather was very warm.

December 29, 1805
Sunday, 29. It rained the whole night, but ceased this morning, and but little rain fell in the course of the day; still the weather was cloudy and the wind high from the southeast. The Clatsop chief and his party left us, after begging for a great number of articles, which, as we could not spare them, we refused except a razor. We were employed all day in picketting the fort: in the evening a young Wahkiacum chief, with four men and two women, arrived with some dressed elk skin and wappatoo for sale. We purchased about a bushel and a half of those roots for some red beads, and small pieces of brass wire and old check. The chief too made us a present of half a bushel more, for which we gave him a medal, and a piece of riband, to tie round his hat. These roots are extremely grateful, since our meat has become spoiled, and we were desirous of purchasing the remainder; but the chief would not dispose of any more, as he was on his way to trade with the Clatsops. They remained with us however till the next day,

December 30, 1805
Monday, 30, when they were joined by four more of their countrymen, from the Wahkiacum village. These last began by offering us some roots; but as we had now learned that they always expect three or four times as much in return, as the real value of the articles, and are even dissatisfied with that, we declined such dangerous presents. Towards evening the hunters brought in four elk, and after a long course of abstinence and miserable diet, we had a most sumptuous supper of elk's tongues and marrow. Besides this agreeable repast, the state of the weather had been quite exhilirating. It had rained during the night, but in the morning, though the high wind continued, we enjoyed the fairest and most pleasant weather since our arrival; the sun having shone at intervals, and there being only three showers in the course of the day. By sunset we had completed the fortification, and now announced to the Indians that every day at that hour the gates would be closed, and they must leave the fort and not enter it till sunrise. The Wahkiacums, who had remained with us, and who are very forward in their deportment, complied very reluctantly with this order; but being excluded from our houses, formed a camp near us.

December 31, 1805
Tuesday, 31. As if it were impossible to have twenty-four hours of pleasant weather, the sky last evening clouded, and the rain began and continued through the day. In the morning there came down two canoes, one from the Wahkiacum village, the other contained three men and a squaw of the Skilloot nation. They brought wappatoo, and shanataque roots, dried fish, mats made of flags and rushes, dressed elk skins and tobacco; for which, particularly the skins, they asked a very extravagant price. We purchased some wappatoo, and a little tobacco, very much like that we had seen among the Shoshones, put up in small neat bags made of rushes. These we obtained in exchange for a few articles, among which fish-hooks are the most esteemed. One of the Skilloots brought a gun which wanted some repair, and having put it in order, we received from him a present of about a peck of wappatoo; we then gave him a piece of sheep skin and blue cloth, to cover the lock, and he very thankfully offered a further present of roots. There is, in fact, an obvious superiority in these Skilloots over the Wahkiacums, who are intrusive, thievish, and impertinent. Our new regulations, however, and the appearance of the sentinel, have improved the behaviour of all our Indian visiters. They left the fort before sun-set, even without being ordered.

Besides the fleas, we observe a number of insects in motion to-day. Snakes are yet to be seen; snails too, without covers, are common. On the rivers, and along the shores of Meriwether's bay, are many kinds of large water fowls, but at this period they are excessively wild. The early part of the night was fair.

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