previous | next
This morning early the flesh of the remaining Elk was brought in and Drewyer with the Feildses departed agreeable to the order of the last evening. we employed the party in drying the meat today which we completed by the evening, and we had it secured in dryed Elkskins and put on board in readiness for an early departure. we were visited today by several parties of indians from a village about 8 miles above us of the Sahhalah nation. I detected one of them in steeling a peice of lead and sent him from camp. I hope we have now a sufficient stock of dryed meat to serve us as far the Chopunnish provided we can obtain a few dogs horses and roots by the way. in the neignbourhood of the Chopunnish we can procure a few deer and perhaps a bear or two for the mountains. last evening Reubin Fields killed a bird of the quail kind it is reather larger than the quail, or partridge as they are called in Virginia. [NB: Copy for Dr Barton]  it's form is precisely that of our partridge tho' it's plumage differs in every part. the upper part of the head, sides and back of the neck, including the croop and about ⅓ of the under part of the body is of a bright dove coloured blue, underneath the under beak, as high as the lower edge of the eyes, and back as far as the hinder part of the eyes and thence coming down to a point in front of the neck about two thirds of it's length downwards, is of a fine dark brick red. between this brick red and the dove colour there runs a narrow stripe of pure white. the ears are covered with some coarse stiff dark brown feathers. just at the base of the under chap there is narrow transverse stripe of white. from the crown of the head two long round feathers extend backwards nearly in the direction of the beak and are of a black colour. the longest of these feathers is two inches and an half, it overlays and conceals the other which is somewhat shorter and seems to be raped in the plumage of that in front which folding backwards colapses behind and has a round appearance. the tail is composed of twelve dark brown feathers of nearly equal length. the large feathers of the wings are of a dark brown and are reather short in proportion to the body of the bird in that rispect very similar to our common partridge. the covert of the wings and back are of a dove colour with a slight admixture of redish brown. a wide stripe which extends from side to side of the body and occupyes the lower region of the breast is beautifully variagated with the brick red white and black which pedominate in the order they are mentioned and the colours mark the feathers transversely. the legs are covered with feathers as low as the knee; these feathers are of a dark brown tiped with the dark brick red as are also those between and about the joining of the legs with the body. they have four toes on each foot of which three are in front and that in the center the longest, those one each side nearly of a length; that behing is also of good length and are all armed with long and strong nails. the legs and feet are white and imbrecated with proportionably large broad scales. the upper beak is short, wide at it's base, black, convex, curved downwards and reather obtusely pointed. it exceeds the under chap considerably which is of a white colour, also convex underneath and obtusely pointed. the nostrils are remarkably small placed far back and low down on the sides of the beak. they are covered by a thin protuberant elastic, black leatherlike substance. the eyes are of a uniform piercing black colour. this is a most beautifull bird. I preserved the skin of this bird retaining the wings feet and head which I hope will give a just idea of the bird. it's loud note is single and consists of a loud squall, intirely different from the whistling of our quales or partridge. it has a cherping note when allarmed something like ours.— today there was a second of these birds killed by Capt C. which precisely resembled that just discribed I believe these to be the male bird the female, if so, I have not yet seen.— the day has been fair and weather extreemly pleasant. we made our men exercise themselves in shooting today and regulate their guns found several of them that had their sights moved by accedent, and others that wanted some little alterations all which were compleately rectifyed in the course of the day. in the evening all the indians departed for their village.
This morning Drewyer & the two Fields Set out agreeably to their orders of last evening, the remainder of the party employed in drying the flesh of the five Elk killed by Shannon yesterday. which was completed and we had it Secured in dried Shaved Elk Skins and put on board in readiness for our early departure. we were visited by Several parties of Indians from a Village about 12 miles above us of the Sahhalah nation. one of them was detected in Stealing a piece of Lead. I Sent him off imedeately. I hope now we have a Sufficient Stock of dryed meat to Serve us as far as the Chopunnish provided we can obtain a fiew dogs, horses and roots by the way. in the neighbourhood of the Chopunnish under the Rocky Mountains we can precure a fiew deer, and perhaps a Bear or two for the Mountains.
The day has been fair and weather exceedingly pleasent. we made our men exersise themselves in Shooting and regulateing their guns, found Several of them that had their Sights moved by accident, and others that wanted Some little alterations all which were compleated rectified in the Course of the day except my Small rifle, which I found wanted Cutting out.  about 4 oClock P M all the Indians left us, and returned to their Village. they had brought with them Wappato, & pashequa roots Chapellel cakes,  and a Species of Raspberry for Sale, none of which they disposed of as they asked Such enormous prices for those articles that we were not able to purchase any. Drewyer returned down the river in the evening & informed us that the nativs had Sceared all the Elk from the river above. Joseph & reuben Fields had proceeded on further up the river in the canoe, he expected to the village.
I provaled on an old indian to mark the Multnomah R down on the Sand which hid and perfectly Corisponded with the Sketch given me by sundary others, with the addition of a circular mountain which passes this river at the falls and connects with the mountains of the Seacoast. he also lais down the Clark a mos passing a high Conical Mountain near it's mouth on the lower Side and heads in Mount Jefferson which he lais down by raiseing the Sand as a very high mountain and Covered with eternal Snow. the high mountain which this Indian lais down near the enterance of Clark a mos river, we have not Seen as the hills in it's direction from this vally is high and obscures the Sight of it from us. Mt Jefferson we Can plainly See from the enterance of Multnomah from which place it bears S. E. this is a noble Mountain and I think equally as high or Something higher than Mt. St. Heleans  but its distance being much greater than that of the latter, So great a portion of it does not appear above the range of mountains which lie between both those Stupendious Mountains and the Mouth of Multnomah. like Mt. St. Heleans its figure is a regular Cone and is covered with eturnial Snow. that the Clarkamos nation as also those at the falls of the Multnomah live principally on fish of which those Streams abound and also on roots which they precure on it's borders, they also Sometimes Come down to the Columbia in Serch of Wappato. they build their houses in the Same form with those of the Columbian Vally of wide Split boads and Covered with bark of the White Cedar which is the entire length of the one Side of the roof and jut over at the eve about 18 inches. at the distance of about 18 inches transvers Spinters of dried pine is inserted through the Ceder bark inorder to keep it Smooth and prevent it's edge from Colapsing by the heat of the Sun; in this manner the nativs make a very Secure light and lasting roof of this bark. which we have observed in every Vilege in this Vally as well as those above. this Indian also informed me the multnomah above the falls was Crouded with rapids and thickly inhabited by indians of the Cal-lah-po-é-wah Nation. he informed he had himself been a long way up that river &c.
Monday 7th of April 1806. a fair morning Drewyer & the 2 Fields were sent on a head to ascend the River & hunt untill our arival all hands set at jurking & drying the Elk meat. a number of Savages came down the River in their canoes brought a fiew dogs a little Chapellel  & roots for trade, but asked a large price for them So we purchased only one dog. we got the meat all dry towards evening and packed it up &C the Musquetoes trouble us a little &c— Drewyer returned with the Savages and killed 2 ducks this evening &c—
Monday 7th. This was a plesant day, but cloudy. Three hunters  went on ahead again and the rest of the party remained drying meat to subsit on while we passed the Columbia plains, as there is no game in that part of the country, according to the accounts given by the natives, who are daily coming down; and say that those remaining in the plains are in a starving condition, and will continue so until the salmon begin to run, which is very soon expected. We continued here all day; and one of our hunters killed a beautiful small bird of the quail kind. 
1. Following the interlineation, Biddle drew a vertical line through several lines, all in red ink. (Return to text.)
2. Apparently the rifling of Clark's small-bore, Kentucky-style hunting rifle had worn down and needed re-boring. Most of John Shield's tools had been cached at the Marias River, but he managed the job to Clark's satisfaction. See April 8, 1806. Russel (GEF), 99–100; Russell (FTT), 361. (Return to text.)
3. Sometimes the men begin it with "sh." It is from the Chinookan a-sáblal, "bread," and is cous, Lomatium cous (Wats.) Coult. & Rose. Hitchcock et al., 3:548–49. See November 1, 1805. (Return to text.)
4. Mt. St. Helens reaches a height of 9,677 feet; Mt. Jefferson is 10,495 feet. (Return to text.)
5. Usually spelled by the captains with "s" instead of "c" at the beginning; it is cous, Lomatium cous (Wats.) Coult. & Rose. The Chinookan word is a-sáblal, "bread." (Return to text.)
6. Drouillard and the Field brothers again. (Return to text.)
7. Lewis says on this date that this happened "last evening," and that Reubin Field was the hunter. The bird is the mountain quail, Oreortyx pictus, a new species. See Clark's entry for April 6 and Lewis's for April 7. (Return to text.)
previous | next