December 31, 1805
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December 31, 1805


〈a fair night〉 A Cloudy night & Some rain, this day proved Cloudy and Some Showers of rain to day    all the Indians Continued at their Camp near us, 2 others Canoes Came one from the War-ci-a-cum Village, with three Indians, and the other from higher up the river of the Skil-lute nation with three men and a Squar; Those people brought with them Some Wapto roots, mats made of flags, & rushes, dried fish and Some fiew She-ne-tock-we (or black) roots & dressed Elk Skins, all of which they asked enormous prices for, particularly the Dressed Elk Skins; I purchased of those people Some Wapto roots, two mats and a Small pouch of Tobacco of their own manufactory—    for which I gave large fish hooks, which they were verry fond, those Indians are much more reserved and better behaved to day than yesterday—    the Sight of our Sentinal who walks on his post, has made this reform in those people who but yesterday was verry impertenant and disagreeable to all—    This evening they all Cleared out before the time to Shut the gates, without being derected to doe So—    I derected Sinks to be dug and a Sentinal Box which was accomplished

one of those Indeans brought a Musquet to be repared, which only wanted a Screw flattened, for which he gave me a Peck of Wapto roots, I gave him a flint and a pice of Sheep Skin of which he was pleased—

January 1st Wednesday 1806 in another book


last night was Cloudy and Some rain, this day prove Cloudy and Showerry are day, all the Indians Continue at their Camp near us, two other Canoes arrived, one from the War ci â cum Village with 3 indians and the other of 3 men & a Squar from higher up the river and are of the Skil-lute nation, those people brought with them Some Wappato roots, mats made of flags and rushes dried fish, and a fiew Shaw-na tâh-que and Dressed Elk Skins, all of which they asked enormous prices for, perticularly the dressed Elk Skins, I purchased of those people Some Wap pa to two mats and about 3 pipes of their tobacco in a neet little bag made of rushes—    This tobacco was much like what we had Seen before with the So So ne or Snake indians, for those articles I gave a large fishing hook and Several other Small articles, the fishing hooks they were verry fond of. Those Skil lutes are much better behaved than the War ci a cum indeed we found a great alteration in the Conduct of them all this morning, the Sight of our Sentinal on his post at the gate, together with our deturmined proseedure of putting all out at Sun Set has made this reform in those War ci a coms who is foward impertinant an thieveish.

The nativs all leave us the fort this evening before Sun Set without being told or desired to do So—    we had Sinks dug & a Sentinal box made—    a Skil lute brought a gun which he requested me to have repared, it only wanted a Screw flattened So as to Catch, I put a flint into his gun & he presented me in return a peck of Wappato for payment, I gave him piece [NB: piece] of a Sheap Skin and a Small piece of blue Cloth to Cover his lock for which he was much pleased and gave me in return Some roots &c.

I Saw flies and different kinds of insects in motion to day—    Snakes are yet to be Seen and Snales without Covers is Common and verry large water    fowls of various kinds are in great numbers in the rivers and Creeks and the sides of Meriwethers Bay near us but excessively wild— [2] the fore part of this night fair and Clear

With the party of Clât Sops who visited us last was a man of much lighter Coloured than the nativs are generaly, [3] he was freckled with long duskey red hair, about 25 years of age, and must Certainly be half white at least, this man appeared to understand more of the English language than the others of his party, but did not Speak a word of English, he possessed all the habits of the indians [4]


Tuesday 31st Decr. 1805.    a cloudy morning    Several more of the natives [5] came to the fort with wa pa toe roots    we bought Several bags from them.    we built a box for the centinel to Stand in out of the rain    dug 2 Sinques [6] &C—


Tuesday 31st.    Another cloudy morning. Some more of the natives [7] came to trade with Wapto roots and salmon: the first party had gone off in the morning.—


Tuesday December 31st    A Cloudy morning.    Several more of the Natives [8] came in their Canoes to our Fort; they brought with them Wapeto Roots to trade with us.    We purchased several bags of these Roots from them.—    The party of Indians that came to our fort two days ago, left us.—    Our Men built 2 Centry Boxes & dug two Sinks [9] &ca.—

1. This is the last daily entry in the Elkskin-bound Journal. Other undated and miscellaneous material from the journal may be found elsewhere in this edition. Clark apparently decided to stop keeping this journal at the end of 1805, later binding the sheets in an elkskin cover. See the Introduction and Appendix C. Four pages follow this entry. The first is blank, the next has some writing in pencil, too faded to decipher but clearly postexpeditionary and in an unknown hand, another blank page, and then the following material in Clark's hand: "To-mar-lar—Grand Chief Wla lar war lar, Yel lep pet Chief made a Cheif an gave a Small medal by name of Ar-lo-quatof the Chopunnish Nation—." Yelleppit was chief of the Walulas (Walla Wallas); see above, October 19, 1805. The Nez Perce chief Ar-lo-quat's name is 'álik̓at, "male mountain goat." The following five words are superimposed over the material above: "Prostitution Carnally Sensuality Lustful Sensual." The exact purpose is unclear, but Clark was presumably thinking about the behavior of the Chinook and Clatsop women and the men of the party. Following that in blue ink is a note obviously added much later: "Presented to J. J. Audubon at St. Louis April 19th 1843—by D. D. Mitchell—Supt—Indian Affairs." See Appendix C. (back)
2. A red vertical line runs through this paragraph to about here, perhaps added by Biddle. (back)
3. Probably the man known to the Astorians as Jack Ramsay, because that name was tattooed on his left arm. His father had deserted or was shipwrecked from a British trading vessel—a very early one, judging from the man's apparent age. An Indian with red hair would have to have inherited genes for the trait from both parents. There are legends, apparently with some basis in fact, that a Spanish ship was shipwrecked in the area, perhaps in 1707, the survivors leaving both red-haired and black descendents, one of whom called himself Soto. Thus the redheaded man Lewis and Clark saw could have had European ancestry on both sides. Cox, 170–71; Franchère (AA), 51; Franchère (JV), 83; Coues (NLEH), 2:768 and n. 33; Ruby & Brown (CITC), 29; Cook, 31–40. (back)
4. About one-quarter of the remainder of the page is blank. (back)
5. They were Wahkiakums and Watlalas ("Skillutes"), reports Clark. (back)
6. Latrines. (back)
7. Clark identified them as Wahkiakums and Skillutes. The latter were probably Watlalas, an Upper Chinookan-language people living near the Cascades of the Columbia. (back)
8. Clark identified them as Wahkiakums and Skillutes. The latter were probably Watlalas, an Upper Chinookan–language people living near the Cascades of the Columbia. (back)
9. Latrines. (back)