Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates January 1806
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: January 6, 1806 - January 8, 1806


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates January 6, 1806 - January 8, 1806.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates January 6, 1806 - January 8, 1806

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates January 1806

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates January 6, 1806 - January 8, 1806
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: January 6, 1806 - January 8, 1806

January 6, 1806
Monday 6, after an early breakfast set out with twelve men in two canoes. He proceeded down the Netul into Meriwether bay, intending to go to the Clatsop town, and there procure a guide through the creeks, which there was reason to believe communicated not only with the bay, but with a small river running towards the sea, near where our saltmakers were encamped. Before however he could reach the Clatsop village, the high wind from the northwest compelled him to put into a small creek. He therefore resolved to attempt the passage without a guide, and proceeded up the creek three miles, to some high open land where he found a road. He therefore left the canoes, and followed the path over three deep marshes to a pond about a mile long, and two hundred yards wide. He kept on the left of this pond, and at length came to the creek which he had crossed on a raft, when he had visited Cuscalah's village on the ninth of December. He proceeded down it, till he found a small canoe, fit to hold three persons, in which the whole party crossed the creek. Here they saw a herd of elk, and the men were divided into small parties, and hunted them till after dark, when they met again at the forks of the river. Three of the elk were wounded, but night prevented their taking more than one, which was brought to the camp, and cooked with some sticks of pine which had drifted down the creeks. The weather was beautiful, the sky clear, the moon shone brightly, a circumstance the more agreeable as this is the first fair evening we have enjoyed for two months.

A party, headed by captain Clarke, go in quest of a whale driven on the shore of the Pacific to obtain some of the oil--they pass Clatsop river, which is described--the perilous nature of this jaunt, and the grandeur of the scenery described--Indian mode of extracting whale oil--the life of one of captain Clarke's party preserved by the kindness of an Indian woman--a short account of the Chinnooks, of the Clatsops, Killamucks, the Lucktons, and an enumeration of several other tribes--the manner of sepulchre among the Chinnooks, Clatsops, &c.--description of their weapons of war and hunting--their mode of building houses--their manufactures, and cookery--their mode of making canoes--their great dexterity in managing that vehicle.

January 7, 1806
Tuesday, 7. There was a frost this morning. We rose early, and taking eight pounds of flesh, which were all the remains of the elk, proceeded up the south fork of the creek. At the distance of two miles we found a pine tree, which had been felled by one of our saltmakers, and on which we crossed the deepest part of the creek, and waded through the rest. We then went over an open ridgy prairie, three quarters of a mile, to the seabeach; after following which for three miles, we came to the mouth of a beautiful river, with a bold, rapid current, eighty-five yards wide, and three feet deep, in its shallowest crossings. On its northeast side are the remains of an old village of Clatsops, inhabited by only a single family, who appeared miserably poor and dirty. We gave a man two fish-hooks, to ferry the party over the river, which, from the tribe on its banks, we called Clatsop river. The creek, which we had passed on a tree, approaches this river within about an hundred yards, and by means of a portage, supplies a communication with the villages near Point Adams. After going on for two miles, we found the saltmakers encamped near four houses of Clatsops and Killamucks, who, though poor, dirty, and covered with fleas, seemed kind and well disposed. We persuaded a young Indian, by a present of a file, and a promise of some other articles, to guide us to the spot where the whale lay. He led us for two and a half miles over the round slippery stones at the foot of a high hill projecting into the sea, and then suddenly stopping, and uttering the word peshack or bad, explained by signs that we could no longer follow the coast, but must cross the mountain. This promised to be a most laborious undertaking, for the side is nearly perpendicular, and the top lost in clouds. He, however, followed an Indian path which would along as much as possible, but still the ascent was so steep, that at one place we drew ourselves for about an hundred feet by means of bushes and roots. At length, after two hours labor, we reached the top of the mountain, where we looked down with astonishment on the prodigious height of ten or twelve hundred feet, which we had ascended. Immediately below us, in the face of this precipice, is a stratum of white earth, used, as our guide informed us, as a paint by the neighboring Indians. It obviously contains argile, and resembles the earth of which the French porcelaine is made, though whether it contains silex or magnesia, or in what proportions, we could not observe. We were here met by fourteen Indians, loaded with oil and blubber, the spoils of the whale, which they were carrying in very heavyburdens, over this rough mountain. On leaving them, we proceeded over a bad road till night, when we encamped on a small run: we were all much fatigued, but the weather was pleasant, and, for the first time since our arrival here, an entire day has passed without rain. In the morning,

January 8, 1806
Wednesday, 8, we set out early and proceeded to the top of the mountain, the highest point of which is an open spot facing the ocean. It is situated about thirty miles southeast of cape Disappointment, and projects nearly two and a half miles into the sea. Here one of the most delightful views in nature presents itself. Immediately in front is the ocean, which breaks with fury on the coast, from the rocks of cape Disappointment as far as the eye can discern to the northwest, and against the highlands and irregular piles of rock which diversify the shore to the southeast. To this boisterous scene, the Columbia, with its tributary waters, widening into bays as it approaches the ocean, and studded on both sides with the Chinnook and Clatsop villages, forms a charming contrast; while immediately beneath our feet, are stretched the rich prairies, enlivened by three beautiful streams, which conduct the eye to small lakes at the foot of the hills. We stopped to enjoy the romantic view from this place, which we distinguished by the name of Clarke's Point of View, and then followed our guide down the mountain. The descent was steep and dangerous: in many places the hill sides, which are formed principally of yellow clay, has been washed by the late rains, and is now slipping into the sea, in large masses of fifty and an hundred acres. In other parts, the path crosses the rugged perpendicular rocks which overhang the sea, into which a false step would have precipitated us. The mountains are covered with a very thick growth of timber, chiefly pine and fir; some of which, near Clarke's Point of View, perfectly sound and solid, rise to the height of two hundred and ten feet, and are from eight to twelve in diameter. Intermixed is the white cedar, or arbor vitę, anda small quantity of black alder, two or three feet thick, and sixty or seventy in height. At length we reached a single house, the remains of an old Killamuck village, situated among some rocks, in a bay immediately on the coast. We then continued for two miles along the sand beach; and after crossing a creek, eighty yards in width, near which are five cabins, reached the place where the waves had thrown the whale on shore. The animal had been placed between two Killamuck villages, and such had been their industry, that there now remained nothing more than the skeleton, which we found to be one hundred and five feet in length. Captain Clarke then returned to the village of five huts, on the creek, to which he gave the name of Ecola, or Whale creek.

The natives were all busied in boiling the blubber, in a large square trough of wood, by means of heated stones, and preserving the oil, thus extracted, in bladders and the entrails of the whale. The refuse of the blubber, which still contained a portion of oil, are hung up in large flitches, and when wanted for use, are warmed on a wooden spit before the fire, and eaten either alone, or dipped in oil, or with roots of the rush and shanataque. These Killamucks, though they had great quantities, parted with it reluctantly, and at such high prices, that our whole stock of merchandise was exhausted in the purchase of about three hundred pounds of blubber, and a few gallons of oil. With these we set out to return; and having crossed Ecola creek, encamped on its bank, where there was abundance of fine timber. We were soon joined by the men of the village, with whom we smoked, and who gave us all the information they possessed, relative to their country. These Killamucks are part of a much larger nation of the same name, and they now reside chiefly in four villages, each at the entrance of a creek, all of which fall into a bay on the southwest coast; that at which we now are, being the most northern, and at the distance of about forty-five miles southeast of Point Adams. The rest of the nation are scatteredalong the coast, and on the banks of a river, which, as we found it in their delineations, we called Killamuck's river, emptying itself in the same direction. During the salmon season they catch great quantities of that fish, in the small creeks, and when they fail; their chief resource was the sturgeon and other fish stranded along the coast. The elk were very numerous in the mountains, but they could not procure many of them with their arrows; and their principal communication with strangers, was by means of the Killamuck river, up which they passed to the Shocatilcum (or Columbia) to trade for wappatoo roots. In their dress, appearance, and indeed every circumstance of life, they differ very little from the Chinnooks, Clatsops, and other nations in the neighborhood. The chief variation we have observed is in the manner of burying the dead; the bodies being secured in an oblong box of plank, which is placed in an open canoe, lying on the ground, with a paddle, and other small articles of the deceased by his side.

Whilst smoking with the Indians, captain Clarke was surprised about ten o'clock by a loud shrill outcry from the opposite village; on hearing which, all the Indians immediately started up to cross the creek, and the guide informed him that some one had been killed. On examination, one of the men was discovered to be absent, and a guard dispatched, who met him crossing the creek in great haste. An Indian belonging to another band, and who happened to be with the Killamucks that evening, had treated him with much kindness, and walked arm in arm with him to a tent where our man found a Chinnook squaw, who was an old acquaintance. From the conversation and manner of the stranger, this woman discovered that his object was to murder the white man, for the sake of the few articles on his person, and when he rose, and pressed our man to go to another tent where they would find something better to eat, she held McNeal by the blanket; not knowing her object, he freed himself from her, and was going on with his pretended friend, when she ran out and gave the shriek which brought the men of the village over, and the stranger ran off before McNeal knew what had occasioned the alarm.

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