Winter 1805-1806
85.09% Complete
Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

Fort Clatsop Miscellany

Winter 1805-1806

Introduction

The following items represent another collection of miscellaneous documents comparable to the miscellany gathered at Fort Mandan (see Chapter 10). Here at Fort Clatsop, however, there was not the urgency to collect a mass of data to be shipped to Jefferson as an interim report of their work, as was the case from Fort Mandan. Instead, the captains themselves would be the messengers of these compiled documents, mainly tabular lists of geographic features and native peoples on their route from the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast. Since they would carry these lists back with them, it was not necessary to have an additional narrative of events such as was sent from Fort Mandan. The journals they brought back would serve that purpose. However, tables would be valuable as additional, brief copies and security against loss. They would also provide quick reference to distances, latitudes, names, and numbers. Finally, the captains probably realized that Fort Clatsop provided the last opportunity to assemble such lists as leisure before reaching St. Louis. Time for developing tables, lists, and compilations would be difficult to find after the return.