Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1805 - Part Seven
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: October 21, 1805 - October 22, 1805

 

This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates October 21, 1805 - October 22, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates October 21, 1805 - October 22, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 1805
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates October 21, 1805 - October 22, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: October 21, 1805 - October 22, 1805

October 21, 1805
Monday 21. The morning was cool, and the wind from the southwest. At five and a half miles we passed a small island, and one mile and a half further, another in the middle of the river, which has some rapid water near its head, and opposite to its lower extremity are eight cabins of Indians on the right side. We landed near them to breakfast; but such is the scarcity of wood, that last evening we had not been able to collect any thing except dry willows, and of these not more than barely sufficient to cook our supper, and this morning we could not find enough even to prepare breakfast. The Indians received us with great kindness, and examined every thing they saw with much attention. In their appearance and employments, as well as in their language, they do not differ from those higher up the river. The dress too is nearly the same; that of the men consisting of nothing but a short robe of deer or goat skin; while the women wear only a piece of dressed skin, falling from the neck so as to cover the front of the body as low as the waist; a bandage tied round the body and passing between the legs; and over this a short robe of deer and antelope skin is occasionally thrown. Here we saw two blankets of scarlet, and one of blue cloth, and also a sailor's round jacket; but we obtained only a few pounded roots, and some fish, for which we of course paid them.

Among other things we observed some acorns, the fruit of the white oak. These they use as food either raw or roasted, and on inquiry informed us that they were procured from the Indians who live near the great falls. This place they designate by a name very commonly applied to it by the Indians, and highly expressive, the word Timm, which they pronounce so as to make it perfectly represent the sound of a distant cataract. After breakfast we resumed our journey, and in the course of three miles passed a rapid where large rocks were strewed across the river, and at the head of which on the right shore were two huts of Indians. We stopped here for the purpose of examining it, as we always do whenever any danger is to be apprehended, and send round by land all those who cannot swim. Five miles further is another rapid, formed by large rocks projecting from each side, above which were five huts of Indians on the right side, occupied like those we had already seen, in drying fish. One mile below this is the lower point of an island close to the right side, opposite to which on that shore, are two Indian huts.

On the left side of the river at this place, are immense piles of rocks, which seem to have slipped from the cliffs under which they lie; they continue till spreading still farther into the river, at the distance of a mile from the island, they occasion a very dangerous rapid; a little below which on the right side are five huts. For many miles the river is now narrow and obstructed with very large rocks thrown into its channel; the hills continue high and covered, as is very rarely the case, with a few low pine trees on their tops. Between three and four miles below the last rapid occurs a second, which is also difficult, and three miles below it is a small river, which seems to rise in the open plains to the southeast, and falls in on the left. It is forty yards wide at its mouth; but discharges only a small quantity of water at present: we gave it the name of Lepage's river from Lepage one of our company. Near this little river and immediately below it, we had to encounter a new rapid. The river is crowded in every direction, with large rocks and small rocky islands; the passage crooked and difficult, and for two miles we were obliged to wind with great care along the narrow channels and between the huge rocks. At the end of this rapid are four huts of Indians on the right, and two miles below five more huts on the same side. Here we landed and passed the night, after making thirty-three miles. The inhabitants of these huts explained to us that they were the relations of those who live at the great falls. They appear to be of the same nation with those we have seen above, whom, indeed, they resemble in every thing except that their language, although the same, has some words different.

They have all pierced noses, and the men when in full dress wear a long tapering piece of shell or bead put through the nose. These people did not, however, receive us with the same cordiality to which we have been accustomed. They are poor; but we were able to purchase from them some wood to make a fire for supper, of which they have but little, and which they say they bring from the great falls. The hills in this neighborhood are high and rugged, and a few scattered trees, either small pine or scrubby white oak, are occasionally seen on them. From the last rapids we also observed the conical mountain towards the southwest, which the Indians say is not far to the left of the great falls. From its vicinity to that place we called it the Timm or Falls mountain. The country through which we passed is furnished with several fine springs, which rise either high up the sides of the hills or else in the river meadows, and discharge themselves into the Columbia. We could not help remarking that almost universally the fishing establishments of the Indians, both on the Columbia and the waters of Lewis's river, are on the right bank.

On inquiry we were led to believe that the reason may be found in their fear of the Snake Indians; between whom and themselves, considering the warlike temper of that people, and the peaceful habits of the river tribes, it is very natural that the latter should be anxious to interpose so good a barrier. These Indians are described as residing on a great river to the south, and always at war with the people of this neighborhood. One of our chiefs pointed out to-day a spot on the left where, not many years ago, a great battle was fought, in which numbers of both nations were killed. We were agreeably surprised this evening by a present of some very good beer, made out of the remains of the bread, composed of the Pashecoquamash, part of the stores we had laid in at the head of the Kooskooskee, and which by frequent exposure become sour and moulded.

October 22, 1805
Tuesday 22. The morning was fair and calm. We left our camp at nine o'clock, and after going on for six miles came to the head of an island, and a very bad rapid, where the rocks are scattered nearly across the river. Just above this and on the right side are six huts of Indians. At the distance of two miles below, are five more huts; the inhabitants of which are all engaged in drying fish, and some of them in their canoes killing fish with gigs; opposite to this establishment is a small island in a bend towards the right, on which there were such quantities of fish that we counted twenty stacks of dried and pounded salmon. This small island is at the upper point of one much larger, the sides of which are high uneven rocks, jutting over the water: here there is a bad rapid. The island continues for four miles, and at the middle of it is a large river, which appears to come from the southeast, and empties itself on the left. We landed just above its mouth in order to examine it, and soon found the route intercepted by a deep, narrow channel, running into the Columbia above the large entrance, so as to form a dry and rich island about 400 yards wide and eight hundred long. Here as along the grounds of the river, the natives had been digging large quantities of roots, as the soil was turned up in many places. We reached the river about a quarter of a mile above its mouth, at a place where a large body of water is compressed within a channel of about two hundred yards in width, where it foams over rocks, many of which are above the surface of the water. These narrows are the end of a rapid which extends two miles back, where the river is closely confined between two high hills, below which it is divided by numbers of large rocks and small islands, covered with a low growth of timber.

This river, which is called by the Indians Towahnahiooks, is two hundred yards wide at its mouth, has a very rapid current, and contributes about one fourth as much water as the Columbia possesses before the junction. Immediately at the entrance are three sand islands, and near it the head of an island which runs parallel to the large rocky island. We now returned to our boats, and passing the mouth of the Towahnahiooks went between the islands. At the distance of two miles we reached the lower end of this rocky island, where were eight huts of Indians. Here too, we saw some large logs of wood, which were most probably rafted down the Towahnahiooks; and a mile below, on the right bank, were sixteen lodges of Indians, with whom we stopped to smoke. Then at the distance of about a mile passed six more huts on the same side, nearly opposite the lower extremity of the island, which has its upper end inthe mouth of the Towahnahiooks. Two miles below we came to seventeen huts on the right side of the river, situated at the commencement of the pitch which includes the great falls. Here we halted, and immediately on landing walked down, accompanied by an old Indian from the huts, in order to examine the falls, and ascertain on which side we could make a portage most easily. We soon discovered that the nearest route was on the right side, and therefore dropped down to the head of the rapid, unloaded the canoes and took all the baggage over by land to the foot of the rapid. The distance is twelve hundred yards.

On setting out we crossed a solid rock, about one third of the whole distance; then reached a space of two hundred yards wide, which forms a hollow, where the loose sand from the low grounds has been driven by the winds, and is steep and loose, and therefore disagreeable to pass; the rest of the route is over firm and solid ground. The labor of crossing would have been very inconvenient, if the Indians had not assisted us in carrying some of the heavy articles on their horses; but for this service they repaid themselves so adroitly, that on reaching the foot of the rapids we formed a camp in a position which might secure us from the pilfering of the natives, which we apprehend much more than we do their hostilities. Near our camp are five large huts of Indians engaged in drying fish and preparing it for the market. The manner of doing this, is by first opening the fish and exposing it to the sun on their scaffolds. When it is sufficiently dried it is pounded fine between two stones till it is pulverized, and is then placed in a basket about two feet long and one in diameter, neatly made of grass and rushes, and lined with the skin of a salmon stretched and dried for the purpose. Here they are pressed down as hard as possible, and the top covered with skins of fish which are secured by cords through the holes of the basket. These baskets are then placed in some dry situation, the corded part upwards, seven beingusually placed as close as they can be put together, and five on the top of them. The whole is then wrapped up in mats, and made fast by cords, over which mats are again thrown. Twelve of these baskets, each of which contains from ninety to a hundred pounds, form a stack, which is now left exposed till it is sent to market; the fish thus preserved are kept sound and sweet for several years, and great quantities of it, they inform us, are sent to the Indians who live below the falls, whence it finds its way to the whites who visit the mouth of the Columbia. We observe both near the lodges and on the rocks in the river, great numbers of stacks of these pounded fish.

Besides fish, these people supplied us with filberts and berries, and we purchased a dog for supper; but it was with much difficulty that we were able to buy wood enough to cook it. In the course of the day we were visited by many Indians, from whom we learnt that the principal chiefs of the bands, residing in this neighborhood, are now hunting in the mountains towards the southwest. On that side of the river none of the Indians have any permanent habitations, and on inquiry we were confirmed in our belief that it was for fear of attacks from the Snake Indians with whom they are at war. This nation they represent as very numerous, and residing in a great number of villages on the Towahnahiooks, where they live principally on salmon. That river they add is not obstructed by rapids above its mouth, but there becomes large and reaches to a considerable distance: the first villages of the Snake Indians on that river being twelve days' journey on a course about southeast from this place.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: October 21, 1805 - October 22, 1805

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