Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1805 - Part Nine
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: October 25, 1805 - October 27, 1805

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates October 25, 1805 - October 27, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates October 25, 1805 - October 27, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1805
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 25, 1805 - October 27, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: October 25, 1805 - October 27, 1805

October 25, 1805
Friday, 25. We walked down with several of the Indians to view the part of the narrows which they represented as most dangerous: we found it very difficult, but, as with our large canoes the portage was impracticable, we concluded on carrying our most valuable articles by land, and then hazarding the passage. We therefore returned to the village, and after sending some of the party with our best stores to make a portage, and fixed others on the rock to assist with ropes the canoes that might meet with any difficulty, we began the descent, in the presence of great numbers of Indians who had collected to witness this exploit. The channel for three miles is worn through a hard rough black rock from fifty to one hundred yards wide, in which the water swells and boils in a tremendous manner. The three first canoes escaped very well; the fourth, however, had nearly filled with water; the fifth passed through with only a small quantity of water over her. At half a mile we had got through the worst part, and having reloaded our canoes went on very well for two and a half miles, except that one of the boats was nearly lost by running against a rock. At the end of this channel of three miles, in which the Indians inform us they catch as many salmon as they wish, we reached a deep basin or bend of the river towards the right, near the entrance of which are two rocks. We crossed the basin, which has a quiet and gentle current, and at the distance of a mile from its commencement, and a little below where the river resumes its channel, reached a rock which divides it. At this place we met our old chiefs, who, when we began the portage, had walked down to a village below to smoke a pipe of friendship on the renewal of peace. Just after our meeting we saw a chief of the village above, with a party who had been out hunting, and were then crossing the river with their horses on their way home. We landed to smoke with this chief, whom we found a bold looking man of a pleasing appearance, about fifty years of age, and dressed in a war jacket, a cap, leggings and moccasins: we presented him with a medal and other small articles, and he gave us some meat, of which he had been able to procure but little; for on his route he had met with a war party of Indians from the Towahnahiooks, between whom there was a battle. We here smoked a parting pipe with our two faithful friends, the chiefs, who had accompanied us from the heads of the river, and who now had each bought a horse, intending to go home by land. On leaving this rock the river is gentle, but strewed with a great number of rocks for a few miles, when it becomes a beautiful still stream about half a mile wide. Atfive miles from the large bend we came to the mouth of a creek twenty yards wide, heading in the range of mountains which run S. S. W. and S. W. for a long distance, and discharging a considerable quantity of water: it is called by the Indians Quenett. We halted below it under a high point of rocks on the left; and as it was necessary to make some celestial observations, we formed a camp on the top of these rocks. This situation is perfectly well calculated for defence in case the Indians should incline to attack us, for the rocks form a sort of natural fortification with the aid of the river and creek, and is convenient to hunt along the foot of the mountains to the west and southwest, where there are several species of timber which form fine coverts for game. From this rock, the pinnacle of the round mountain covered with snow, which we had seen a short distance below the forks of the Columbia, and which we had called the Falls or Timm mountain, is south 43 west, and about thirty-seven miles distant. The face of the country on both sides of the river above and below the falls is steep, rugged, and rocky, with a very small proportion of herbage, and no timber, except a few bushes: the hills, however, to the west, have some scattered pine, white oak and other kinds of trees. All the timber used by the people at the upper falls is rafted down the Towahnahiooks; and those who live at the head of the narrows we have just passed, bring their wood in the same way from this creek to the lower part of the narrows, from which it is carried three miles by land to their habitations.

Both above and below, as well as in the narrows, we saw a great number of sea-otter or seals, and this evening one deer was killed, and great signs of that animal seen near the camp. In the creek we shot a goose, and saw much appearance of beaver, and one of the party also saw a fish, which he took to be a drum-fish. Among the willows we found several snares, set by the natives for the purpose of catching wolves.

October 26, 1805
Saturday, 26. The morning was fine: we sent six men to hunt and to collect rosin to pitch the canoes, which, by being frequently hauled over rocks, have become very leaky. The canoes were also brought out to dry, and on examination it was found that many of the articles had become spoiled by being repeatedly wet. We were occupied with the observations necessary to determine our longitude, and with conferences among the Indians, many of whom came on horseback to the opposite shore in the forepart of the day, and showed some anxiety to cross over to us: we did not however think it proper to send for them, but towards evening two chiefs with fifteen men came over in a small canoe: they proved to be the two principal chiefs of the tribes at and above the falls, who had been absent on a hunting excursion as we passed their residence: each of them on their arrival made us a present of deer's flesh, and small white cakes made of roots. Being anxious to ingratiate ourselves in their favor so as to insure a friendly reception on our return, we treated them with all the kindness we could show: we acknowledge the chiefs, gave a medal of the small size, a red silk handkerchief, an armband, a knife, and a piece of paint to each chief, and small presents to several of the party, and half a deer: these attentions were not lost on the Indians, who appeared very well pleased with them. At night a fire was made in the middle of our camp, and as the Indians sat round it our men danced to the music of the violin, which so delighted them that several resolved to remain with us all night: the rest crossed the river. All the tribes in this neighborhood are at war with the Snake Indians, whom they all describe as living on the Towahnahiooks, and whose nearest town is said to be four days' march from this place, and in a direction nearly southwest: there has lately been a battle between these tribes, but we could not ascertain the loss on either side. The water rose today eight inches, a rise which we could only ascribe to the circumstance of the wind'shaving been up the river for the last twenty-four hours, since the influence of the tide cannot be sensible here on account of the falls below. The hunters returned in the evening; they had seen the tracks of elk and bear in the mountains, and killed five deer, four very large gray squirrels, and a grouse: they inform us that the country off the river is broken, stony, and thinly timbered with pine and white oak; besides these delicacies one of the men killed with a gig a salmon trout, which, being fried in some bear's oil, which had been given to us by the chief whom we had met this morning below the narrows, furnished a dish of a very delightful flavor. A number of white cranes were also seen flying in different directions, but at such a height that we could not procure any of them.

The fleas, with whom we had contracted an intimacy at the falls, are so unwilling to leave us, that the men are obliged to throw off all their clothes, in order to relieve themselves from their persecution.

October 27, 1805
Sunday 27. The wind was high from the westward during last night and this morning, but the weather being fair we continued our celestial observations. The two chiefs who remained with us, were joined by seven Indians, who came in a canoe from below. To these men we were very particular in our attentions; we smoked and eat with them; but some of them who were tempted by the sight of our goods exposed to dry, wished to take liberties with them; to which we were under the necessity of putting an immediate check: this restraint displeased them so much, that they returned down the river in a very ill humor. The two chiefs however remained with us till the evening, when they crossed the river to their party. Before they went we procured from them a vocabulary of the Echeloot, their native language, and on comparison were surprised at its difference from that of the Eneeshur tongue. In fact although the Echeloots, who live at the great narrows, are not more than six miles from the Eneeshurs or residents at and above the great falls, the two people are separated by a broad distinction of language.

The Eneeshurs are understood by all the tribes residing on the Columbia, above the falls; but at that place they meet with the unintelligible language of the Echeloots, which then descends the river to a considerable distance. Yet the variation may possibly be rather a deep shade of dialect than a radical difference, since among both many words are the same, and the identity cannot be accounted for by supposing that their neighborhood has interwoven them into their daily conversations, because the same words are equally familiar among all the Flathead bands which we have passed. To all these tribes too the strange clucking or guttural noise which first struck us is common. They also flatten the heads of the children in nearly the same manner, but we now begin to observe that the heads of the males, as well as of the other sex, are subjected to this operation, whereas among the mountains the custom has confined it almost to the females. The hunters brought home four deer, one grouse, and a squirrel.

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