November 15, 1805
71.72% Complete
Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

November 15, 1805


Rained all the last night at intervales of Sometimes of 2 hours, This morning it became Calm & fair, I prepared to Set out at which time the wind sprung up from the S. E. and blew down the River & in a fiew minits raised Such Swells and waves brakeing on the Rocks at the point as to render it unsafe to proceed. I went to the point in an empty canoe and found it would be dangerous to proceed even in an empty Canoe    The Sun Shown untill 1 oClock p. m. which gave an oppertunity for us to dry Some of our bedding, & examine our baggage, the greater Part of which I found wet    Some of our Pounded fish Spoiled    I had all the arms put in order & amunition examined.

The rainey weather Continued without a longer intermition than 2 hours at a time from the 5th in the morng. untill the 16th is eleven days rain, and the most disagreeable time I have experienced    Confined on a tempiest Coast wet, where I can neither get out to hunt, return to a better Situation, or proceed on:    in this Situation have we been for Six days past.—    fortunately the wind lay about 3 oClock    we loaded I in great haste and Set out    passed the blustering Point [1] below which is a Sand beech, with a Small marshey bottom for 3 miles on the Stard. Side, on which is a large village of 36 houses deserted by the Inds. & in full possession of the flees, a Small Creek fall in at this village, which waters the Country for a few miles back; Shannon & 5 Indians met me here, Shannon informed me he met Capt. Lewis Some distance below & he took Willard with him & Sent him to meet me, the Inds with him wer rogues, they had the night before Stold both his and Willards guns from under their heads, Capt. Lewis & party arrived at the Camp of those Indians at So Timely a period that the Inds. were allarmed & delivered up the guns &c. The tide meeting of me and the emence Swells from the main Ocean (imedeately in front of us) raised to Such a hite that I conluded to form a Camp on the highest Spot I could find in the marshey bottom, [2] and proceed no further by water as the Coaste becomes verry [dangerous] for Crafts of the Size of our Canoes—and as the Ocian is imedeately in front and gives us an extensive view of it from Cape disapointment to Point addams, [3] 〈except 3 small Islands off the mouth and West of us.〉    my Situation is in the upper part of Haley Bay S. 86° W. [blank] miles Course five 〈from〉 to Cape Disapt. and S. 35° W. Course [blank] miles from point Addams

The River here at its mouth from Point addams to the enterance of Haley Bay above is [blank] Miles or thereabouts, a large Isd. the lower point of which is immediately in the mouth above [4]

4 Indians in a Canoe Came down with papto roots to Sell, for which they asked, blankets or robes, both of which we could not Spare I informed those Indians all of which understood Some English that if they Stole our guns &c the men would Certainly Shute them, I treated them with great distance, & the Sentinal which was over our Baggage allarmed them verry much, they all Promised not to take any thing, and if any thing was taken by the Squars & bad boys to return them &c.    the waves became very high Evening fare & pleasent, our men all Comfortable in the 〈Huts〉 Camps they have made of the boards they found at the Town above


Rained all the last night, this morning it became Calm and fair, I preposed Setting out, and ordered the Canoes Repared and loaded; before we could load our canoes the wind Sudenly Sprung up from the S. E and blew with Such violence, that we could not proceed in Safty with the loading. I proceeded to the point in an empty Canoe, and found that the waves dashed against the rocks with Such violence that I thought it unsave to Set out with the loaded Canoes—    The Sun Shown untill 1 oClock P M which afford us time to Dry our bedding and examine the baggage which I found nearly all wet, Some of our pounded fish Spoiled in the wet; I examined the amunition and Caused all the arms to be put in order.

About 3 oClock the wind luled, and the river became calm, 〈we〉 I had the canoes loaded in great haste and Set Out, from this dismal nitich where we have been confined for 6 days passed, without the possibility of proceeding on, returning to a better Situation, or get out to hunt, Scerce of Provisions, and torents of rain poreing on us all the time—    proceeded on passed the blustering point below which I found a butifull Sand beech thro which runs a Small [NB?: river from the hills]    below the mouth of this Stream is a village of 36 houses uninhabited by anything except flees, here I met G. Shannon and 5 Indians. Shannon informed me that he met Capn. Lewis at an Indian Hut about 10 miles below who had Sent him back to meet me, he also told me the Indians were thievish, as the night before they had Stolen both his and Willards rifles from under their heads, [NB: they threatened them with a large party from above which Cap. Lewis's arrival confirmed] that they Set out on their return and had not proceeded far up the beech before they met Capt Lewis, whose arival was at a timely moment and alarmed the Indians So that they instantly produced the Guns—    I told those Indians who accompanied Shannon that they Should not Come near us, and if any one of their nation Stold anything from us, I would have him Shot, which they understoot verry well.    as the tide was Comeing and the Seas became verry high imediately from the Ocian (imediately faceing us) I landed and formed a camp on the highest Spot I could find between the hight of the tides, and the Slashers in a Small bottom    this I could plainly See would be the extent of our journey by water, as the waves were too high at any Stage for our Canoes to proceed any further down.    in full view of the Ocian from Point Adams [NB: or Rond /see La Payrouse ] [5] to Cape Disapointment, I could not See any Island in the mouth of this river as laid down by Vancouver. [6] The Bay which he laies down in the mouth is imediately below me. This Bay we call Haleys bay from a favourate Trader with the Indians which they Say comes into this Bay and trades with them    Course to Point adams is S. 35° W. about 8 miles    To Cape Disapointment is S. 86° W. about 14 miles 4 Indians of the War-ki a cum nation Came down with 〈pap-pa-too〉 [NB: Wappatoo] to See &c. The Indians who accompanied Shannon from the village below Speake a Different language from those above, and reside to the north of this place The Call themselves Chin nooks, [7] I told those people that they had attempted to Steal 2 guns &c. that if any one of their nation stole any thing that the Sentinl. whome they Saw near our baggage with his gun would most certainly Shute them, they all promised not to tuch a thing, and if any of their womin or bad boys took any thing to return it imediately and Chastise them for it. I treated those people with great distance.    our men all Comfortable in their Camps which they have made of boards from the old Village above.    we made 3 miles to day.


Friday 15th Nov. 1805.    a wet morning.    about 10 oClock A. M cleared off    the after part of the day calm and pleasant    we loaded up the canoes and at low tide we Set out and went down about 5 miles    passed an old Indian village a little below the clifts    passd. Several Small creeks.    the country below the clifts is lower and covred with Small timber.    we Camped [8] in a verry large bay on a Sand beach on L. Side.    one of the men [9] who went down the River first joined us. Several Indians with him.    he informed us that the Savages at the village Stole two of their guns when they were asleep last night, but when Capt. Lewis went to the village they Scared them So that they gave them up again.    we took plank from the old village to make us Camps &C.


Friday 15th.    This morning the weather appeared to settle and clear off, but the river remained still rough. So we were obliged to continue here until about 1 o'clock, when the weather became more calm, and we loaded and set out from our disagreeable camp; went about 3 miles, when we came to the mouth of the river, where it empties into a handsome bay. [10] Here we halted on a sand beach, formed a comfortable camp, and remained in full view of the ocean, at this time more raging than pacific. One of the two men who first went out came to us here, [11] the other had joined Captain Lewis's party. Last night the Indians had stolen their arms and accoutrements, but restored them on the arrival of Captain Lewis and his men in the morning.


Friday Novemr 15th    We had a considerable quantity of rain during last night, & this morning we had wet rainey weather.    About 10 o'Clock A. M. the weather cleared off, & in the afternoon it became tolerable calm weather.    We loaded our Canoes and went with the ebb tide down the River about 4 Miles, and passed a large Indian Village, which was evacuated & some springs, or small Creeks, which lay below Clifts of rocks on both sides of the River.    The Country appeared to lay lower than it had been.    We encamped at a sand beach, at the head, or upper part of a large bay.    One of the Men that had went down the River in the Canoe, joined us here.    He informed us, that the Indians had stole several of their Guns last night; but they scared the Indians so much; that they gave them up to them this morning.    He mentioned that Captain Lewis had gone on, to another Bay.    We found plank to make up our Encampments with.—

1. Point Ellice, Pacific County, Washington. Atlas map 82. "Point Distress" on the map in Codex I, p. 152 (fig. 1 in volume 6). (back)
2. Southeast of Chinook Point, on the east side of Baker Bay (Lewis and Clark's "Haley's Bay"), in Pacific County, and west of present McGowan; the site is in a small state roadside park adjacent to Fort Columbia State Park. From here Clark and the main body of the party got their first actual sight of the Pacific. Appleman (LC), 357–59; Atlas maps 82, 89, 90, 91. (back)
3. The southern headland at the mouth of the Columbia retains the name give it by Robert Gray in 1792, in Clatsop County, Oregon. Atlas map 82. (back)
4. Present Sand Island, Pacific County, which does not appear on Atlas maps 82, 91, or fig. 1 in volume 6. Lines have been drawn vertically through this paragraph. (back)
5. Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de La Pérouse, a French naval officer, sailed from France in 1785 with two ships for the Pacific. He explored the west coast of North America from southern Alaska to Monterey, California, besides visiting the east coast of Asia and many Pacific islands. After his departure from Botany Bay, Australia, in March 1788, nothing more was heard from him; forty years later the wreckage of his ships was found in the Santa Cruz Islands. La Pérouse had sent home his expedition journal and maps by way of Siberia and these were published in 1797. Biddle's interlineation presumably refers to the 1798 English edition, The Voyage of La Perouse Round the World, for the names the Frenchman gave coastal features. Gassner; Coues (HLC), 2:713–14 nn. 32–33. It was apparently Biddle who underscored the phrase beginning "I could not" to "mouth of" in red ink. That and the next several lines have a vertical line through them, but not in red. (back)
6. Biddle provides additional comments on Vancouver, perhaps from Clark in their 1810 conversations. Biddle Notes [ca. April 1810], Jackson (LLC), 2:540–41. (back)
7. The Chinooks, or Chinooks proper, occupied the north bank of the Columbia River from Cape Disappointment at the mouth and upstream at least as far as Megler and probably as far upstream as the vicinity of Grays Bay in Pacific County. Their territory extended north along the Washington coast to Willapa (formerly Shoalwater) Bay. Curtis, 8:182; Hodge, 1:272–73; Spier, 31; Taylor (CkI); Hajda, 100–102. The Chinooks proper practiced a biseasonal settlement pattern, occupying villages along the Columbia River during the summer fishing season, moving to villages on Willapa Bay for the winter. This accounts for Lewis and Clark having seen very few Indians along the river in November. One of their principal settlements was the summer village of c̓inúk (a Salish Chehalis term) on Baker Bay, from which both the name of this group and the name of the linguistically related peoples upstream along the Columbia River was derived. Boas (Ch), 563. (back)
8. Southeast of Chinook Point, on the east side of Baker Bay, Pacific County, Washington, and west of McGowan. Here the main party remained until November 25, with perhaps a short move on November 16 (see Clark's entry, November 16, 1805). (back)
9. Shannon, according to Clark. (back)
10. They rounded Point Ellice and entered Baker Bay, Pacific County, Washington, which the captains called Haley's Bay, after a sea captain–trader who used the bay as an anchorage, and whom the Indians had described as their favorite trader. See Clark's entries for November 6, 1805, and January 1, 1806. (back)
11. Shannon, accompanied by five Indians; Willard had joined Lewis's party. (back)