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[Lewis]†
Tuesday March 18th 1806.

†††††† Drewyer was taken last night with a violent pain in his side. Capt. Clark blead him. †† several of the men are complaining of being unwell. †† it is truly unfortunate that they should be sick at the moment of our departure. †† we directed Sergt. Pryor to prepare the two Canoes which Drewyer brought last evening for his mess. †† they wanted some knees to strengthen them and several cracks corked and payed. †† he completed them except the latter operation which the frequent showers in the course of the day prevented as the canoes could not be made sufficiently dry even with the assistance of fire. Comowooll and two Cathlahmahs visited us today; we suffered them to remain all night. †† this morning we gave Delashelwilt a certificate of his good deportment &c. and also a list of our names, after which we dispatched him to his village with his female band. These lists of our names we have given to several of the natives and also paisted up a copy in our room. †† the object of these lists we stated in the preamble of the same as follows (viz)[1] "The object of this list is, that through the medium of some civilized person who may see the same, it may be made known to the informed world, that the party consisting of the persons whoes names are hereunto annexed, and who were sent out by the government of the U' States in May 1804 to explore the interior of the Continent of North America, did penetrate the same by way of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers, to the discharge of the latter into the Pacific Ocean, where they arrive on the 14th November 1805, and from whence they departed the [blank] day of March 1806 on their return to the United States by the same rout they had come out."— †† on the back of some of these lists we added a sketch of the connection of the upper branches of the Missouri with those of the Columbia, particularly of it's main S. E. branch, on which we also delineated the track we had come and that we meant to pursue on our return where the same happened to very. There seemed so many chances against our government ever obtaining a regular report, though the medium of the savages and the traders of this coast that we declined making any. †† our party are also too small to think of leaving any of them to return to the U' States by sea, particularly as we shall be necessarily divided into three or four parties on our return in order to accomplish the objects we have in view;[2] and at any rate we shall reach the United States in all human probability much earlier than a man could who must in the event of his being left here depend for his passage to the United States on the traders of the coast who may not return immediately to the U' States or if they should, might probably spend the next summer in trading with the natives before they would set out on their return. †† this evening Drewyer went in quest of his traps, and took an Otter. Joseph Fields killed an Elk.— The Indians repeated to us the names of eighteen distinct tribes residing on the S. E. coast who spoke the Killamucks language,[3] and beyound those six others who spoke a different language which they did not comprehend.




[Clark]†
Tuesday March 17th 1806[4]

†††††† Drewyer was taken last night with a violent pain in his Side. I bled him. Several of the men are complaining of being unwell. †† it is truly unfortunate that they Should be Sick at the moment of our departure. Derected Sergt. Pryor to prepare the two Indian Canoes which we had purchased for his mess. †† they wanted Some knees to Strengthen them, and Several cracks corked and payed. †† he compleated them except paying. †† the frequent Showers of rain prevented the Canoes drying Sufficient to pay them even with the assistance of fire.—


†††††† Commorwool and two Cathlahmahs visited us to day; we Suffered them to remain all night. †† this morning we gave Delashelwilt a certificate of his good deportment &c. and also a list of our names, after which we dispatched him to his village with his female band. Those list's of our Names we have given to Several of the nativs, and also pasted up a Copy in our room. †† the Object of these lists we Stated in the preamble of the Same as follows Viz: "The Object of this list is, that through the medium of Some civilized person who may See the Same, it may be made known to the informed world, that the party consisting of the persons whose names are hereunto annexed, and who were Sent out by the Government of the United States in May 1804, to explore the interior of the Continent of North America, did penetrate the Same by way of the Missouri and Columbia rivers, to the discharge of the latter into the Pacific Ocian, where they arrived on the 14th of November 1805, and from whence they departed the [blank] day of March 1806 on their return to the United States by the Same rout they had come out."


†††††† On the back of lists we added a Sketch of the continent of the upper branches of the Missouri with those of the Columbia, particularly of its upper N. E. branch or Lewis's River, on which we also delineated the track we had Came and that we ment to pursue on our return, when the Same happened to vary. There Seemes So many chances against our governments ever obtaining a regular report, through the medium of the Savages, and the traders of this Coast that we decline makeing any. Our party are too small to think of leaveing any of them to return to the Unt. States by Sea, particularly as we Shall be necessarily devided into two or three parties on our return in order to accomplish the Object we have in View; and at any rate we Shall reach the U, States in all humain probabillity much earlier than a man Could who must in the event of his being left here depend for his passage to the U, State on the traders of the Coast, who may not return imediately to the U, States. †† or if they should, might probably Spend the next Summer in tradeing with the nativs before they would Set out on their return. This evening Drewyer went in quest of his traps, and took an otter. Joseph Field killd and Elk.— The Indians repeated to us Eighteen distinct Nati[ons?] resideing on the S S. E Coast who Speak the Kil a mox language or understand it. †† and beyend those Six other Nations which Speak a different language which they did not comprehend.


†††††† The 2d Species of Seawreck[5] which I saw on the coast to the S. S. E. near the Kil ‚ mox nation. †† it resembles a large pumpkin, it is Solid and it's Specific Gravity reather greater than the water, tho' it is Sometimes thrown out by the waves. †† it is of a pale yellowish brown colour. †† the rhind Smooth and consistency harder than that of the pumpkin, tho' easily cut with a knife. †† there are Some fibers of a lighter colour and much harder than any other part which pass Longitudinally through the pulp or fleshey Substance which forms the interior of this marine production.—.—.




[Ordway]†

†††††† Tuesday 18th March 1806.— †† a Showery morning of rain and hail. Some Thunder. †† we repair the Small canoes. †† 4 men went over to the prarie near the coast to take a canoe which belongd to the Clotsop Indians, as we are in want of it.[6] †† in the evening they returned 2 of them by land and killd. an Elk.[7] †† the others took the canoe near the fort and concealed it, as the chief of the Clotsops is now here.




[Gass]†

†††††† Tuesday 18th. †† The weather was much like that of yesterday, and some hail fell in the course of the day. Some of the men are repairing the small canoes, and making preparations to return up the river, as soon as the weather will permit. One of the hunters[8] killed an elk.




[Whitehouse]†

†††††† Tuesday March 18th †† We had showers of rain, some hail & thunder this morning. †† the hands were employ'd in repairing our small Canoe, & getting everything in readiness in order to ascend the River on our way homewards.— †† Our officers sent 4 Men over the River, to a Priari which lay near the Ocean in order to get a small Canoe which belonged to the Clatsop Indians. †† They returned in the Evening with the Canoe.[9] †† They had put 2 Men of the party on shore who also returned having killed an Elk on their way to the Fort.




1.†While the party was preparing to leave, the Russian ship Juno, out of New Archangel (Sitka) in Alaska, commanded by Nicolai Rezanov, was attempting to cross the Columbia bar. It was finally driven off by the storm of March 21. Rezanov was seeking a more hospitable place than Alaska for a Russian settlement. His failure at this time not only prevented a possible confrontation with Lewis and Clark but kept the Russians from gaining a foothold on the Columbia. On June 12, 1806, Captain Samuel Hill's Lydia, of Boston (see above, November 6 and 24, 1805), entered the mouth of the river. The Indians told him about their American visitors, showed him medals given them, and gave him at least one copy of the declaration and muster roll. The news did not reach the United States by this route until after the party's safe return to St. Louis. The ultimate fate of the documents is unknown. Jewitt, 174; Ruby & Brown (CITC), 108–10; Chevigny, 105–24; Jackson (LLC), 2:300.†(Return to text.)

2.†The first indication of the captains' intention to divide the party on the return journey, which they did on leaving Travelers' Rest in Montana on July 3, 1806.†(Return to text.)

3.†These "Nations" may well be villages belonging to some larger group, as on Clark's maps of the Columbia. The coast of Oregon and northern California was the home of peoples speaking a medley of languages of several major language families. The Tillamooks (Kilamox) were of the Salishan family. South of them were Alseas, Yaquinas, Coos, Siuslaws, and Umpquas, speaking languages sometimes grouped into the Penutian phylum. In southwest Oregon and northwest California were various groups speaking Athapascan languages. The Yuroks and Wiyots of northwest California spoke Algonquian languages, while the Karok language is difficult to relate to any others. Thompson (NW); Drucker, 104, 107–8. A red vertical line runs through this sentence, perhaps done by Biddle.†(Return to text.)

4.†Actually March 18.†(Return to text.)

5.†See note at March 17, 1806.†(Return to text.)

6.†The captains gave little notice to the incident; see their entries for March 17 and accompanying notes.†(Return to text.)

7.†Joseph Field killed the elk.†(Return to text.)

8.†Joseph Field, say the captains. Gass, or McKeehan, does not choose to mention, as Ordway and Whitehouse do, that on this date the captains sent a party to steal a canoe from the Clatsops, since the captains could not afford to buy another at the asking price. They justified the action because some elk were stolen from them earlier. See Lewis's and Clark's entries of March 17.†(Return to text.)

9.†In plainer language, they stole the canoe. See Ordway for this day, and the captains' entries for March 17.†(Return to text.)












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