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[Lewis] 
Sunday January 5th 1806.
 

       At 5 P. M. Willard and Wiser returned, they had not been lost as we apprehended.    they informed us that it was not untill the fifth day after leaving the Fort that they could find a convenient place for making salt; that they had at length established themselves on the coast about 15 Miles S. W. from this, near the lodge of some Killamuck families; that the Indians were very friendly and had given them a considerable quantity of the blubber of a whale which perished on the coast some distance S. E. of them; part of this blubber they brought with them, it was white & not unlike the fat of Poark, tho' the texture was more spongey and somewhat coarser. I had a part of it cooked and found it very pallitable and tender, it resembled the beaver or the dog in flavour.    it may appear somewhat extraordinary tho' it is a fact that the flesh of the beaver and dog possess a very great affinity in point of flavour. These lads also informed us that J. Fields, Bratton and Gibson (the Salt makers) had with their assistance erected a comfortable camp killed an Elk and several deer and secured a good stock of meat; they commenced the making of salt and found that they could obtain from 3 quarts to a gallon a day; they brought with them a specemine of the salt of about a gallon, we found it excellent, fine, strong, & white; 〈salt;〉 this was a great treat to myself and most of the party, having not had any since the 20th ultmo.; I say most of the party, for my friend Capt. Clark declares it to be a mear matter of indifference with him whether he uses it or not; for myself I must confess I felt a considerable inconvenience from the want of it; the want of bread I consider as trivial provided, I get fat meat, for as to the species of meat I am not very particular, the flesh of the dog the horse and the wolf, having from habit become equally formiliar with any other, and I have learned to think that if the chord be sufficiently strong, which binds the soul and boddy together, it does not so much matter about the materials which copose it. Colter also returned this evening unsuccessfull from the chase, having been absent since the 1st Inst.—    Capt. Clark determined this evening to set out early tomorrow with two canoes and 12 men  [1] in quest of the whale, or at all events to purchase from the Indians a parcel of the blubber, for this purpose he prepared a small assortment of merchandize to take with him.




[Clark] 
Sunday 5th of January 1806
 

       At 5 p. m. Willard and Wiser returned, they had not been lost as we expected.    they informd us that it was not untill the 5th day after leaveing the fort, that they Could find a Convenient place for makeing Salt; that they had at length established themselves on the Sea Coast about 15 miles S. W. from this, near the houses of Some Clat Sop & Kil a mox families; that the Indians were very friendly and had given them a considerable quantity of the blubber of the whale which perished on the Coast Some distance S. E. of them, it was white and not unlike the fat of Pork, tho' the texture was more Spungey and Somewhat Coarser.    we had part of it Cooked and found it very pallitable and tender, it resembles the beaver in flavour.    those men also informed us that the Salt makers with their assistance had erected a Comfortable Camp, had killed an Elk and Several Deer and Secured a good Stock of Meat; they Commenced the makeing of Salt and found that they Could make from 3 quarts to a gallon a day; they brought with them a Specimen of the Salt, of about a gallon, we found it excellent white & fine, but not So Strong as the rock Salt or that made in Kentucky or the Western parts of the U, States—    this Salt was a great treat to most of the party, haveing not had any Since the 20th ulto.    as to my Self I care but little whether I have any with my meat or not; provided the meat fat, haveing from habit become entirely cearless about my diat, and I have learned to think that if the Cord be Sufficiently Strong which binds the Soul and boddy together, it does not So much matter about the materials which Compose it.

 

       Colter returned this evening unsecksessfull from the Chase, haveing been absence since the 1st inst.

 

       I determine to Set out early tomorrow with two canoes & 12 men in quest of the whale or at all events to purchase from the indians a parcel of the blubber, for this purpose I made up a Small assortment of merchindize, and directed the men to hold themselves in readiness &c.




[Ordway] 
 

       Sunday 5th Jany. 1806.    a wet rainy morning.    in the afternoon one of the hunters  [2] returned to the Fort    had killed nothing except one brant and 2 ducks    Shortly after 2 men  [3] came from the Salt Camp with about 2 gallons of Salt.    they had killed three Elk and one Deer.    they informed us that the Savages brought loads of the whail that they had informed us of. Our men bought Som of the meat from them which was good.




[Gass] 
 

       Sunday 5th.    This was a very wet day. We killed a squirrel and eat it; made a raft to cross the creek; but when it was tried we found it would carry only one person at a time; the man with me was therefore sent over first, who thought he could shove the raft across again; but when he attempted, it only went half-way: so that there was one of us on each side and the raft in the middle. I, however notwithstanding the cold, stript and swam to the raft, brought it over and then crossed on it in safety; when we pursued our journey, and in a short time came to some Indian camps  [4] on the sea shore. The rain and wind continued so violent that we agreed to stay at these camps all night.




[Whitehouse] 
 

       Sunday Janry 5th    A Wet rainey morning.    In the afternoon one of our hunters  [5] returned to the fort & had only killed a brant & 2 Ducks which he brought with him.    Two of our party  [6] also returned from where some of our party were making Salt near the Ocean.    these Men brought with them about 2 Gallons of excellent Salt, which was made there & mention'd that the party there could make plenty of it.    they had killed 3 elk & 2 Deer.    They told us that the Indians had brought a vast Quantity of the Whale, which they Informed us of, to their Indian Village; and that the Natives eat the Oil made from the whales flesh, & that they had eat of it & that it was very good.—    These Men brought part of the Whale with them, which they got from the Indians




 

1. See next entry for possible members of this party. (Return to text.)

 

2. Colter, according to Lewis and Clark. (Return to text.)

 

3. Willard and Weiser, who had caused some concern to the captains due to their long absence since accompanying the saltmakers on December 28. (Return to text.)

 

4. Clatsop winter dwellings at Seaside, Clatsop County, Oregon. (Return to text.)

 

5. Colter, say the captains. (Return to text.)

 

6. Willard and Weiser, whose return ended some concern about their absence from the saltmaking camp since December 28. (Return to text.)












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