Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates November 1805 - Part Two
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: November 3, 1805 - November 4, 1805

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates November 3, 1805 - November 4, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates November 3, 1805 - November 4, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates November 1805
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates November 3, 1805 - November 4, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: November 3, 1805 - November 4, 1805

November 3, 1805
Sunday 3. We were detained until ten o'clock by a fog so thick that a man could not be discerned at the distance of fifty steps. As soon as it cleared off we set out in company with our new Indian acquaintances, who came from a village near the great falls. The low grounds along the river are covered so thickly with rushes, vines, and other small growth, that they are almost impassable. At the distance of three miles we reached the mouth of a river on the left, which seemed to lose its waters in a sandbar opposite; the stream itself being only a few inches in depth. But on attempting to wade across, we discovered that the bed was a very bad quicksand, too deep to be passed on foot. We went up a mile and a half to examine this river, and found it to be at this distance a very considerable stream one hundred and twenty yards wide at its narrowest part, with several small islands. Its character resembles very much that of the river Platte. It drives its quicksand over the low grounds with great impetuosity, and such is the quantity of coarse sand which it discharges, that the accumulation has formed a large sandbar or island, three miles long, and a mile and a half wide, which divides the waters of the Quicksand river into two channels. This sand island compresses the Columbia within a space of half a mile, and throws its whole current against the right shore. Opposite to this river, which we call Quicksand river, is a large creek to which we gave the name of Seal river. Thefirst appears to pass through the low country, at the foot of the high range of mountains towards the southeast, while the second as well as all the large creeks on the right side of the Columbia, rise in the same ridge of mountains N. N. E. from this place. The mountain, which we have supposed to be the mount Hood of Vancouver, bears S. 85 E. about forty-seven miles from the mouth of the Quicksand river. After dinner we proceeded, and at the distance of three miles reached the lower mouth of Quicksand river. On the opposite side a large creek falls in near the head of an island, which extends for three miles and a half down the river; it is a mile and a half in width, rocky at the upper end, has some timber round its borders, but in the middle is open and has several ponds. Half a mile lower is another island in the middle of the river, to which from its appearance we gave the name of Diamond island. Here we met fifteen Indians ascending the river in two canoes, but the only information we could procure from them was, that they had seen three vessels, which we presume to be European, at the mouth of the Columbia. We went along its right side for three miles, and encamped opposite to it, after making to-day thirteen miles. A canoe soon after arrived from the village at the foot of the last rapid, with an Indian and his family, consisting of a wife, three children, and a woman who had been taken prisoner from Snake Indians, living on a river from the south, which we afterwards found to be theMultnomah. Sacajawea was immediately introduced to her, in hopes that being a Snake Indian also, they might understand each other, but their language was not sufficiently intelligible to permit them to converse together. The Indian had a gun with a brass barrel and cock, which he appeared to value very highly.

Below Quicksand river the country is low, rich and thickly wooded on each side of the river: the islands have less timber, but are furnished with a number of ponds near which are vast quantities of fowls, such as swan, geese, brants, cranes, storks, white gulls, cormorants and plover. The river is wide, and contains a great number of sea otters. In the evening the hunters brought in game for a sumptuous supper, which we shared with the Indians, both parties of whom spent the night with us.

November 4, 1805
Monday 4. The weather was cloudy and cool, and the wind from the west. During the night, the tide rose eighteen inches near our camp. We set out about eight o'clock, and at the distance of three miles came to the lower end of Diamond island. It is six miles long, nearly three in width, and like the other islands, thinly covered with timber, and has a number of ponds or small lakes scattered over its surface. Besides the animals already mentioned we shot a deer on it this morning. Near the end of Diamond island are two others, separated by a narrow channel filled at high tides only, which continue on the right for the distance of three miles, and like the adjacent low grounds, are thickly covered with pine. Just below the last, we landed on the left bank of the river, at a village of twenty-five houses; all of these were thatched with straw, and built of bark, except one which was about fifty feet long, built of boards in the form of those higher up the river, from which it differed however, in being completely above ground, and covered with broad split boards; this village contains about two hundred men of the Skilloot nation, who seem well provided with canoes, which there were at least fifty-two, and some of them very large, drawn up in front of the village. On landing we found the Indian from above, who had left us this morning, and who now invited us into a lodge of which he appeared to own a part. Here he treated us with a root, round in shape, and about the size of a small Irish potatoe, which they call wappatoo, it is the common arrowhead or sagittifolia, so much cultivated by the Chinese, and when roasted in the embers till it becomes soft, has an agreeable taste, and is a very good substitute for bread. After purchasing some more of this root, we resumed our journey, and at seven miles distance came to the head of a large island near the left.

On the right shore is a fine open prairie for about a mile, back of which the country rises, and is supplied with timber, such as white oak, pine of different kinds, wild crab, and several species of undergrowth, while along the borders of the river, there are only a few cottonwood and ash trees. In this prairie were also signs of deer and elk. When we landed for dinner, a number of Indians from the last village, came down for the purpose, as we supposed, of paying us a friendly visit, as they had put on their favorite dresses. In addition to their usual they had scarlet and blue blankets, sailors' jackets and trowsers, shirts and hats. They had all of them either war axes, spears and bow arrows, or muskets and pistols, with tin powder flasks. We smoked with them and endeavored to show them every attention, but we soon found them very assuming and disagreeable companions. While we were eating they stole the pipe with which they were smoking, and the great coat of one of the men. We immediately searched them all, and discovered the coat stuffed under the root of a tree near where they were sitting; but the pipe we could not recover. Finding us determined not to suffer any imposition, and discontented with them, they showed their displeasure in the only way which they dared, by returning in an ill humor to their village. We then proceeded and soon met two canoes with twelve men of the same Skilloot nation, who were on their way from below. The larger of the canoes was ornamented with the figure of a bear in the bow, and a man in the stern, both nearly as large as life, both made of painted wood, and very neatly fixed to the boat.

In the same canoe were two Indians finely dressed and with round hats. This circumstance induced us to give the name of Image canoe to the large island, the lower end of which we now passed at the distance of nine miles from its head. We had seen two smaller islands to the right, and three more near its lower extremity. The Indians in the canoe here made signs that there was a village behind those islands, and indeed we presumed there was a channel on that side of the river, for one of the canoes passed in that direction between the small islands, but we were anxious to press forward, and therefore did not stop to examine more minutely. The river was now about a mile and a half in width, with a gentle current, the bottoms extensive and low, but not subject to be overflowed. Three miles below the Image canoe island we came to four large houses on the left side, at which place we had a full view of the mountain which we first saw on the 19th of October, from the Muscleshell rapid, and which we now find to be the mount St. Helen of Vancouver. It bears north 25 east, about ninety miles distant; it rises in the form of a sugar loaf to a very great height, and is covered with snow. A mile lower we passed a single house on the left, and another on the right. The Indians had now learnt so much of us, that their curiosity was without any mixture of fear, and their visits became very frequent and troublesome. We therefore continued on till after night, in hopes of getting rid of them; but after passing a village on each side, which on account of the lateness of the hour we saw indistinctly, we found there was no escaping from their importunities. We therefore landed at the distance of seven miles below Image canoe island, and encamped near a single house on the right, having madeduring the day twenty-nine miles.

The Skilloots whom we passed to day, speak a language somewhat different from that of the Echeloots or Chilluckittequaws near the long narrows. Their dress is similar, except that the Skilloots possess more articles procured from the white traders; and there is further difference between them, inasmuch as the Skilloots, both males and females, have the head flattened. Their principal food is fish, and wappatoo roots, and some elk and deer, in killing which with their arrows, they seem very expert, for during the short time we remained at the village three deer were brought in. We also observed there a tame brairo.

As soon as we landed we were visited by two canoes loaded with Indians, from whom we purchased a few roots. The grounds along the river continue low and rich, and among the shrubs which cover them is a large quantity of vines resembling the raspberry. On the right the low grounds are terminated at the distance of five miles by a range of high hills covered with tall timber, and running southeast and northwest. The game as usual very abundant, and among other birds we observe some white geese with a part of their wings black.

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