March 24, 1806
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March 24, 1806


This morning we sent out a party of 15, at light, [1] for the meat, and concluded to take breakfast before we set out.    they soon returned.    we breakfasted and set out at ½ after 9 A. M. Saw a white woodpecker with a red head of the small kind common to the United States; [2] this bird has but lately returned.    they do not remain during the winter.    the country thick and heavily timbered.    we saw very few waterfowl today, not a single swan, white brant nor a small goose is to be seen.    a few Cormorant, duckinmallard, butterbox, and common large geese were only to be found. [3]    the tide being out this morning we found some difficulty in passing through the bay below the Cathlahmah village; [4] this side of the river is very shallow to the distance of 4 miles from the shore tho' there is a channel sufficient for canoes near S. side.    at 1 P. M. we arrived at the Cathlahmah village where we halted and purchased some wappetoe, [5] a dog for the sick, and a hat for one of the men.    on one of the seal Islands [6] opposite to the village of these people thy have scaffolded their dead in canoes elivating them above tidewater mark.    these people are very fond of sculpture in wood of which they exhibit a variety of specemines about their houses.    the broad peices supporting the center of the roof and those through which the doors are cut, seem to be the peices on which they most display their taist. I saw some of these which represented human figures setting and supporting the burthen on their sholders.    at half after 3 P. M. we set out and continued our rout among the seal Islands; not paying much attention we mistook our rout which an Indian perceiving pursued overtook us and put us in the wright channel.    this Cathlahmah claimed the small canoe which we had taken from the Clatsops.    however he consented very willingly to take an Elk's skin for it which I directed should be given him and he immediately returned.    we continued our rout along the South side of the river and encamped at an old village of 9 houses opposite to the lower Wackkiacum village. [7]    the night was cold tho' wood was abundant after dark two Chinnook men came to us in a small canoe.    they remained with us all night.    came 15 miles today.


Sent out 15 men verry early this morning for the flesh of the two Elk killed by Drewyer and Fields yesterday.    they returned at 8 oClock, after taking a Slight brackfast we Set out at half past 9 a. m. and proceeded to the Cath lah mah Village at 1 P. M. and remained untill ½ after 3 p. m.    at this village we purchased a fiew wappato and a Dog for our Sick men Willard and Bratten who are yet in a weak State.    at this Village I saw two very large elegant Canoes inlaid with Shills, those Shills I took to be teeth at first View, and the nativs informed Several of the men that they the teeth of their enemies which they had killed in War.    in examineing of them Closely haveing taken out Several pices, we found that were Sea Shells which yet contained a part of the iner [blank]    they also deckerate their Smaller wooden vessles with those Shells which have much the appearance of humane teeth, Capt Cook may have mistaken those Shills verry well for humane teeth without a Close examination. [8] The Village of these people is the dirtiest and Stinkingest place I ever Saw in any Shape whatever, and the inhabitants partake of the carrestick [characteristic] of the Village.    we proceeded on through Some difficult and narrow Channels between the Seal Islands, and the south side to an old village on the south side opposit to the lower War ki a com village, and Encamped.    to this old villg. a very considerable deposit of the dead at a Short distance below, in the usial and Customary way of the nativs of this Coast in Canoes raised from the ground as before described. Soon after we made our Camp 2 Indians visited us from the opposite Side, one of them Spoke Several words of English and repeeted the names of the traders, and many of the Salors.    made 16 Miles


Monday 24th March 1806. I and 14 men went out eairly this morning and brought in the flesh of the 2 Elk killed by the hunters yesterday. [9]    at half past 9 we Set out and proceed on to the Cath lah-mah village [10] at 12 m. and remained till ¼ after 3 p. m. at this village, this is the dirtiest & Stinkenest place I ever Saw.    we proceeded on thro Some narrow channels between the Seal Islands [11] and the South Shore to an old village on South Side opposite to the lower war kia come village and Encamped [12] to the old village    a verry considerable deposit of the dead at a Short distance below, in the usual customary way of the natives of this coast in canoes raised from the Ground. Soon after we landed and made fires 2 Indians came from the opposite Side which could Speak Some words of English and repeated the names of the tradors and a number of the Sailors &C.—


Monday 24th.    After a bad night's rest, on account of the rain 15 men [13] went out and brought the meat of the two elk to our camp. The morning was fair and after breakfast they all embarked, except the men belonging to my canoe which the tide had left aground. The hunters went on in the small canoe ahead, and I had to wait for the rising of the tide. In about two hours I was able to follow the other canoes, and proceeded on about 12 miles, to a village of the Cath-la-mas [14] where the rest of the party had halted. When I arrived we all proceeded on again, and in the evening encamped [15] at an old village, which had been vacated.


Monday March 24th    This morning early, Our officers sent 15 of our party out, in order to bring in the Meat of the 2 Elk, which our hunters had killed; that party returned & brought it in with them, about 8 O'Clock A. M.    At half past 9 o clock A. M. we embarked & proceeded on to an Indian Village of the Cath-le-mah Tribe, which lay on the South side of the River.    this village consisted of about 9 Lodges & about 100 Inhabitants.—    We delayed at this village about 2 Hours, and proceeded on, & passed through a number of Islands called the Seal Islands, [16] which lay on the So side of the River, and came to where stood an old Indian Village which is on the So. side of the River, opposite to the lower War-ki-a Cum Village.    We continued on about One Mile & encamped on the So. side of the River, Towards evening two of the Natives came to our Camp.    These natives could speak some words of english & mentioned the Names of some of the Traders, Sailors &ca. who had been trading among them.    We saw a large burying place of the Natives a short distance below where we were encamped.    The method that the Natives take to deposit their Dead is, by placing them in a Canoe.    The body of the deceased is rolled up in Skins of some kind of Animal.    The Canoe is raised on forks & poles some distance up from the ground, & all the property that the deceased died possessed of is put into the Canoe, with the body of the deceased Indian.

1. Ordway says he commanded this party. (back)
2. The red-breasted sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber [AOU, 403]; see March 4, 1806. Burroughs, 241. (back)
3. These birds may be identified as follows: swan, either trumpeter swan, Cygnus buccinator [AOU, 181], or tundra (whistling) swan, C. columbianus [AOU, 180]; white brant, snow goose, Chen caerulescens [AOU, 169]; small goose, perhaps the lesser Candad goose, Branta canadensis leucoparia [AOU, 172.1], see November 2, 1805, and March 8, 1806; double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus [AOU, 120]; mallard, Anas platyrhynchos [AOU, 132]; butterbox, bufflehead, Bucephala albeola [AOU, 153], see March 9, 1806; Canada goose, Branta canadensis [AOU, 172]. (back)
4. Cathlamet Bay, in the vicinity of present Knappa, Clatsop County, Oregon. Atlas maps 81, 82. The village is noted on November 26, 1805. (back)
5. Wapato, Sagittaria latifolia Willd. Lewis and Clark describe its importance and ethnobotanical use in entries for March 29, 1806. (back)
6. The "Seal Islands" include Karlson and Marsh islands. (back)
7. Northeast of Brownsmead, in Clatsop County, and on Aldrich Point, opposite the downstream end of Tenasillahe Island. The Wahkiakums are discussed under November 7, 1805. The village of "9 houses," gal/ámat, is discussed at November 11, 1805. Atlas map 81. (back)
8. Captain James Cook, the great British naval explorer; see April 7, 1805. Jefferson's library included Cook's journals of his last voyage and Lewis was undoubtedly familiar with at least the portions treating the Northwest Coast of North America. It is interesting that it is Clark rather than Lewis who makes reference to a minor point in Cook's journals, although it may have been Lewis who mentioned it to him. Cook does not, in fact, refer to human teeth as ornaments of canoes, but does note human skulls and hands being offered for trade by Indians at Nootka Sound, which may have given rise to Clark's impression. Jefferson was a friend of John Ledyard, a member of Cook's last voyage, and Ledyard could have been a source of information, correct or not, which did not find its way into the published accounts, but which Jefferson might have passed on to the captains. Jackson (TJ), 45–46, 55–56, 92; Beaglehole, 3:296–97; Thwaites (LC), 4:199 n. 2. (back)
9. From this point Ordway largely copies Clark's entry of this day. (back)
10. See Ordway's entry of November 26, 1805. (back)
11. Karlson and Marsh islands in the Columbia River. (back)
12. Northeast of Brownsmead, Clatsop County, Oregon. The village is discussed at Clark's entry of November 11, 1805. (back)
13. Led by Ordway, as he notes. (back)
14. On Cathlamet Bay, in the vicinity of Knappa, Clatsop County, Oregon; the people were Cathlamets. (back)
15. Northeast of Brownsmead, Clatsop County, on Aldrich Point opposite the downstream end of Tenasillahe Island. (back)
16. Karlson and Marsh islands in the Columbia River. (back)