November 24, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

November 24, 1805


a fare morning.    Sent out 6 hunters and Detained to make the following observations i, e,

Took time dis. & azomith of the Sun A M.

Time       Dists.       azmth.
h.   m.     s.        
8    33    20   22°   16'   30"   S 64° E.
8    37    48   23    19    45   S 63° E
8    41    35   24    13    0   S 62° E

Equal altitudes with Sextant

  H. m  s         h    m    s
A. M. 8 53   5.5   P. M  
  " 55 33     (lost)
  " 58   3      

Altitude produced [blank]

observed Time & Distance of Sun & Moons nearest Limbs Sun West    P M

Time       distance
h.    m.    S.    
2    42    11   40°   32'   45"
 "    43    38   40    33    15
 "    44    53    "      33    30
 "    46      9    "      34    15
 "    47    29    "      34    30 [1]
 "    48    53    "      34    45
 "    51    29    "      35    15
 "    52    50    "      35    30
 "    54    00    "      36    00
2    55    38   40    36    15

Several of the Chenn nook N. Came, one of them brought an Sea orter Skin [2] for which we gave Some blue Beeds—    This day proved to be fair and we dried our wet articles bedding &c. The hunters killed only 1 brant no Deer or any thing else

Observed time and Distance of Moons [blank] Limb an a' pegasi Star East    P. M.

Time       distance
 h    m      s    
 6    16    46   67°   56'   30"
 "     19    29    "      54    15
 "     25    39    "      50    45
 "     28    20    "      50    15
 "     31    53    "      48    30
〈"    37    51〉   〈blocked〉

The old chief of Chinn-nook nation and Several men & women Came to our camp this evening & Smoked the pipe

Sergt J. Ordway Cross & examine S [3]
Serjt. N. Pryor do    do S
Sgt. P. Gass do    do S
Jo. Shields proceed to Sandy R.  
Go. Shannon Examn. Cross falls
T. P. Howard do    do falls
P. Wiser do    do S. R
J. Collins do    do S. R
Jo Fields do    do up
Al. Willard do    do up
R Willard [4] do    do up
J. Potts do    do falls
R. Frasure do    do up
Wm. Bratten do    do up
R. Fields do    do falls
J: B: Thompson do    do up
J. Colter do    do up
H. Hall do    do S. R.
Labeech do    do S R
Peter Crusatte do    do S R
J. B. Depage do    do up
Shabono —    —
S. Guterich do    do falls
W. Werner do    do up
Go: Gibson do    do up
Jos. Whitehouse do    do up
Geo Drewyer Examn other side falls
McNeal do    do up
York "    " lookout
falls       Sandy River       lookout up
6   10   12

Janey [5]    in favour of a place where there is plenty of Potas.

Cp L [& F?] Proceed on to morrow & examine The other side if good hunting to winter there, as Salt is an objt.    if not to proceed on to Sandy it is probable that a vestle will come in this winter, [6] & that by proceeding on at any distance would not inhance our journey in passing the Rockey mountains, &c.

W C.    In favour of proceding on without delay to the opposit Shore & there examine, and find out both the disposition of the Indians, & probibilaty of precureing Subsistance, and also enquire if the Tradeing vestles will arrive before the time we Should depart in the Spring, and if the Traders, Comonly arive in a Seasonable time, and we Can Subsist without a depends. on our Stores of goods, to Continue as the Climent would be more favourable on the Sea Coast for our naked men than higher up the Countrey where the Climate must be more Severe—    The advantage of the arival of a vestle from whome we Can precure goods will be more than an over ballance, for the bad liveing we Shall have in liveing on Pore deer & Elk we may get in this neighbourhood. If we Cannot subsist on the above terms to proceed on, and make Station Camps, to neighbourhood of the Frendly village near the long narrows & delay untill we Can proceed up the river. Salt water I view as an evil in as much as it is not helthy—    I am also of opinion that one two or three weeks Exemination on the opposide if the propects are any wise favourable, would not be too long

Variation of the Compass is 16° East


A fair morning    Sent out 6 hunters, and we proceeded to make the following observations [7]    a Chief and Several men of the Chin nook nation Came to Smoke with us this evening    one of the men brought a Small Sea otter Skin for which we gave Some blue beads—    this day proved fair which gave us an oppertunity of drying our wet articles, bedding &c. &c.    nothing killed to day except one Brant.    the variation of the Compass is 16° East.

being now determined to go into Winter quarters as Soon as possible, as a convenient Situation to precure the Wild animals of the forest which must be our dependance for Subsisting this Winter, we have every reason to believe that the nativs have not provisions Suffient for our Consumption, and if they had, their price's are So high that it would take ten times as much to purchase their roots & Dried fish as we have in our possesion, encluding our Small remains of merchindz and Clothes &c. This Certinly enduces every individual of the party to make diligient enquiries of the naivs the part of the Countrey in which the wild Animals are most plenty. They generaly agree that the most Elk is on the opposit Shore, and that the greatest numbers of Deer is up the river at Some distance above—

The Elk being an animal much larger than Deer, easier to kiled better meat (in the winter when pore) and Skins better for the Clothes of our party: added to—, a convenient Situation to the Sea coast where we Could make Salt, and a probibility of vessels Comeing into the mouth of Columbia ("which the Indians inform us would return to trade with them in 3 months["]) from whome we might precure a fresh Supply of Indian trinkets to purchase provisions on our return home: together with the Solicitations of every individual, except one of our party induced us Conclude to Cross the river and examine the opposit Side, and if a Sufficent quantity of Elk could probebly be precured to fix on a Situation as convenient to the Elk & Sea Coast as we Could find—    added to the above advantagies in being near the Sea Coast one most Strikeing one ocurs to me i'e, the Climate which must be from every appearance 〈must be〉 much milder than that above the 1st range of Mountains, The Indians are Slighly Clothed and give an account of but little Snow, and the weather which we have experiened Since we arrived in the neighbourhood of the Sea Coast has been verry warm, and maney of the fiew days past disagreeably So.    if this Should be the Case it will most Certainly be the best Situation of our naked party dressed as they are altogether in leather.


Sunday 24th Nov. 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    a white frost    Several men went out a hunting    we put out our baggage to air. The Calumbian River at this place is three miles 660 yards wide. Some of two nations of Indians came to our Encampment the Clatsop and Chinuck nations [8]    they behave very well as yet.    our officers conclude with the oppinion of the party to cross the River and look out a place for winters quarter [9] Some where as near the ocean as possable on the account of makeing Salt.


Sunday 24th.    The morning was fine with some white frost. As this was a fine clear day, it was thought proper to remain here in order to make some observations, which the bad weather had before rendered impossible. The latitude of this bay was found to be 46° 19 11 7 north; [10] and at our camp at the head of the bay the river is 3 miles and 660 yards wide. The natives stayed with us all day. At night, the party were consulted by the Commanding Officers, as to the place most proper for winter quarters; and the most of them were of opinion, that it would be best, in the first place, to go over to the south side of the river, and ascertain whether good hunting ground could be found there. [11] Should that be the case, it would be a more eligible place than higher up the river, on account of getting salt, as that is a very scarce article with us.


Sunday Novemr 24th    A White frost this morning, & the weather clear & pleasant.    Several of our hunters went out a hunting, & we put out our baggage &ca. to dry—    The River Columbia at this place is 3 Miles from the Sea & 660 Yards wide.    Our Officers went out and took down Notes on several remarkable points &ca. which they could not before have done, on account of the badness of the weather.    We had during this day a number of the Indians that came across the river Yesterday, at our Camp.    These Indians were part of 2 Nations, who resided along the Sea Coast.    They are called the Clattsops & Chi-n-ups [12] Nations.—    These Natives were well made & handsome featured generally, & very light coloured.    They behaved themselves very well & friendly—    In the Evening our Officers had the whole party assembled in order to consult which place would be the best, for us to take up our Winter Quarters at. [13]    The greater part of our Men were of opinion; that it would be best, to cross the River, & if we should find game plenty, that it would be of an advantage to us, for to stay near the Sea shore, on account of 〈procuring〉 making Salt, which we are nearly out of at this time, & the want of it in preserving our Provisions for the Winter, would be an object well worth our attention.—

1. It is given as "3" in Codex I, p. 42. (back)
2. For the sea otter, Enhydra lutris, see Lewis's description below, February 23, 1806. (back)
3. Gass says that the captains consulted the men on where to spend the winter; this table evidently represents the vote taken. "Cross and examine S" could mean to cross the Columbia and explore the south side of the estuary for a campsite; however, "S" might stand for "Sandy River" (see below). "Falls" must stand for the Great Falls of the Columbia, at The Dalles, Wasco County, Oregon (Atlas maps 77, 78). "S. R." must stand for "Sandy River," the Quicksand River of Atlas map 79, present Sandy River in Multnomah County, Oregon. "Lookout" and "up" must mean exploring up the Columbia for a site. "Falls" adds up to 6. "S," "S. R." and "Sandy R" together make 9. "Lookout" and "up" make 14. It is worth noting that York and Sacagawea voted. (back)
4. A mistake for Richard Windsor. (back)
5. A nickname for Sacagawea. (back)
6. In his 1803 instructions to Lewis, Jefferson had suggested that the captains might wish to send some members of the party back with a copy of their journals, and that the whole party might return by sea if the route by land seemed too dangerous. At the time of leaving Fort Mandan Lewis wrote to the president that they would probably return by way of the Yellowstone. The possibility of sending duplicate journals by sea and obtaining supplies of food and trade goods would still have been attractive, but they met no trading vessels on the Pacific Coast. Although Jefferson informed various sea captains sailing for the Northwest of the possible presence of the Corps of Discovery in the region, there is no evidence that he ever planned to send a vessel for that purpose, or that he led Lewis and Clark to expect one. Possible diplomatic problems with Spain, the difficulty of obtaining money from Congress, and the inherent problem of a rendezvous with a group whose schedule was so uncertain, all stood in the way of such a project. Some writers have stated that Captain Samuel Hill's Lydia was present off the mouth of the Columbia in November and December 1805, and that the Indians failed to inform Lewis and Clark of the fact. It would appear, however, that Hill's visits to the Columbia occurred in April–May 1805 and in April or July 1806. Jefferson's Instructions to Lewis, June 20, 1803, Jackson (LLC), 1:61–66; Lewis to Jefferson, April 7, 1805, Jackson (LLC), 1:234; Chuinard (TJCD); Ruby & Brown (CITC), 88–90, 107n, 110; Large (EA); Lavender, 397–400. (back)
7. These observations are the same as those in the Elkskin-bound Journal, except as noted, and are not repeated here. (back)
8. The Clatsop Indians are discussed under Clark's entry of November 21, while the Chinook Indians are considered at November 15. (back)
9. See notes on the discussion and the record of the vote at Clark's entry of November 24. (back)
10. McKeehan's note: "Geographers have stated that the Columbia enters the ocean in latitude 46° 18' north. The difference is therefore only 1 minute 11 seconds and 7 tenths. The longitude by mistake they have made 236° 34 west; but which is the east longitude, leaving 123° 26 for the west longitude. Mr. M'Kenzie arrived at the ocean in latitude 52° 23 46 or 6° 4 34 north of the mouth of the Columbia; and in longitude 128° 2 or 4° 36 west of the mouth of the Columbia. This will show the general course of the western coast between those places, to which the river and great chain of the Rocky Mountains are nearly parallel." (back)
11. Clark gives each party member's opinion in this "consultation" in his entry for this day. (back)
12. Clatsop and Chinook Indians (see Clark's entries of November 15 and 21). (back)
13. See Clark's entry for this day for a record of the vote. (back)