Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates January 1806
Lewis and Clark Picture
Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: January 19, 1806 - January 21, 1806


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates January 19, 1806 - January 21, 1806.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates January 19, 1806 - January 21, 1806

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates January 1806

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates January 19, 1806 - January 21, 1806
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: January 19, 1806 - January 21, 1806

January 19, 1806
Sunday 19. This morning we sent out two parties of hunters in different directions. Soon after we were visited by two Clatsop men and a woman, who brought several articles to trade: we purchased a small quantity of train oil for a pair of brass armbands, and succeeded in obtaining a sea-otter skin, for which we gave our only remaining four fathoms of blue beads, the same quantity of white ones, and a knife; we gave a fish-hook also in exchange for one of their hats. These are made of cedar bark and bear-grass, interwoven together in the form of an European hat, with a small brim of about two inches, and a high crown, widening upwards. They are light, ornamented with various colors and figures, and being nearly water-proof, are much more durable than either chip or straw hats. These hats form a small article of traffic with the whites, and the manufacture is one of the best exertions of Indian industry. They are, however, very dexterous in making a variety of domestic utensils, among which are bowls, spoons, scewers, spits, and baskets. The bowl or trough is of different shapes, sometimes round, semi-circular, in the form of a canoe, or cubic, and generally dug out of a single piece of wood, the larger vessels having holes in the sides by way of handle, and all executed with great neatness. In these vessels they boil their food, by throwing hot stones into the water, and extract oil from different animals in the same way. Spoons are not very abundant, nor is there anything remarkable in their shape, except that they are large and the bowl broad.

Meat is roasted on one end of a sharp scewer, placed erect before the fire, with the other fixed in the ground. The spit for fish is split at the top into two parts, between which the fish is placed, cut open, with its sides extended by means of small splinters. The usual plate is a small mat of rushes or flags, on which every thing is served. The instrument with which they dig up roots, is a strong stick, about three feet and a half long, sharpened and a little curved at the lower end, while the upper is inserted into a handle, standing transversely, and made of part of an elk or buck's horn. But the most curious workmanship is that of the basket. It is formed of cedar bark and bear-grass, so closely interwoven, that it is water tight, without the aid of either gum or resin. The form is generally conic, or rather the segment of a cone, of which the smaller end is the bottom of the basket; and being made of all sizes, from that of the smallest cup to the capacity of five or six gallons, answer the double purpose of a covering for the head or to contain water. Some of them are highly ornamented with strands of bear-grass, woven into figures of various colors, which require great labor; yet they are made very expeditiously and sold for a trifle. It is for the construction of these baskets, that the bear-grass forms an article of considerable traffic. It grows only near the snowy region of the high mountains, and the blade, which is two feet long and about three-eighths of an inch wide, is smooth, strong and pliant; the young blades particularly, from their not being exposed to the sun and air, have an appearance of great neatness, and are generally preferred. Other bags and baskets, not water-proof, are made of cedar bark, silk-grass, rushes, flags, and common coarse sedge, for the use offamilies. In the manufactures, as well as in the ordinary work of the house, the instrument most in use is a knife, or rather a dagger. The handle of it is small, and has a strong loop of twine for the thumb, to prevent its being wrested from the hand. On each side is a blade, double-edged and pointed; the longer from nine to ten inches, the shorter from four to five. This knife is carried about habitually in the hand, sometimes exposed, but mostly when in company with strangers, put under the robe.

January 20, 1806
Monday, 20. We were visited by three Clatsops, who came merely for the purpose of smoking and conversing with us. We have now only three days' provision, yet so accustomed have the men become to live sparingly, and fast occasionally, that such a circumstance excites no concern, as we all calculate on our dexterity as hunters. The industry of the Indians is not confined to household utensils: the great proof of their skill is the construction of their canoes. In a country, indeed, where so much of the intercourse between different tribes is carried on by water, the ingenuity of the people would naturally direct itself to the improvement of canoes, which would gradually become, from a mere safe conveyance, to an elegant ornament. We have accordingly seen, on the Columbia, canoes of many forms, beginning with the simple boats near the mountains, to those more highly decorated, because more useful nearer the mouth of the Columbia. Below the grand cataract there are four forms of canoes: the first and smallest is about fifteen feet long, and calculated for one or two persons: it is, indeed, by no means remarkable in its structure, and is chiefly employed by the Cathlamahs and Wahkiacums among the marshy islands. The second is from twenty to thirty-five feet long, and about two and a half or three feet in the beam, and two feet in the hold. It is chiefly remarkable in having the bowsprit, which rises to some height above the bow, formed by tapering gradually from the sides into a sharp point. Canoes of this shape are common to all the nations below the grand rapids.

But the canoes most used by the Columbia Indians, from the Chilluckittequaws inclusive, to the ocean, are about thirty or thirty-five feet long. The bow, which looks more like the stern of our boats, is higher than the other end, and is ornamented with a sort of comb, an inch in thickness, cut out of the same log which forms the canoe, and extending nine or eleven inches from the bowsprit to the bottom of the boat. The stern is nearly rounded off, and gradually ascends to a point. This canoe is very light and convenient; for though it will contain ten or twelve persons, it may be carried with great ease by four.

The fourth and largest species of canoe we did not meet till we reached tide-water, near the grand rapids below, in which place they are found among all the nations, especially the Killamucks, and others residing on the seacoast. They are upwards of fifty feet long, and will carry from eight to ten thousand pounds weight, or from twenty to thirty persons. Like all the canoes we have mentioned, they are cut out of a single trunk of a tree, which is generally white cedar, though the fir is sometimes used. The sides are secured by cross-bars, or round sticks, two or three inches in thickness, which are inserted through holes made just below the gunwale, and made fast with cords. The upper edge of the gunwale itself is about five eighths of an inch thick, and four or five in breadth, and folds outwards, so as to form a kind of rim, which prevents the water from beating into the boat. The bow and stern are about the same height, and each provided with a comb, reaching to the bottom of the boat. At each end, also, are pedestals, formed of the same solid piece, on which are placed strange grotesque figures of men or animals, rising sometimes to the height of five feet, and composed of small pieces of wood, firmly united, with great ingenuity, by inlaying and mortising, without a spike of any kind. The paddle is usually from four feet and a half to five feet in length; the handle being thick for one third of its length, when it widens, and is hollowed and thinned on each side ofthe centre, which forms a sort of rib.

When they embark, one Indian sits in the stern, and steers with a paddle, the others kneel in pairs in the bottom of the canoe, and sitting on their heels, paddle over the gunwale next to them. In this way they ride with perfect safety the highest waves, and venture without the least concern in seas, where other boats or seamen could not live an instant. They sit quietly and paddle, with no other movement; except, when any large wave throws the boat on her side, and, to the eye of a spectator, she seems lost: the man to windward then steadies her by throwing his body towards the upper side, and sinking his paddle deep into the wave, appears to catch the water and force it under the boat, which the same stroke pushes on with great velocity. In the management of these canoes the women are equally expert with the men; for in the smaller boats, which contain four oarsmen, the helm is generally given to the female. As soon as they land, the canoe is generally hauled on shore, unless she be very heavily laden; but at night the load is universally discharged, and the canoe brought on shore.

Our admiration of their skill in these curious constructions was increased by observing the very inadequate implements with which they are made. These Indians possess very few axes, and the only tool employed in their building, from felling of the tree to the delicate workmanship of the images, is a chisel made of an old file, about an inch or an inch and a half in width. Even of this too, they have not yet learnt the management, for the chisel is sometimes fixed in a large block of wood, and being held in the right hand, the block is pushed with the left without the aid of a mallet. But under all these disadvantages, these canoes, which one would suppose to be the work of years, are made in a few weeks. A canoe, however, is very highly prized: in traffic, it is an article of the greatest value, except a wife, which is of equal consideration; so that a lover generally gives a canoe to the father in exchange for his daughter.

January 21, 1806
Tuesday, 21. Two of the hunters came back with three elk, which form a timely addition to our stock of provisions. The Indian visiters left us at twelve o'clock.

Note: The journal entries continue with a accounts of the
 Clatsop Native Indians
Accounts of the Animals
Accounts of the Plants

The month of February and the greater part of March were passed in the same manner - continue the journals with:

Lewis and Clark Journals -February and March 1806

Journals of Lewis and Clark for kids. Dates: January 1806
  • Fascinating information and interesting facts from the Journals of Lewis and Clark
  • The Journals of Lewis and Clark 1806
  • The Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: January 19, 1806 - January 21, 1806
  • Fast, fun facts and interesting information
  • Interesting Facts, History and information for kids and schools
  • Ideal Homework resource: Journals of Lewis and Clark
  • History of the famous explorers and their journey
  • The famous voyage of discovery and exploration
  • Dates: January 1806
Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: January 19, 1806 - January 21, 1806

Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates - January 1806 - Animals - Dates - Discoveries - Definition - Expedition - Explorers - Exploration - Kids - Facts - Great Journey West - Guide - Dates January 19, 1806 - January 21, 1806 - Great Falls - Grizzly Bear - History - Hardships - Indian Tribe - Tribes - Indian Guide - Dates January 1806 - Information - Journals - Journey - Journey Timeline - Keelboat - Northwest Passage - Ohio River - Route - Supplies - Trail - Corps Of Discovery - Villages - Voyage - Yellowstone River - Yankton Sioux - Zoology - Columbia River - Journal - Journals - Journals of Lewis and Clark