Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates November 1805 - Part One
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: November 1, 1805 - November 2, 1805

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates November 1, 1805 - November 2, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates November 1, 1805 - November 2, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates November 1805
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates November 1, 1805 - November 2, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: November 1, 1805 - November 2, 1805

November 1, 1805
Friday, November 1, 1805. The morning was cool and the wind high from the northeast. The Indians who arrived last night, took their empty canoes on their shoulders and carried them below the great shoot, where they put them in the water and brought them down the rapid, till at the distance of two and a half miles they stopped to take in their loading, which they had been afraid to trust in the last rapid, and had therefore carried by land from the head of the shoot.

After their example we carried our small canoe, and all the baggage across the slippery rocks, to the foot of the shoot. The four large canoes were next brought down, by slipping them along poles, placed from one rock to another, and in some places by using partially streams which escaped along side of the river. We were not, however, able to bring them across without three of them receiving injuries, which obliged us to stop at the end of the shoot to repair them. At this shoot we saw great numbers of sea-otters; but they are so shy that it is difficult to reach them with the musket: one of them that was wounded to-day sunk and was lost. Having by this portage avoided the rapid and shoot of four hundred yards in length, we re-embarked, passed at a mile and a half the bad rapid opposite to the old village on the right, and making our way through the rocks, saw the house just below the end of the portage; the eight vaults near it; and at the distance of four miles from the head of the shoot, reached a high rock, which forms the upper part of an island near the left shore. Between this island and the right shore we proceeded, leaving at the distance of a mile and a half, the village of four houses on our right, and a mile and a half lower came to the head of a rapid near the village on the right. Here we halted for the night, having made only seven miles from the head of the shoot.

During the whole of the passage the river is very much obstructed by rocks. The island, which is about three miles long, reaches to the rapid which its lower extremity contributes to form. The meridian altitude of to-day gave us the latitude of 45 44' 3' north. As we passed the village of four houses, we found that the inhabitants had returned, and stopped to visit them. The houses are similar to those already described, but larger, from thirty-five to fifty feet long, and thirty feet wide, being sunk in the ground about six feet, and raised the same height above. Their beds are raised about four feet and a half above the floor, and the ascent is by a new painted ladder, with which every family is provided, and under them are stored their dried fish, while the space between the part of the bed on which they lie and the wall of the house is occupied by the nuts, roots, berries, and other provisions, which are spread on mats. The fireplace is about eight feet long, and six feet wide, sunk a foot below the floor, secured by a frame, with mats placed around for the family to sit on. In all of the houses are images of men of different shapes, and placed as ornaments in the parts of the house where they are most seen. They gave us nuts, berries, and some dried fish to eat, and we purchased, among other articles, a hat made after their own taste, such as they wear, without a brim.

They ask high prices for all that they sell, observing that the whites below, pay dearly for all which they carry there. We cannot learn precisely the nature of the trade carried on by the Indians with the inhabitants below. But as their knowledge of the whites seems to be very imperfect, and the only articles which they carry to market, such as pounded fish, bear-grass and roots, cannot be an object of much foreign traffic, their intercourse appears to be an intermediate trade with the natives near the mouth of the Columbia: from them these people obtain in exchange for their fish, roots and bear-grass, blue and white beads, copper tea-kettles, brass armbands, some scarlet and blue robes, and a few articles of old European clothing. But their great object is to obtain beads, an article which holds the first place in their ideas of relative value, and to procure which they will sacrifice their last article of clothing or the last mouthful of food. Independently of their fondness for them as an ornament, these beads are the medium of trade, by which they obtain from the Indians still higher up the river, robes, skins, chappelel bread, bear-grass, &c. Those Indians in turn, employ them to procure from the Indians in the Rocky mountains, bear-grass, pachico, roots, robes, &c.

These Indians are rather below the common size, with high cheek-bones, their noses pierced, and in full dress, ornamented with a tapering piece of white shell or wampum about two inches long. Their eyes are exceedingly sore and weak, many of them have only a single eye, and some perfectly blind. Their teeth prematurely decayed, and in frequent instances, altogether worn away. Their general health, however, seems to be good, the only disorder we have remarked, being tumours in different parts of the body. The women are small and homely in their appearance, their legs and thighs much swelled, and their knees remarkably large; deformities, which are no doubt owing to the manner in which they set on their hams. They go nearly naked, having only a piece of leather tied round the breast, falling thence, nearly as low as the waist; a small robe about three feet square, and a piece of leather, which ill supplies the place of a cover, tied between their legs. Their hair is suffered to hang loose in every direction; and in their persons, as well as in their cookery, they are filthy to a most disgusting degree. We here observe that the women universally have their heads flattened, and in many of the villages, we have lately seen the female children undergo the operation.

First appearance of tide water in the Columbia river--description of the Quicksand river--some account of the Skilloot Indians--the party pass the river Coweliske--some account of the Washkiacum Indians--arrival on the borders of the Pacific--disagreeable and critical situation of the party when first encamped--their distress occasioned by the incessant torrents of rain--exposed for thirty days to this drenching deluge, during which time their provisions are spoiled, and most of their few articles of merchandise destroyed--distress of the party--adventure of Shannon and danger from the Washkiacums--difficulty of finding a place suitable for a permanent encampment--visited by several Indians of different tribes, on whom medals are bestowed.

November 2, 1805
Saturday, November 2. We now examined the rapid below more particularly, and the danger appearing to be too great for the loaded canoes, all those who could not swim were sent with the baggage by land. The canoes then passed safely, and were reloaded; at the foot of the rapid we took a meridian altitude of 59 45' 45'. Just as we were setting out seven squaws arrived across the portage loaded with dried fish and bear-grass, neatly packed in bundles, and soon after four Indians came down the rapid in a large canoe. After breakfasting we left our camp at one o'clock, passed the upper point of an island which is separated from the right shore by a narrow channel, through which in high tides the water passes. But at present it contains no running water, and a creek which falls into it from the mountains on the right, is in the same dry condition, though it has the marks of discharging immense torrents at some seasons. The island thus made is three miles in length and about one in width; its situation is high and open, the land rich, and at this time covered with grass and a great number of strawberry vines, from which we gave it the name of Strawberry island. In several places we observed that the Indians had been digging for roots, and indeed the whole island bears every appearance of having been at some period in state of cultivation. On the left side of the river the low ground is narrow and open: the rapid which we have just passed is the last of all the descents of the Columbia. At this place the first tide-water commences, and the river in consequence widened immediately below the rapid. As we descended, we reached at the distance of one mile from the rapid a creek under a bluff on the left, at three miles is the lower point of Strawberry island. To this immediately succeed three small islands covered with wood; in the meadow to the right, and at some distance from the hills, stands a high perpendicular rock, about eight hundred feet high, and four hundred yards round the base; this we called the Beacon rock. Just below is an Indian village of nine houses, situated between two small creeks.

At this village the river widens to nearly a mile in extent, the low grounds too become wider, and they as well as the mountains on each side are covered with pine, spruce-pine, cottonwood, a species of ash, and some alder. After being so long accustomed to the dreary nakedness of the country above, the change is as grateful to the eye, as it is useful in supplying us with fuel. Four miles from the village is a point of land on the right, where the hills become lower, but are still thickly timbered. The river is now about two miles wide, the current smooth and gentle, and the effect of the tide has been sensible since leaving the rapid. Six miles lower is a rock rising from the middle of the river to the height of one hundred feet, and about eighty yards at its base. We continued six miles further, and halted for the night under a high projecting rock on the left side of the river opposite the point of a large meadow. The mountains, which from the great shoot to this place are high, rugged, and thickly covered with timber chiefly of the pine species, here leave the river on each side; the river becomes two and a half miles in width, and the low grounds are extensive and well supplied with wood. The Indians whom we left at the portage passed us, on their way down the river, and seven others who were descending in a canoe for the purpose of trading below, encamped with us. We had made from the foot of the great shoot twenty-nine miles to-day. The ebbtide rose at our camp about nine inches, the flood must rise much higher. We saw great numbers of water-fowl, such as swan, geese, ducks of various kinds, gulls, plover, and the white and gray brant, of which last we killed eighteen. Friday, November 1, 1805. The morning was cool and the wind high from the northeast. The Indians who arrived last night, took their empty canoes on their shoulders and carried them below the great shoot, where they put them in the water and brought them down the rapid, till at the distance of two and a half miles they stopped to take in their loading, which they had been afraid to trust in the last rapid, and had therefore carried by land from the head of the shoot.

After their example we carried our small canoe, and all the baggage across the slippery rocks, to the foot of the shoot. The four large canoes were next brought down, by slipping them along poles, placed from one rock to another, and in some places by using partially streams which escaped along side of the river. We were not, however, able to bring them across without three of them receiving injuries, which obliged us to stop at the end of the shoot to repair them. At this shoot we saw great numbers of sea-otters; but they are so shy that it is difficult to reach them with the musket: one of them that was wounded to-day sunk and was lost. Having by this portage avoided the rapid and shoot of four hundred yards in length, we re-embarked, passed at a mile and a half the bad rapid opposite to the old village on the right, and making our way through the rocks, saw the house just below the end of the portage; the eight vaults near it; and at the distance of four miles from the head of the shoot, reached a high rock, which forms the upper part of an island near the left shore. Between this island and the right shore we proceeded, leaving at the distance of a mile and a half, the village of four houses on our right, and a mile and a half lower came to the head of a rapid near the village on the right. Here we halted for the night, having made only seven miles from the head of the shoot. During the whole of the passage the river is very much obstructed by rocks. The island, whichis about three miles long, reaches to the rapid which its lower extremity contributes to form. The meridian altitude of to-day gave us the latitude of 45 44' 3' north.

As we passed the village of four houses, we found that the inhabitants had returned, and stopped to visit them. The houses are similar to those already described, but larger, from thirty-five to fifty feet long, and thirty feet wide, being sunk in the ground about six feet, and raised the same height above. Their beds are raised about four feet and a half above the floor, and the ascent is by a new painted ladder, with which every family is provided, and under them are stored their dried fish, while the space between the part of the bed on which they lie and the wall of the house is occupied by the nuts, roots, berries, and other provisions, which are spread on mats. The fireplace is about eight feet long, and six feet wide, sunk a foot below the floor, secured by a frame, with mats placed around for the family to sit on. In all of the houses are images of men of different shapes, and placed as ornaments in the parts of the house where they are most seen. They gave us nuts, berries, and some dried fish to eat, and we purchased, among other articles, a hat made after their own taste, such as they wear, without a brim. They ask high prices for all that they sell, observing that the whites below, pay dearly for all which they carry there. We cannot learn precisely the nature of the trade carried on by the Indians with the inhabitants below. But astheir knowledge of the whites seems to be very imperfect, and the only articles which they carry to market, such as pounded fish, bear-grass and roots, cannot be an object of much foreign traffic, their intercourse appears to be an intermediate trade with the natives near the mouth of the Columbia: from them these people obtain in exchange for their fish, roots and bear-grass, blue and white beads, copper tea-kettles, brass armbands, some scarlet and blue robes, and a few articles of old European clothing. But their great object is to obtain beads, an article which holds the first place in their ideas of relative value, and to procure which they will sacrifice their last article of clothing or the last mouthful of food. Independently of their fondness for them as an ornament, these beads are the medium of trade, by which they obtain from the Indians still higher up the river, robes, skins, chappelel bread, bear-grass, &c. Those Indians in turn, employ them to procure from the Indians in the Rocky mountains, bear-grass, pachico, roots, robes, &c.

These Indians are rather below the common size, with high cheek-bones, their noses pierced, and in full dress, ornamented with a tapering piece of white shell or wampum about two inches long. Their eyes are exceedingly sore and weak, many of them have only a single eye, and some perfectly blind. Their teeth prematurely decayed, and in frequent instances, altogether worn away. Their general health, however, seems to be good, the only disorder we have remarked, being tumours in different parts of the body. The women are small and homely in their appearance, their legs and thighs much swelled, and their knees remarkably large; deformities, which are no doubt owing to the manner in which they set on their hams. They go nearly naked, having only a piece of leather tied round the breast, falling thence, nearly as low as the waist; a small robe about three feet square, and a piece of leather, which ill supplies the place of a cover, tied between their legs. Their hair is suffered to hang loose in every direction; and in their persons, as well as in their cookery, they are filthy to a most disgusting degree. We here observe that the women universally have their heads flattened, and in many of the villages, we have lately seen the female children undergo the operation.

First appearance of tide water in the Columbia river--description of the Quicksand river--some account of the Skilloot Indians--the party pass the river Coweliske--some account of the Washkiacum Indians--arrival on the borders of the Pacific--disagreeable and critical situation of the party when first encamped--their distress occasioned by the incessant torrents of rain--exposed for thirty days to this drenching deluge, during which time their provisions are spoiled, and most of their few articles of merchandise destroyed--distress of the party--adventure of Shannon and danger from the Washkiacums--difficulty of finding a place suitable for a permanent encampment--visited by several Indians of different tribes, on whom medals are bestowed.

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