Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1805 - Part Ten
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: October 28, 1805 - October 31, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates October 28, 1805 - October 31, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates October 28, 1805 - October 31, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 28, 1805 - October 31, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: October 28, 1805 - October 31, 1805.

October 28, 1805
Monday 28. The morning was again cool and windy. Having dried our goods, we were about setting out, when three canoes came from above to visit us, and at the same time two others from below arrived for the same purpose. Among these last was an Indian who wore his hair in a queue, and had on a round hat and a sailor's jacket, which he said he had obtained from the people below the great rapids, who bought them from the whites. This interview detained us till nine o'clock, when we proceeded down the river, which is now bordered with cliffs of loose dark colored rocks about ninety feet high, with a thin covering of pine and other small trees. At the distance of four miles we reached a small village of eight houses under some high rocks on the right, with a small creek on the opposite side of the river. We landed and found the houses similar to those we had seen at the great narrows: on entering one of them we saw a British musket, a eutlass, and several brass teakettles, of which they seemed to be very fond. There were figures of men, birds, and different animals, which were cut and painted on the boards which form the sides of the room, and though the workmanship of these uncouth figures was very rough, they were as highly esteemed by the Indians as the finest frescoes of more civilized people. This tribe is called the Chilluckittequaw, and their language although somewhat different from that of the Echeloots, has many of the same words, and is sufficiently intelligible tothe neighboring Indians.

We procured from them a vocabulary, and then after buying five small dogs, some dried berries, and a white bread or cake made of roots, we left them. The wind however rose so high, that we were obliged after going one mile to land on the left side opposite to a rocky island, and pass the day there. We formed our camp in a niche above a point of high rocks, and as it was the only safe harbor we could find, submitted to the inconvenience of lying on the sand, exposed to the wind and rain during all the evening. The high wind, which obliged us to consult the safety of our boats by not venturing further, did not at all prevent the Indians from navigating the river. We had not been long on shore, before a canoe with a man, his wife and two children, came from below through the high waves with a few roots to sell; and soon after we were visited by many Indians from the village above, with whom we smoked and conversed. The canoes used by these people are like those already described, built of white cedar or pine, very light, wide in the middle, and tapering towards the ends, the bow being raised and ornamented with carvings of the heads of animals. As the canoe is the vehicle of transportation, the Indians have acquired great dexterity in the management of it, and guide it safely over the highest waves. They have among their utensils bowls and baskets very neatly made of small bark and grass, in which they boil their provisions. The only game seen to-day were two deer, of which only one was killed, the other was wounded but escaped.

October 29, 1805
Tuesday 29. The morning was still cloudy, and the wind from the west, but as it had abated its violence, we set out at daylight. At the distance of four miles we passed a creek on the right, one mile below which is a village of seven houses on the same side. This is the residence of the principal chief of the Chilluckittequaw nation, whom we now found to be the same between whom and our two chiefs we had made a peace at the Echeloot village. He received us very kindly, and set before us pounded fish, filberts, nuts, the berries of the Sacacommis, and white bread made of roots. We gave in return a bracelet of riband to each of the women of the house, with which they were very much pleased.

The chief had several articles, such as scarlet and blue cloth, a sword, a jacket and hat, which must have been procured from the whites, and on one side of the room were two wide split boards placed together, so as to make space for a rude figure of a man cut and painted on them. On pointing to this and asking them what it meant, he said something, of which all we understood was "good," and then stepped to the image and brought out his bow and quiver, which, with some other warlike instruments, were kept behind it. The chief then directed his wife to hand him his medicine-bag, from which he brought out fourteen fore-fingers, which he told us had once belonged to the same number of his enemies, whom he had killed in fighting with the nations to the southeast, to which place he pointed, alluding no doubt to the Snake Indians, the common enemy of the nations on the Columbia. This bag is about two feet in length, containing roots, pounded dirt, &c. which the Indians only know how to appreciate. It is suspended in the middle of the lodge, and it is supposed to be a species of sacrilege to be touched by any but the owner. It is an object of religious fear, and it is from its sanctity the safest place to deposit their medals and their more valuable articles. The Indians have likewise small bags which they preserve in their great medicine-bag, from whence they are taken and worn around their waists and necks as amulets against any real or imaginary evils. This was the first time we had ever known the Indians to carry from the field any other trophy except the scalp. They were shown with great exultation, and after an harangue which we were left to presume was in praise of his exploits, the fingers were carefully replaced among the valuable contents of the red medicine-bag. This village being part of the same nation with the village we passed above, the language of the two is the same, and their houses of similar form and materials, and calculated to contain about thirty souls. The inhabitants were unusually hospitable and good-humored, so that we gave to the place the name of the Friendly village. We breakfasted here, and after purchasing twelve dogs, four sacks of fish, and a few dried berries, proceeded on our journey. The hills as we passed are high with steep and rocky sides, and some pine and white oak, and an undergrowth of shrubs scattered over them. Four miles below this village is a small river on the right side; immediately below is a village of Chilluckittequaws, consisting of eleven houses. Here we landed and smoked a pipe with the inhabitants, who were very cheerful and friendly.

They as well as the people of the last village inform us, that this river comes a considerable distance from the N.N.E. that it has a great number of falls, which prevent the salmon from passing up, and that there are ten nations residing on it who subsist on berries, or such game as they can procure with their bows and arrows. At its mouth the river is sixty yards wide, and has a deep and very rapid channel. From the number of falls of which the Indians spoke, we gave it the name of Cataract river. We purchased four dogs, and then proceeded. The country as we advance is more rocky and broken, and the pine and low whiteoak on the hills increase in great quantity. Three miles below Cataract river we passed three large rocks in the river; that in the middle is large and longer than the rest, and from the circumstance of its having several square vaults on it, obtained the name of Sepulchre island. A short distance beloware two huts of Indians on the right: the river now widens, and in three miles we came to two more houses on the right; one mile beyond which is a rocky island in a bend of the river towards the left. Within the next six miles we passed fourteen huts of Indians, scattered on the right bank, and then reached the entrance of a river on the left, which we called Labieshe's river, after Labieshe one of our party. Just above this river is a low ground more thickly timbered than usual, and in front are four huts of Indians on the bank, which are the first we have seen on that side of the Columbia. The exception may be occasioned by this spot's being more than usually protected from the approach of their enemies, by the creek, and the thick wood behind.

We again embarked, and at the distance of a mile passed the mouth of a rapid creek on the right eighteen yards wide: in this creek the Indians whom we left take their fish, and from the number of canoes which were in it, we called it Canoe creek. Opposite to this creek is a large sandbar, which continues for four miles along the left side of the river. Just below this a beautiful cascade falls in on the left over a ? of rock one hundred feet in height. One mile further are four Indian huts in the low ground on the left: and two miles beyond this a point of land on the right, where the mountains become high on both sides, and possess more timber and greater varieties of it than hitherto, and those on the left are covered with snow. One mile from this point we halted for the night at three Indian huts on the right, having made thirty-two miles. On our first arrival they seemed surprised, but not alarmed at our appearance, and we soon became intimate by means of smoking and our favorite entertainment for the Indians, the violin. They gave us fruit, some roots, and root-bread, and we purchased from them three dogs. The houses of these people are similar to those of the Indians above, and their language the same: their dress also, consisting of robes or skins of wolves, deer, elk, and wild-cat, is made nearly after the same model: their hair is worn in plaits down each shoulder, and round their neck is put a strip of some skin with the tail of the animal hanging down over the breast: like the Indians above they are fond of otter skins, and give a great price for them. We here saw the skin of a mountain sheep, which they say live among the rocks in the mountains: the skin was covered with white hair, the wool long, thick, and coarse, with long coarse hair on the top of the neck, and the back resembling somewhat the bristles of a goat. Immediately behind the village is a pond, in which were great numbers of small swan.

October 30, 1805
Wednesday, 30. A moderate rain fell during all last night, but the morning was cool, and after taking a scanty breakfast of deer, we proceeded. The river is now about three quarters of a mile wide, with a current so gentle, that it does not exceed one mile and a half an hour; but its course is obstructed by the projection of large rocks, which seemed to have fallen promiscuously from the mountains into the bed of the river. On the left side four different streams of water empty themselves in cascades from the hills: what is, however, most singular is, that there are stumps of pine trees scattered to some distance in the river, which has the appearance of being dammed below and forced to encroach on the shore: these obstructions continue till at the distance of twelve miles, when we came to the mouth of a river on the right, where we landed: we found it sixty yards wide, and its banks possess two kinds of timber which we had not hitherto seen: one is a very large species of ash; the other resembling in its bark the beach; but the tree itself, as also the leaves, are smaller. We called this stream Crusatte's river, after Crusatte, one of our men: opposite to its mouth the Columbia widens to the distance of a mile, with a large sandbar, and large stones and rocks scattered through the channel.

We here saw several of the large buzzards, which are of the size of the largest eagle, with the under part of their wings white: we also shot a deer and three ducks; on part of which we dined, and then continued down the Columbia. Above Crusatte's river the low grounds are about three quarters of a mile wide, rising gradually to the hills, and with a rich soil covered with grass, fern, and other small undergrowth; but below, the country rises with a steep ascent, and soon the mountains approach to the river with steep rugged sides, covered with a very thick growth of pine, cedar, cottonwood, and oak. The river is still strewed with large rocks. Two and a half miles below Crusatte's river is a large creek on the right, with a small island in the mouth. Just below this creek we passed along the right side of three small islands on the right bank of the river, with a larger island on the opposite side, and landed on an island very near the right shore at the head of the great shoot, and opposite two smaller islands at the fall or shoot itself. Just above the island on which we were encamped is a small village of eight large houses in a bend on the right, where the country, from having been very mountainous, becomes low for a short distance. We had made fifteen miles to-day, during all which time we were kept constantly wet with the rain; but as we were able to get on this island some of the ash which we saw for the first time to-day, and which makes a tolerable fire, we were as comfortable as the moistness of the evening would permit.

As soon as we landed, Captain Lewis went with five men to the village, which is situated near the river, with ponds in the low grounds behind: the greater part of the inhabitants were absent collecting roots down the river: the few, however, who were at home, treated him very kindly, and gave him berries, nuts, and fish; and in the house were a gun and several articles which must have been procured from the whites; but not being able to procure any information, he returned to the island. Captain Clarke had in the meantime gone down to examine the shoot, and to discover the best route for a portage. He followed an Indian path, which, at the distance of a mile, led to a village on an elevated situation, the houses of which had been large, but built in a different form from any we had yet seen, but which had been lately abandoned, the greater part of the boards being put into a pond near the village: this was most probably for the purpose of drowning the fleas, which were in immense quantities near the houses. After going about three miles the night obliged him to return to camp

October 31, 1805
Thursday, 31st. He resumed his search in the morning, Thursday, 31st, through the rain. At the extremity of the basin, in which is situated the island where we are encamped, several rocks and rocky islands are interspersed through the bed of the river. The rocks on each side have fallen down from the mountains; that on the left being high, and on the right the hill itself, which is lower, slipping into the river; so that the current is here compressed within a space of one hundred and fifty yards. Within this narrow limit it runs for the distance of four hundred yards with great rapidity, swelling over the rocks with a fall of about twenty feet: it then widens to two hundred paces, and the current for a short distance becomes gentle; but at the distance of a mile and a half, and opposite to the old village mentioned yesterday, it is obstructed by a very bad rapid, where the waves are unusually high, the river being confined between large rocks, many of which are at the surface of the water.

Captain Clarke proceeded along the same path he had taken before, which led him through a thick wood and along a hill side, till two and a half miles below the shoots, he struck the river at the place whence the Indians make their portage to the head of the shoot: he here sent Crusatte, the principal waterman, up the stream, to examine if it were practicable to bring the canoes down the water. In the meantime, he, with Joseph Fields, continued his route down the river, along which the rapids seem to stretch as far as he could see. At half a mile below the end of the portage, he came to a house, the only remnant of a town, which, from its appearance, must have been of great antiquity. The house was uninhabited, and being old and decayed, he felt no disposition to encounter the fleas, which abound in every situation of that kind, and therefore did not enter. About half a mile below this house, in a very thick part of the woods, is an ancient burial place: it consists of eight vaults made of pine or cedar boards closely connected, about eight feet square and six in height; the top secured, covered with wide boards sloping a little, so as to convey off the rain: the direction of all of them is east and west, the door being on the eastern side, and partially stopped with wide boards decorated with rude pictures of men and other animals. On entering we found in some of them four dead bodies, carefully wrapped in skins, tied with cords of grass and bark, lying on a mat in a direction east and west: the other vaults contained only bones, which were in some of them piled to the height of four feet: on the tops of the vaults, and on poles attached to them, hung brass kettles and frying-pans with holes in their bottoms, baskets, bowls, sea-shells, skins, pieces of cloth, hair, bags of trinkets and small bones, the offerings of friendship or affection, which have been saved by a pious veneration from the ferocity of war, or the more dangerous temptations of individual gain: the whole of the walls as well as the door were decorated with strange figures cut and painted on them; and besides these were several wooden images of men, some of them so old and decayed as to have almost lost their shape, which were all placed against the sides of the vaults.

These images, as well as those in the houses we have lately seen, do not appear to be at all the objects of adoration: in this place they were most probably intended as resemblances of those whose decease they indicate; and when we observe them in houses, they occupy the most conspicuous part; but are treated more like ornaments than objects of worship. Near the vaults which are standing, are the remains of others on the ground completely rotted and covered with moss; and as they are formed of the most durable pine and cedar timber, there is every appearance, that for a very long series of years this retired spot has been the depository for the Indians near this place. After examining this place captain Clarke went on, and found the river as before strewed with large rocks, against which the water ran with great rapidity. Just below the vaults the mountain, which is but low on the right side, leaves the river, and is succeeded by an open stony level, which extends down the river, while on the left the mountain is still high and rugged.

At two miles distance he came to a village of four houses, which were now vacant and the doors barred up: on looking in he saw the usual quantity of utensils still remaining, from which he concluded that the inhabitants were at no great distance collecting roots or hunting, in order to lay in their supply of food for the winter: he left them and went on three miles to a difficult rocky rapid, which was the last in view. Here, on the right, are the remains of a large and ancient village, which could be plainly traced by the holes for the houses and the deposits for fish: after he had examined these rapids and the neighboring country he returned to camp by the same route: the only game he had obtained was a sandhill crane. In the meantime we had been occupied in preparations for making the portage, and in conference with the Indians, who came down from the village to visit us. Towards evening two canoes arrived from the village at the mouth of Cataract river, loaded with fish and bears' grease for the market below: as soon as they landed they unloaded the canoes, turned them upside down on the beach, and encamped under a shelving rock near our camp. We had an opportunity of seeing to-day the hardihood of the Indians of the neighboring village: one of the men shot a goose, which fell into the river, and was floating rapidly towards the great shoot, when an Indian observing it plunged in after it? the whole mass of the waters of the Columbia, just preparing to descend its narrow channel, carried the animal down with great rapidity: the Indian followed it fearlessly to within one hundred and fifty feet of the rocks, where he would inevitably have been dashed to pieces; but seizing his prey he turned round and swam ashore with great composure. We very willingly relinquished our right to the bird in favor of the Indian who had thus saved it at the imminent hazard of his life: he immediately set to work and picked off about half the feathers, and then without opening it ran a stick through it and carried it off to roast.

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