October 16, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

October 16, 1805


a cool morning    Set out early    passed the rapid with all the Canoes except Sgt. Pryors which run on a rock near the lower part of the rapid and Stuck fast, by the assistance of the 3 other Canoes She was unloaded and got off the rock without any further injorey than, the wetting the greater part of her loading—    loaded and proceeded on    I walked around his rapid

S. 12° E 3 miles to the Lard. bend    passed a bad rapid all the way,
here one Canoe Stuck.    bad rapid
S. 60° W. 3 miles to a Stard. bend to a Scaffel of Split timber on an Is-
land opsd. 2 other Isds. on Lard.
S 10° W. 3〈½〉 miles to a Point of rocks at a rapid opsd. the upper point of
Small Island on th Lard. Side, passd. a rapid at the lower
point of the 3 first Isds.    one at the Lard. pt. 1½ mi. below
Swift water
S. 50° W. 6 miles to Lard pt. opsd. a rapid and a pt. of an Island
the Countrey low on both Sides    Passed a rapid at 3 miles,
passed a verry Bad rapid or falls, obliged to unload at 5
miles at the lower point of a Small Island Stard    dined
Lard.    5 Inds come to us
S. 28 W. 6 ½ miles to the Junction of Columbia R. in the Point Stard
Passed the rapid opposit the upper Point of the Said Island
and Passed a Small Isd. on Lard Side opposit, passed the
lower point of the Island on Stard Side at 2 ½ miles    a
gravelley bare in the river at 3 miles, river wide    Countrey
on each side low, a rainge of hills on the west imedeately in
front of the opposit side of Columbia [1]

We halted a Short time above the Point and Smoked with the Indians, & examined the Point and best place for our Camp, we Camped on the Columbia River a little above the point    I Saw about 200 men Comeing down from their villages & were turned back by the Chief, after we built our fires of what wood we Could Collect, & get from the Indians, the Chief brought down all his men Singing and dancing as they Came, formed a ring and danced for Some time around us    we gave them a Smoke, and they returned the village a little above, the Chief & Several delay untill I went to bead.    bought 7 dogs & they gave us Several fresh Salmon & Som horse dried


A cool morning    deturmined to run the rapids, put our Indian guide in front our Small Canoe next and the other four following each other, the canoes all passed over Safe except the rear Canoe which run fast on a rock at the lower part of the Rapids, with the early assistance of the other Canoes & the Indians, who was extreamly ellert every thing was taken out and the Canoe got off without any enjorie further than the articles which it was loaded all wet.    at 14 miles passed a bad rapid [3] at which place we unloaded and made a portage of ¾ of a mile, haveing passd. 4 Smaller rapids, three Islands and the parts of a house above, I Saw Indians & Horses on the South Side below.    five Indians [4] came up the river in great haste, we Smoked with them and gave them a piece of tobacco to Smoke with their people and Sent them back, they Set out in a run & continued to go as fast as They Could run as far as we Could See them. after getting Safely over the rapid and haveing taken Diner Set out and proceeded on Seven miles to the junction of this river and the Columbia which joins from the N. W. [5]    passd. a rapid two Islands and a graveley bare, and imediately in the mouth a rapid above an Island. In every direction from the junction of those rivers the Countrey is one Continued plain low and rises from the water gradually, except a range of high Countrey [6] which runs from S. W & N E and is on the opposit Side about 2 miles distant from the Collumbia and keeping its derection S W untill it joins a S W. range of mountains.

We halted above the point on the river Kimooenim [7] to Smoke with the Indians who had collected there in great numbers to view us, [8] here we met our 2 Chiefs who left us two days ago and proceeded on to this place to inform those bands of our approach and friendly intentions towards all nations &c.    we also met the 2 men who had passed us Several days ago on hors back, one of them we observed was a man of great influence with those Indians, harranged them; after Smokeing with the Indians who had collected to view us we formed a camp at the point [9] near which place I Saw a fiew pieces of Drift wood after we had our camp fixed and fires made, a Chief came from their Camp which was about ¼ of a mile up the Columbia river at the head of about 200 men Singing and beeting on their drums Stick and keeping time to the musik, they formed a half circle around us and Sung for Some time, we gave them all Smoke, and Spoke to their Chiefs as well as we could by Signs informing them of our friendly disposition to all nations, and our joy in Seeing those of our Children around us, Gave the principal chief [10]    a large Medal Shirt and Handkf. a 2nd Chief a Meadel of Small Size, and to the Cheif who came down from the upper villages a Small Medal & Handkerchief.

The Chiefs then returned with the men to their camp; Soon after we purchased for our Provisions Seven Dogs, Some fiew of those people made us presents of fish and Several returned and delayed with us untill bedtime—    The 2 old Chiefs who accompanied us from the head of the river precured us Some fuil 〈wood〉 Such as 〈woods〉 the Stalks of weed or plant and willow bushes—    one man made me a present of a about 20 lb. of verry fat Dried horse meat.

Great quantities of a kind of prickley pares, much worst than any I have before Seen of a tapering form and attach themselves by bunches.

The Course's Distance and Remarks Decending the
Lewis's river from the mouth of Kos kos kia
in Latd. 46° 29' 21.7" N. [11]
    October 10 1805
West     1 mile to a bluff of high land in a bend to the Starboard
Side, passed an old Encampment of Indians S. S.
    October 11th
S 40° W.     1 ½ miles to a point of rocks in a Lard. bend opposit to a
bottom an old lodge on the Larboard Side.
West     2 miles to a Starboard bend    passed a rapid at ½ a
mils, 2 houses on the Std. Side, 〈passed two large Is-
land〉 rockey hill Sides.
S. 40° W.     3 miles to the mouth of a Brook on the Lard. Side,
passed a large Camp of Alpowa Cr. Indians on the
Lard Side above, a large vacant house opposit St.
N. 75° W.     1 ½ miles in the Lard Bend    passed a rapid and Some
Swift water
N. 40° E.     1 mile to a Stard. Bend at a rapid    a large vacant house
on the Std. Side
N. 60° W.     2 miles to a Lard Bend at a bad rapid    no timber ex-
cept a fiew lose Hackberries.
N. 10° W.     2 miles to a Stard. Bend at a rapid    Some Huts on the
Stard. Side.
N 40° W.     4 miles to a Stard. Bend, passed a Std. point to three
Lodges of Indians on the Stard. Side.
S. 60° W.     2 miles to a Stard. Bend, passed a Stard. point; two
large houses vacant on the Stard. Side, Killed gees &
S. 30° W.     1 miles to a lard Bend opposit an old Indian fishing
N. 60° W.     2 To a Clift in a Stard. Bend    passed a rapid at ½ a
mile; an Indian house on the Stard. Side.
West        ½ a mile to a Lard. Bend.
N. 10° W.     1 ½ miles to a Stard. Bend    passed a house St. S
West     2 ½ miles to a lard Bend    passed a rapid opposit a
Stoney Island from the Std. opposit to which & on
the Stard Side is an Indian House, a rapid at the
lower point of the Island.
N 45° W.     3 ½ miles to the mouth of a Brook in the Stard. Bend.
below is two Indian houses inhabited, a great fishing
place.    we encamped
    October 12th
S. 45° W.     3 miles    passed 4 Islands first at ½ a mile and the 3
others nearly opposit each other, and above a bad
rapid, on the Lard Side, and Swift water, passed a
Stard point.
West     3 miles to a Lard Bend passing a Small rapid and Is-
land on the Lard. Side, a vacant House on the Lard.
N. 45° W.     2 miles to a Stard. Bend the bottoms are narrow in the
Points, the bends now have Clifts of rugid rocks to
the river, also to the bottoms.
S 70° W.     2 miles to a bend on the Stard. Side at a rapid opposit
an Island and on the lard. Side, passed a rapid on the
Stard. Side of a Stoney Island below which and on
the Stard. Sid a Brook falls in, Saw Indians at a dis-
tance on the high lands.
South     2 miles to a point in a lard Bend, here the plains or
high Countrey become much lower on both Sides,
and river about 400 yeards wide.
S. 30° W.     2 ½ miles to the mouth of a Small Creek in a Lard Bend
opposit to a Small island on the Lard Side.
S. 85° W.     2 ½ miles to a Stard. Bend at a Swift part of the river, at
1½ miles    Took Median altitude 72° 30' 0"
S 10° W.     1 ½ miles to a Lard Bend, low open countrey on each
S. 88° W.     3 ½ miles to a Stard. Bend (wind hard from the S. W,)
passed a rapid and Island.    a large House of Indians
opposit on the Stard. Side Countrey rise gradually
on each Sides
S. 60° W.     6 miles to a Stard. Bend, passed an Island at 4 miles,
one at 5 miles    water Swift and Shallow.
S. 30° W.     1 mile to a Lard Bend    passed a rapid at the upper
point of a Small Stoney Isld.
West     1 mile to a Stard Bend opposit to a Small Island close
under the Lard Side, passed a Brook on the Std.
Side. Came too to View a rapid
    13th October 1805
S. 20° W.     2 miles to a Lard. Bend    passed in the greater part of
this distance through a verry bad rapid, rocks in
every direction; Chanel on the Lard. Side abt. the
Center of the rapid.
S. 70° W.     3 miles to a large Creek in a Lard. Bend    Ki moo o
nymm C
   passed a bad rocky rapid at 2 miles
N. 50° W.     5 miles to a large Creek in a Stard. Bend Drewyers R
at a great fishing establishment below the Creek at
which place Several Scaffols of the parts of Indian
Houses remained passing for 4 miles over a bad
rapid, and through a narrow Channel, river Com-
pressed and passes for 1½ miles thro' a Chanel not
more than 25 yards wide, the other part of the river
being crouded with black rough rocks, Saw Several
Indians at Those narrows.
N. 75° W.     2 miles to the Starboard bend.
S. 45° W.     2 ½ miles to a Lardboard Bend.
N. 80° W.     3 miles to a Stard. Bend
S. 60° W     2 on the Stard. Side.    passed a rapid
S 40° W.     3 ½ miles to a high Clifts in a Lard bend    passed the
parts of a House put up on forks on the Lard. Side,
a Grave yard on the Stard. Side, near which we En-
camped, 2 Indians overtook us here and informed
they intinded to proceed on by land to the great
river. &c.—
    14th October
West     2 ½ miles to a Stard. Bend opposit to a rock on the Lard-
side resembling a Ship at a Distance, passed Some
Swift water
S. 10° W.     2 ½ miles to a Stard. Bend.    passed a rapid 〈and Small
island on the Std. Side〈
S. 45° W.     3 miles to a Stard. Bend    passed a rapid & Small Isld.
on the Stard. Side
S. 10° E.     2 ½ miles to a Lard. Bend, passed a Small Island Stard.
S. 70° W.     1 ½ miles to a Stard. Bend (wind hard from S. W. Cool)
South 18° West     3     miles to a Lard. Bend    passed a long bad rapid on
which 3 canoes Stuck fast, with 2 Small rockey Is-
lands in the rapid, at 3 miles is a Cave in a 〈lard
point〉 the Std. Side in which the Indians have laterly
lived, a grave yard near it above the Caves is a rapid
on both Sides one Canoe Struck a rock and in pass-
ing this rapid & Sunk.
    15th October 1805
South     4 ½ miles to the lower point of an Island Close under the
Stard Side    passed one on the Lard Side and one in
the middle of the river; four smal rapids, three of
them at the lower points of the Said 3 Islands.
S. 45° E     1 mile to the lower point of an Islannd    Close under
the Lard Bend opsd the upper point of an Island on
the Stard. Side at which place there is a Small rapid
S 35° W.     9 miles to a point of rocks on the lard. Side, passed a
place of Swift water at the lower point of the 1st Is-
land, a Small rapid a little below, a Lard point at 2
miles, a stard point at 4 miles, a Lard point at 5 miles,
a Stard point and 3 Small Islands opposit 〈near〉 the
Stard. Side and 2 Islands opds. on the lard Side at
6½ miles, a Small rapid below the Islands, Severals
Scaffolds of the parts of Houses on the Stard Side, at
8½ miles passed an Island and Swift water, opposit
on the Stard Side is the parts of a house raised on
forks.    a Small willow bottom on Lard. The Coun-
trey becoms low on each Side Say from 90' to 100
feet above the water
South     5 miles to an Island at the head of a rapid, passed for
3 miles thro' Still gentle water Confined between
purpendicular Clifts of rocks, & then widens into a
kind of basin.    come to and Encamped at an old
fishing place near a Saffle of the parts of a house.
    16th October
S. 12° E     3 miles to a Lard. Bend    passed a bad rapid in this
whole.    course, one Conoe Stuck & filed.
S. 60° W.     3 miles to a Stard Bend    passed an Island on which
the parts of a house was raised on forks &c. 2 Small
Isds. on the Lard. Side.
S. 10° W     3 miles to a point of rocks at a rapid opposit to the
upper point of a Small Island & on the lard. side,
passed a rapid at the lower point of 3 islands; and
one 1½ miles below them.
S. 60° W.     6     miles to a Lard. point opposit to a rapid at the upper
point of an Island, passed a rapid at 3 miles, passed a
(falls) or verry bad rapid at 5 miles at which place we
were obliged to unlode and make a portage of ¾ of a
mile.    an Isd. on Std Side in the rapid.
  148 ½  
S. 28° W.     6 ½ miles to the junction of the Ki moo-e nim with the Co-
lumbia River
, passed a rapid opposit to the upper
point of a Sandy Isld., passed a Small Island on the
Lard. Side, opposit, passed the lower point of the Is-
land on the Std. Side at 2 miles, a graveley bare in the
river at 3 miles.

Wednesday 16th Oct. 1805.    we Set out as usal and proceedd on over the rockey rapids    one of the canoes run fast on a rock in a bad rapid and Stayed untill we went with a canoe to their assistance.    got all Safe to land loaded and Set out again and proceeded on.    in the afternoon we Came to the last bad rapid as the Indians Sign to us.    we halted little above and carried Some of the baggage past by land abt. one mile then took the canoes Safe down and loaded them again and procd. on    passed over Several rapid places in the River.    towards evening we arived at the big forks. [12]    the large River which is wider than the Columbia River comes in from a northerly direction.    the Country around these forks is level Smooth plain.    no timber.    not a tree to be Seen as far as our Eyes could extend.    a fiew willows Scattering along the Shores.    about 200 Savages [13] are Camped on the point between the 2 rivers.    we Camped near them.    they Sold us eight fat dogs and Some fresh sammon.    in the evening the whole band came Singing in their way to our Camp around our fires and Smoaked with us, and appeared verry friendly.    they have pleanty of beeds Copper & brass trinkets, about them which they Sign to us that they got them from Some tradors on a River to the North of this place—


Wednesday 16th.    We had a fine morning and embarked early; proceeded on about 3 miles, when one of our canoes run upon some rocks in a rapid, but by unloading another canoe and sending it to her assistance, we got all safe to land, and then continued our voyage. About 1 o'clock we came to another rapid, where all hands carried a load of the baggage by land about a mile, and then took the canoes over the rapids, two at a time, and in that way we got them all down safe and proceeded on. Having gone 21 miles we arrived at the great Columbia river, which comes in from the northwest. [14] We found here a number of natives, of whose nations we have not yet found out the names. [15] We encamped [16] on the point between the two rivers. The country all round is level, rich and beautiful, but without timber.


Monday〉 Wednesday 16th Oct. 1805.    we Set out as usal and proceeded on over Several bad rapids which was full of rocks.    one of the canoes Struck a rock in a rapid and Swung on it    they Stayed their untill we unloaded and took a canoe    I was on board the canoe which Struck.    the Small canoes came to our assistance also.    we got the load and canoe Safe to Shore, loaded again and proceeded on over Several more rapids    then came to a verry bad rapid, the worst or had the highest waves of any we have yet passd.    we halted above the rapid and carried considerable of the baggage by land about a mile.    then took the canoes Safe over, and loaded up and proceeded on down Several more rapids    towards evening we arived at the forks of the river [17] which came from a northly direction and is larger than this Columa. R.    the country around these forks is level Smooth barron plains not even a tree to be Seen as far as our eyes could extend    a fiew willows along the Shores.    we found about 2 hundred or upwards Camped on the point between the two Rivers.    a verry pleasant place.    we Camped near them on the point.    the natives Sold us eight dogs and Some fresh Sammon.    the whole band came in a body Singing in their form to our fires and Smoaked with us and appeared friendly.    they have beeds and brass and coper in Small peaces hanging about them, which they Sign to us that they got them from white people on a River to the north, and Some down about the mouth of this River.    we went [blank] miles this day.    passed Several Islands &c.

Wednesday October 16th    A pleasant morning & we set out early; and proceeded on; we passed over several bad Rapids, which lay quite across the River, which were 〈was〉 full of rocks.    One of our Canoes struck on a rock, which was in a rapid, & swung round and remained fast, where she staid, till the Canoe that I was in came to their assistance & a small Canoe belonging to our party.    The Men from the two Canoes got the load out of the Canoe, & got her off the rock & to the shore.    We got the Canoes loaded again & continued on our Voyage.    we passed over several more bad Rapids; and came to a place in the River, where we found a very bad Rapid by far the worst that we had yet seen on this River; & we halted our Canoes above the Rapid.    We carried a considerable quantity of our baggage about a Mile by land below this rapid.—    We got all our canoes safe over this 〈rapid〉 difficult place & loaded them and proceeded on down the River; & passed several more Rapids.—    Towards evening we arrived at a large fork that came into this River from a Northerly direction & was much large than the fork which we descended which we supposed to be the Columbia River.—    The country round where the forks of these two Rivers lay 〈is〉 was level & 〈is〉 smooth barren plains, with not a Tree to be seen as far as our Eyes could extend.    Along the Shores 〈are〉 grew a few Willows.    We found upwards of 200 Indians, that were encamped on a point of land, that lay between these two Rivers, in a very pleasant situated place.    We Encamped near those Indians on the same point of land.    These natives came to our encampment & sold us 8 dogs & some fresh Salmon.    This whole Band of Indians came in a body, Singing in their manner to our fires, Smoaked with us, & appeared friendly.—    These Indians had beads, and small pieces of brass & Copper hanging about them, which they made signs to us, that they got them from White people, who live on a River; lying to the North of this place, & that they also got some of them at the Mouth of this River.    We passed several Islands this day & came 26 Miles, the Course with us is the same as Yesterday.—

1. Opposite this material is a column of figures:

The figures represent mileages for October 11–16, 1805, the first number apparently being an adjustment. (back)
2. Clark now has the days of the week correct in his codex journal; he did not get them right in the elkskin book until October 28. This may say something about the timing of his copying from one journal to the other. (back)
3. Identified by Coues (HLC), 2:634 as Five-mile Rapids. Atlas map 75 shows the portage, which may be in the area of present Strawberry Island. (back)
4. These may have been Palouse Indians. Trafzer & Scheuerman, 4. (back)
5. The junction of the Columbia and the Snake (Lewis's) rivers. (back)
6. The Horse Heaven Hills, or Mountains, in Yakima and Benton counties, Washington, running southwest toward the Cascade Range. Atlas map 75. (back)
7. The Snake (Lewis's) River. Atlas map 75 has the word "Kimooenim" crossed out and "Lewis's" substituted. (back)
8. They met Indians of two groups which the captains called Chimnapams and Sokulks, today known as the Yakimas and Wanapams respectively. The designations by Lewis and Clark are given in Shahaptian; the former is čamnápam, "the people of the Chamná," a village at the confluence of the Yakima River with the Columbia River; the term Sokulks may come from kwsis (or ku'sis), the name of a village mentioned below. The Yakimas lived in the vicinity of present Pasco, Franklin County, Washington, on both sides of the river and the Wanapams farther up the Columbia, on the west bank. They belonged to the same Shahaptian-language family as the Nez Perces, which is probably why the two Nez Perce chiefs were so useful in establishing friendly relations. A large permanent village named ku'sis, "two rivers meet," has been located approximately in the location of the village from which the chief and his men came. This village was occupied mainly by Yakima people, but many Walula and some Umatilla people lived there also. The site was an important trading center and a valuable fishing location. Trafzer & Scheuerman, 4, give Pasco as the location also of the Palouse village of Qosispah. Ray (NVCB), 144; Ronda (LCAI), 164–65. (back)
9. In the point between the Snake and the Columbia, in Franklin County, Washington, just southeast of present Pasco and at the site of the Sacajawea State Park. Atlas map 75. (back)
10. Cutssahnem, named below, October 18, 1805. Apparently all that is known of him is in the journals. (back)
11. Here Clark gives the courses and distances from the Clearwater-Snake confluence to the Snake-Columbia confluence. There are some slight differences with the Elkskin-bound Journal. See note at October 11, 1805. The word "Lewis's" appears to have been substituted for an erased word. (back)
12. The juncture of the Columbia and Snake rivers. Ordway continues to consider the river on which he has been traveling the Columbia; it is actually the Snake. The party camped this day and the next at the point where the rivers join, in Franklin County, Washington. (back)
13. They were Yakima and Wanapam Indians; the former lived in the immediate vicinity of the Snake-Columbia fork, with the latter nearby. Also nearby were the Walulas (Walla Wallas), Umatillas, and Palouses. All spoke languages of the Shahaptian family. (back)
14. McKeehan's note: "The size, course and appearance of this great river, seem to confirm beyond a doubt the opinion of Mr. McKenzie, who supposed that the large river, into which the branch he descended on the west side of the Rocky Mountains, having its source in these mountains near that of the Unjigah or Peace river, discharges its waters into the large river in latitude about 54° north, and longitude 122° west from London, or 47° west from Philadelphia, was the Columbia. The information he obtained from the Indians respecting this river before he left the Unjigah was, 'that it was a large river and ran towards the mid-day sun; but did not empty itself into the sea.' This opinion of these natives at a distance, with respect to its not emptying itself into the sea, must have arisen chiefly from what they had heard of its course, which is east of south and nearly parallel to the coast of the Pacific, and of the great distance it continued to run in that direction. The accounts he received after arriving at it, there called the Great river, or Tacoutche Tesse, also stated that it ran towards the mid-day sun; and that at its mouth, as the natives said they had been informed, white people were building houses. Mr. McKenzie having descended the river some distance, prevailed on a chief to delineate a sketch of the country on a large piece of bark; in which he described the river as running to the east of south, receiving many rivers, and every six or eight leagues, encumbered with falls and rapids, some of them very dangerous and six impracticable. He represented the carrying places as of great length, and passing over hills and mountains. He depicted the lands of three other tribes in succession who spoke different languages. Beyond them he knew nothing of the river or country, only that it was still a long way to the sea; and that, as he had heard, there was a lake before they reached the water, which the natives did not drink. 'The more I heard of the river,' says Mr. McKenzie, 'the more I was convinced it could not empty itself into the ocean to the north of what is called the river of the West, so that with its windings the distance must be very great.' It is not improbable that the distance by water, from the place Mr. McKenzie struck this river, to its mouth (supposing it to be the Columbia, Oregan or Great river of the West) is upwards of 1000 miles, and its whole course from its source 1500. By the lake mentioned by the Indian chief is no doubt meant the bay at the mouth of the Columbia, and wide part of the river where the tide water ascends and renders the whole unfit to drink."

The notion of a Great River of the West as a necessary part of a water route across the continent developed well before the actual discovery of the Columbia in 1792. Before Lewis and Clark only the stretch from the mouth to around Portland, Oregon, was known to Europeans. McKeehan is attempting to connect the information provided by Gass with Mackenzie's explorations in the Canadian Rockies. Within the next few years the explorations of David Thompson and Simon Fraser would greatly clarify the geography of the upper Columbia River.

15. They were Yakima and Wanapam Indians; see Gass's entry of October 18. (back)
16. They had arrived at the junction of the Snake and the Columbia rivers, and camped in the point, in Franklin County, Washington, just southeast of Pasco at the site of Sacajawea State Park. (back)
17. The junction of the Snake and Columbia rivers, in Franklin County, Washington. (back)