November 11, 1805
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November 11, 1805


a hard rain all the last night    we again get wet    the rain continue at intervals all day. Wind verry high from S W and blew a Storm all day Sent out Jo. Fields & Collins to hunt.    at 12 oClock at a time the wind was verry high and waves tremendeous five Indians Came down in a Canoe loaded with fish of Salmon Spes. Called Red Charr, [1] we purchased of those Indians 13 of these fish, for which we gave, fishing hooks & some trifling things, we had Seen those Indians at a village behind Some marshey Islands a few days ago.    they are on their way to trade those fish with white people which they make Signs live below round a point, those people are badly Clad, one is dressd. in an old Salors Jacket & Trouses, the others Elk Skin robes.    we are truly unfortunate to be Compelled to lie 4 days nearly in the Same place at a time that our day are precious to us, The Wind Shifted to [blank]    the Indians left us and Crossed the river which is about 5 miles wide through the highest Sees I ever Saw a Small vestle ride, their Canoe is Small, maney times they were out of Sight before the were 2 miles off    Certain it is they are the best canoe navigators I ever Saw [2]    The tide was 3 hours later to day than yesterday and rose much higher, the trees we camped on was all on flote for about 2 hours from 3 untill 5 oClock P M, the great quantities of rain which has fallen losenes the Stones on the Side of the hill & the Small ones fall on us, our Situation is truly a disagreeable one our Canoes in one place at the mercy of the waves our baggage in another and our Selves & party Scattered on drift trees of emense Sizes, & are on what dry land they can find in the Crevices of the rocks & hill Sides


A hard rain all the last night, dureing the last tide the logs on which we lay was all on float    Sent out Jo Fields to hunt, he Soon returned and informed us that the hills was So high & Steep, & thick with undergroth and fallen Timber that he could not get out any distance; about 12 oClock 5 Indians came down in a canoe, the wind verry high from the S. W. with most tremendious waves brakeing with great violence against the Shores, rain falling in torrents, we are all wet as usial and our Situation is truly a disagreeable one; the great quantites of rain which has loosened the Stones on the hill Sides, and the Small Stones fall down upon us, our canoes at one place at the mercy of the waves, our baggage in another and our Selves and party Scattered on floating logs and Such dry Spots as can be found on the hill Sides, and Crivices of the rocks.    we purchased of the Indians 13 red charr which we found to be an excellent fish    we have Seen those Indians above and are of a nation who reside above and on the opposit Side who call themselves 〈 Calt-har-ma 〉 [NB: Cath lah ma ] [3] they are badly clad & illy made, Small and Speak a language much resembling the last nation, one of those men had on a Salors Jacket and Pantiloons and made Signs that he got those Clothes from the white people who lived below the point &c.    those people left us and Crossed the river (which is about 5 miles wide at this place) through the highest waves I ever Saw a Small vestles ride. Those Indians are Certainly the best Canoe navigaters I ever Saw.    rained all day


Monday 11th Nov. 1805.    rained hard the greater part of last night.    a rainy wet morning.    our Robes all wet as we have no Shelter that will keep the rain from us.    the wind continued So high that we did not attempt to move this day    abt. 10 oClock four Indians came in a canoe to our Camp    we bought a number of Sammon Trout from them.    they tell us that they have Seen vessels in the mouth of this River and one man by the name of Mr. Haily [4] who tradeed among them, but they are all gone.    these Savages went in their canoe across the River in the high waves. Some of our party giged and Shot 16 Sammon Trout


Monday 11th.    The morning was wet and the wind still blowing, so that we could not proceed; we therefore built large fires and made our situation as comfortable as possible, but still bad enough, as we have no tents, or covering to defend us, except our blankets and some mats we got from the Indians, which we put on poles to keep off the rain. It continued raining and blowing all day; and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon the tide was so high that we had to leave our lodges, until it got lower in the evening. Some of the men went about 40 perches [5] up the river and caught 15 fine large fish.


Monday Novemr 11th    It rained hard the greater part of last night, which made it very disagreeable to us all.    The greater part of our Men had nothing to shelter them from the rain, & were obliged to lay down in it, & their Cloathes were wet through.    This morning continued wet & rainey, the wind was high, & the swell in the river ran very high, & We did not attempt to move from this place.—

About 4 o'Clock P. M. 4 Indians came down the river in a Canoe, & halted at where we were encamp'd.    They had a quantity of fresh Salmon trout, & some Roots &ca    We purchased from them some of the Salmon trout. They informed us by signs that they were going down to the Mouth of the River, to trade with white people; & mention'd in english the name of a particular white Man who they called Mr. Haley, & made signs to us that they traded with him.    These Indians staid but a short time with us, & then set out.    they crossed to the other side of the River with their Canoes, through high waves & breakers, which we all consider'd too dangerous to attempt. Some of our party Shot & gigged 16 Salmon trout in a Creek, a short distance above our Camp.—

1. The sockeye (or blue-backed) salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka, already known to science. See Lewis's description below, March 13, 1806. Burroughs, 262–63; Cutright (LCPN), 270. (back)
2. Biddle gathered additional information from Clark in 1810 about native seamanship. Biddle Notes [ca. April 1810], Jackson (LLC), 2:540. (back)
3. The Cathlamets, or Kathlamets, lived across the Columbia River from the Wahkiakums and both peoples spoke the Kathlamet language. The Cathlamets occupied settlements along the south shore of the Columbia River from the vicinity of Tongue Point upstream to the neighborhood of Puget Island in Clatsop County, Oregon. Hodge, 1:216; Berreman, 15; Hajda, 104–5. Some investigators extend Cathlamet territory farther upstream to Oak Point and beyond, but it is unclear if these writers are referring to the local group named the Cathlamets or to the distribution of the Kathlamet linguistic dialect. Boas (KT), 6; Curtis, 8:181–82; Ray (LCEN), 38. The village for which these people were named, galámat in the Upper Chinook language, was located on Aldrich Point (formerly called Cathlamet Head). About 1810 the Cathlamets moved across the Columbia and joined the Wahkiakums in a village at the present site of Cathlamet. Silverstein; Strong (CC), 60–66; Ray (LCEN), 39. See also November 26, 1805. Biddle's insertion is not in his usual red ink. (back)
4. Perhaps Samuel Hill of Boston, skipper of the brig Lydia, who traded with the Indians of the lower Columbia (see Clark's entry for November 6, 1805). (back)
5. A perch is a measure of land which varies locally but can be taken as 5½ yards. (back)