Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1805 - Part Four
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: October 14, 1805 - October 16, 1805

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates October 14, 1805 - October 16, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates October 14, 1805 - October 16, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1805
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 14, 1805 - October 16, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: October 14, 1805 - October 16, 1805

October 14, 1805
Monday 14. The wind was high from the southwest during the evening, and this morning it changed to the west, and the weather became very cold until about twelve o'clock, when it shifted to the southwest, and continued in that quarter during the rest of the day. We set out early, and after passing some swift water, reached at two and a half miles a rock of a very singular appearance. It was situated on a point to the left, at some distance from the ascending country, very high and large, and resembling in its shape the hull of a ship. At five miles we passed a rapid; at eight another rapid, and a small island on the right, and at ten and a half a small island on the right. We halted a mile and a half below for the purpose of examining a much larger and more dangerous rapid than those we had yet passed. It is three miles in length, and very difficult to navigate. We had scarcely set out, when three of the canoes stuck fast in endeavoring to avoid the rocks in the channel; soon after in passing two small rocky islands, one of the canoes struck a rock, but was prevented from upsetting, and fortunately we all arrived safe at the lower end of the rapid. Here we dined, and then proceeded, and soon reached another rapid on both sides of the river, which was divided by an island.

As we were descending it one of the boats was driven crosswise against a rock in the middle of the current. The crew attempted to get her off, but the waves dashed over her, and she soon filled; they got out on the rock and held her above water with great exertion, till another canoe was unloaded and sent to her relief; but they could not prevent a great deal of her baggage from floating down the stream. As soon as she was lightened, she was hurried down the channel leaving the crew on the rock. They were brought off by the rest of the party, and the canoe itself, and nearly all that had been washed overboard was recovered. The chief loss was the bedding of two of the men, a tomahawk, and some small articles. But all the rest were wet, and though by drying we were able to save the powder, all the loose packages of which were in this boat, yet we lost all the roots and other provisions, which are spoilt by the water. In order to diminish the loss as far as was in our power, we halted for the night on an island, and exposed every thing to dry. On landing we found some split timber for houses which the Indians had very securely covered with stone, and also a place where they had deposited their fish. We have hitherto abstained scrupulously from taking any thing belonging to the Indians; but on this occasion we were compelled to depart from this rule; and as there was no other timber to be found in any direction for firewood, and no owner appeared from whom it could be purchased, we used a part of these split planks, bearing in mind our obligation to repay the proprietor whenever we should discover him. The only game which we observed were geese and ducks, of the latter we killed some, and a few of the blue-winged teal. Our journey was fifteen miles in length.

October 15, 1805
Tuesday 15. The morning was fair, and being obliged to remain for the purpose of drying the baggage, we sent out the hunters to the plains, but they returned at ten o'clock, without having seen even the tracks of any large game, but brought in three geese and two ducks. The plains are waving, and as we walked in them, we could plainly discover a range of mountains bearing southeast and northwest, becoming higher as they advanced towards the north, the nearest point bearing south about sixty miles from us. Our stores being sufficiently dry to be reloaded, and as we shall be obliged to stop for the purpose of making some celestial observations at the mouth of the river, which cannot be at a great distance, we concluded to embark and complete the drying at that place: we therefore set out at two o'clock. For the first four miles we passed three islands, at the lower points of which were the same number of rapids, besides a fourth at a distance from them. During the next ten miles we passed eight islands and three more rapids, and reached a point of rocks on the left side. The islands were of various sizes, but were all composed of round stone and sand: the rapids were in many places difficult and dangerous to pass. About this place the country becomes lower than usual, the ground over the river not being higher than ninety or a hundred feet, and extending back into a waving plain. Soon after leaving this point of rocks, we entered a narrow channel formed by the projecting cliffs of the bank, which rise nearly perpendicular from the water. The river is not however rapid, but gentle and smooth during its confinement, which lasts for three miles, when it falls, or rather widens into a kind of basin nearly round, and without any perceptible current. After passing through this basin, we were joined by the three Indians who had piloted us through the rapids since we left the forks, and who in company with our two chiefs had gone before us. They had now halted here to warn us of a dangerous rapid, which begins at the lower point of the basin. As the day was too far spent to descend it, we determined to examine before we attempted it, and therefore landed near an island at the head of the rapid, and studied particularly all its narrow and difficult parts. The spot where we landed was an old fishing establishment, of which there yet remained the timbers of a house carefully raised on scaffolds to protect them against the spring tide. Not being able to procure any other fuel, and the night being cold, we were again obliged to use the property of the Indians, who still remain in the plains hunting the antelope. Our progress was only twenty miles in consequence of the difficulty of passing the rapids. Our game consisted of two teal.

October 16, 1805
Wednesday, 16. Having examined the rapids, which we found more difficult than the report of the Indians had induced us to believe, we set out early, and putting our Indian guide in front, our smallest canoe next, and the rest in succession, began the descent: the passage proved to be very disagreeable; as there is a continuation of shoals extending from bank to bank for the distance of three miles, during which the channel is narrow and crooked, and obstructed by large rocks in every direction, so as to require great dexterity to avoid being dashed on them. We got through the rapids with no injury to any of the boats except the hindmost, which ran on a rock; but by the assistance of the other boats, and of the Indians who were very alert, she escaped, though the baggage she contained was wet. Within three miles after leaving the rapid we passed three small islands, on one of which were the parts of a house put on scaffolds as usual, and soon after came to a rapid at the lower extremity of three small islands; and a second at the distance of a mile and a half below them; reaching six miles below the great rapid a point of rocks at a rapid opposite to the upper point of a small island on the left. Three miles further is another rapid; and two miles beyond this a very bad rapid, or rather a fall of the river: this, on examination, proved so difficult to pass, that we thought it imprudent to attempt, and therefore unloaded the canoes and made a portage of three quarters of amile. The rapid, which is of about the same extent, is much broken by rocks and shoals, and has a small island in it on the right side. After crossing by land we halted for dinner, and whilst we were eating were visited by five Indians, who came up the river on foot in great haste: we received them kindly, smoked with them, and gave them a piece of tobacco to smoke with their tribe: on receiving the present they set out to return, and continued running as fast as they could while they remained in sight. Their curiosity had been excited by the accounts of our two chiefs, who had gone on in order to apprise the tribes of our approach and of our friendly dispositions towards them. After dinner we reloaded the canoes and proceeded: we soon passed a rapid opposite to the upper point of a sandy island on the left, which has a smaller island near it.

At three miles is a gravelly bar in the river: four miles beyond this the Kimooenim empties itself into the Columbia, and at its mouth has an island just below a small rapid. We halted above the point of junction on the Kimooenim to confer with the Indians, who had collected in great numbers to receive us. On landing we were met by our two chiefs, to whose good offices we were indebted for this reception, and also the two Indians who had passed us a few days since on horseback; one of whom appeared to be a man of influence, and harangued the Indians on our arrival. After smoking with the Indians, we formed a camp at the point where the two rivers unite, near to which we found some driftwood, and were supplied by our twoold chiefs with the stalks of willows and some small bushes for fuel. We had scarcely fixed the camp and got the fires prepared, when a chief came from the Indian camp about a quarter of a mile up the Columbia, at the head of nearly two hundred men: they formed a regular procession, keeping time to the noise, rather the music of their drums, which they accompanied with their voices. As they advanced they formed a semicircle round us, and continued singing for some time: we then smoked with them all, and communicated, as well as we could by signs, our friendly intentions towards all nations, and our joy at finding ourselves surrounded by our children: we then proceeded to distribute presents to them, giving the principal chief a large medal, a shirt and handkerchief; to the second chief, a medal of a smaller size, and to a third chief who came down from some of the upper villages, a small medal and a handkerchief. This ceremony being concluded they left us; but in the course of the afternoon several of them returned and remained with us till a late hour. After they had dispersed we proceeded to purchase provisions, and were enabled to collect seven dogs, to which some of the Indians added small presents of fish, and one of them gave us twenty pounds of fat dried horseflesh.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: October 14, 1805 - October 16, 1805

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