March 30, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

March 30, 1806


We got under way very early in the morning, and had not reached the head of the island before we were met by three men of the Clan-nah-min-na-mun nation one of whom we recognized being the same who had accompanied us yesterday, and who was very pressing in his entreaties that we should visit his nation on the inlet S. W. of Wappetoe island.    at the distance of about 2 M. or at the head of the quathlahpahtle island we met a party of the Claxtars and Cathlahcumups in two canoes; soon after we were met by several canoes of the different nations who reside on each side of the river near this place. Wappetoe Island is about 20 miles long and from 5 to 10 in width; the land is high and extreemly fertile and intersected in many parts with ponds which produce great quantities of the sagittaria Sagittifolia, [1] the bulb of which the natives call wappetoe.    there is a heavy growth of Cottonwood, ash, the large leafed ash and sweet willow on most parts of this island.    the black alder common on the coast has now disappeared.    we passed several fishing camps on wappetoe island and at the distance of 5 miles above quathlahpotle Island on the N. E. side we halted for breakfast near the place we had encamped on the evening of the 4th of November last; [2] here we were visited by several canoes which came off from two towns situated a little distance above us on wappetoe Island.    the 1st of these tribes about 2 miles above us call themselves Clan-nah-quah, the other about a mile above them call themselves Mult-no-mah. [3]    from these visiters we purchased a sturgeon and some wappetoe and pashequa, for which we gave some small fishinghooks.    these like the natives below are great higglers in dealing.    at 10 A. M. we set out and had not proceeded far before we came to a landing place of the natives where there were several large canoes drawn out on shore and several natives seting in a canoe apparently waiting our arrival; they joined the fleet and continued with us some miles.    we halted a few minutes at this landing and the Indians pointed to a village which was situated abut 2 miles from the river behid a pond lying parallel with it on the N. E. side nearly opposite to the Clan-nah-quah town.    here they informed us that the Sho-toes resided. [4]    here we were joined by several other canoes of natives from the Island.    most of these people accompanyed us untill 4 in the evening when they all returned; their principal object I beive was merely to indulge their curiossity in looking at us.    they appeared very friendly, tho' most had taken the precaution to bring with them their warlike implements.    we continued our rout along the N. E. shore of the river to the place we had halted to dine on the 4th of Novembr opposite to the center of Immage canoe island where the Indians stole Capt. Clarks tomahawk.    here we encamped a little before sunset in a beautifull prarie above a large pond [5] having traveled 23 M. I took a walk of a few miles through the prarie and an open grove of oak timber which borders the prarie on the back part. I saw 4 deer in the course of my walk and much appearance of both Elk and deer. Joseph feields who was also out a little above me saw several Elk and deer but killed none of them; they are very shye and the annual furn [6] which is now dry and abundant in the bottoms makes so much nois in passing through it that it is extreemly difficult to get within reach of the game. Feilds killed and brought with him a duck.    about 10 P. M. an indian alone in a small canoe arrived at our camp, he had some conversation with the centinel and soon departed. The natives who inhabit this valley are larger and reather better made than those of the coast. [7]    like those people they are fond of cold, hot, & vapor baths of which they make frequent uce both in sickness and in health and at all seasons of the year.    they have also a very singular custom among them of baithing themselves allover with urine every morning. The timber and apearance of the country is much as before discribed.    the up lands are covered almost entirely with a heavy growth of fir of several speceis like those discribed in the neighbourhood of Fort Clatsop; the white cedar is also found here of large size; [8] no white pine [9] nor pine of any other kind.    we had a view of mount St. helines and Mount Hood.    the 1st is the most noble looking object of it's kind in nature.    it's figure is a regular cone.    both these mountains are perfectly covered with snow; at least the parts of them which are visible.    the highlands in this valley are rolling tho' by no means too steep for cultivation    they are generally fertile of a dark rich loam and tolerably free of stones. [10]    this valley is terminated on its lower side by the mountanous country which borders the coast, and above by the rainge of mountains which pass the Columbia between the great falls and rapids of the Columbia river.    it is about 70 miles wide on a direct line and it's length I beleive to be very extensive tho' how far I cannot determine.    this valley would be copetent to the mantainance of 40 or 50 thousand souls if properly cultivated and is indeed the only desireable situation for a settlement which I have seen on the West side of the Rocky mountains. [11]


we got under way verry early and had not proceeded to the head of the island before we met with the three men of the Clan-nar-min-a-mon's who met us yesterday brackfast    at the upper point of the Island we met Several of the Clackstar and Cath-lah-cum-up in two canoes. Soon after we were overtaken by Several Canoes of different tribes who reside on each Side of the river    the three above Tribes and the Clâh-in-na-ta cathy-lah-nah-qui-up & Cath-lah-com-mah-tup reside on each Side of Wappato inlet and back of Wappato Island which Island is formed by a Small Chanel which passes from the Lower part of Image Canoe Island into an inlet which makes in from the S W. Side, and receves the water of a Creek [12] which heads with the Kil a mox River.    this wappato Island is about 18 or 20 Miles long and in places from 6 to 10 miles wide high & furtile with ponds on different parts of it in which the nativs geather Wappato. nearly opposit the upper point of the Isld. behing which we encamped last night, or on the Wappato Isld. is Several Camps of the nativs catching Sturgion.    about 5 miles Still higher up and on the N E. Side we halted for brackfast at the place which We had encamped the 4th of November last.    here we were visited by several canoes of Indians from two Towns a Short distance above on the Wappato Island.    the 1st of those Tribes Call themselves Clan-nah-quah and Situated about 2 miles above us, the other about a mile above Call themselves Mult-no-mah    we purchased of those visitors a Sturgion and Some Wappato & quarmarsh roots for which we gave Small fishing hooks.    at 10 a. m. we Set out and had not proceeded far before we came to a landing place where there was Several large canoes hauled up, and Sitting in a canoe, appearantly waiting our arival with a view to join the fleet indian who was then along Side of us.    this man informed he was a Shoto and that his nation resided a little distance from the river.    we landed and one of the indians pointed to the Shoto village which is Situated back of Pond which lies parrelal with the river on the N E. Side nearly opposit the Clan-nah quah village.    here we were also joined by Several Canoes loaded with the natives from the Island who Continued to accompany us untill about 4 oClock when they all returned and we proceeded on to the place the Indians Stole my Tomahawk 4th Novr. last and Encamped in a Small Prarie above a large Pond on N. E and opposit the Center of image Canoe Island.    capt Lewis walked out and Saw Several deer. Jo. Field Shot at Elk he killed and brought in a fine duck. Soon after I had got into bead an Indian came up along in a Small Canoe. Those tribes of Indians who inhabit this vally differ but little in either their dress, manners, habuts and language from the Clat Sops Chinnooks, and others on the Sea coast.    they differ in a fiew words and a little in the accent. The men are Stouter and much better formed than those of the Sea Coast.    more of their womin ware their hair braded in two tresses and hang over each ear.    in Stead of the tissue of bark worn by the women below, they ware a kind of leather breech clout as before described 〈of the〉 as worn by the Womin at the enterance of Lewis's river—the width of a Common pocket Handkerchief or Something Smaller and longer. [13]    the two Corners of this at one of the narrow ends are confined in front just above the hips; the other Side is then brought between their legs, Compressed into a narrow folding bundle is drawn tight, and the Corners a little Spred in front tucked at the ends over and around the part first confined about the Waiste.    a Small roab which does not reach the Waiste is their usial and only garment commonly worn besides this just mentioned.    when the weather is a little worm the roab is thrown aside, and the latter truss or breach clout constituted the whole of their apparreal.    this is a much more indesant article than the tissue of bark, and bearly covers the Mons venus, to which it is drawn So close that the whole Shape is plainly perseived. The Houses are Similar to those already descrbed.    they are fond of Sculpture. various figures are carved and painted on the pieces which Support the Center of the roof about their dores and beads. They are well Supplied with anchoves Sturgion and Wappato. The latter furnishes the principal article of traffic with those Tribes which they despose of to the nativs below in exchange for beeds, Cloath and Various articles.    the nativs of the Sea coast and lower part of this river will dispose of their most valueable articles to obtain this root. I saw in Several houses of the Cath lah poh tle Village large Symeters of Iron from 3 to 4 feet long which hangs by the heads of their beads; the blade of this weapon is thickest in the Center tho' thin even there, all it's edges are Sharp and its greatest width which is about 9 inches from the point, is about 4 inches.    the form is this [14]    this is a formable weapon.    they have heavy bludgeons of wood made in the Same form nearly which I prosume they use for the Same purpose before they obtained metal.    we made 22 Miles only to day the wind and a Strong current being against us all day, with rain.    discovered a high mountain S E. Covered with Snow which we call Mt. Jefferson. [15]

Iron Scimitar, March 29, 1806, Codex K, p. 14
Missouri Historical Society


Sunday 30th March 1806.    we Set out eairly and proceed on    the River Still riseing & is now So high that the tide has no effect to be perceived at this time    considerable of drift wood floating down the River. Saw 2 large villages on a large long Island which is named wa pa-toe Isld. [16] & is about 25 miles long, partly timbered & partly prarie & soil rich.    a number of the Savages followed us Some distance with their canoes    I must give these Savages as well as those on the coast the praise of makeing the neatest and handsomest lightest best formed canoes I ever Saw & are the best hands to work them. Saw mount rainey and Mount Hood which is verry white with Snow &C    about Sunset we Camped [17] at a handsom prarie & Groves of oak timber &C—    the country is lower & more Smooth than below.—


Sunday 30th.    The morning was fair with some dew. We set out early accompanied by several of the natives in canoes. The river is very high, overflowing all its banks. We passed some villages of the natives on Wapto island, which is about 20 miles long and one broad, but did not halt at any of them. The natives of this country ought to have the credit of making the finest canoes, perhaps in the world, both as to service and beauty; and are no less expert in working them when made. [18] We had a beautiful day throughout, and in the evening encamped on a handsome prairie in sight of a large pond on the north side of the river.


Sunday March 30th    We set out early this morning, & proceeded on.    The River still continuing rising, and is so high, that the tide has no Effect, as high up the River as where we now are.    A number of the Indians accompanied us in their small Canoes.    We saw a considerable quantity of drift wood floating down the River.    We passed two large Indian Villages which were on a large island.    This island was very long and is called Waptoe island, it is about 25 Miles long, & is partly Wood land & the remainder Priari land, & is very rich Soil.    A number of the Indians who resided on this Island, came out in their Canoes to see us.    We saw this day Mount Rainey [19] & Mount hood; they appeared white & was covered with Snow.—    At sunset we encamp'd at a handsome place on the North side of the River, where the land was Priaries & Groves of White Oak & cotton timber, & the Country laying much lower than the Country below

1. Sagittaria sagittifolia L., old-world arrowhead, is not the same species as North American arrowhead, more often called wapato. Bailey, 130. Biddle added the words "or Wappato" after "Sagittifolia" but then crossed them out. (back)
2. In Clark County, Washington (see November 4, 1805). Atlas map 80. "Quathlahpotle Island" is probably Bachelor Island ("green bryor Isd" on Atlas map 89). (back)
3. The Clan-nah-quahs and Mult-no-mahs were Upper Chinookan-language groups living on or about Sauvie Island. Hajda (SOLC), 106–7, 113–15. The latter tribe is noted on Atlas map 80, both are listed on Atlas map 88 and figs. 4, 6. The term Clan-nah-quah may be a shortened form of the group earlier called "Cath-lah-nah-qui-ah" (see March 29, 1806). Mult-no-mah is Chinookan mál\numa(x̣), "(those) at/toward the body of water." Silverstein, 545. See November 4, 1805. (back)
4. The settlements in this vicinity are referred to as the Shoto villages on Atlas map 88, as well as in the Estimate of Western Indians and on figs. 4, 6. On Atlas map 79 the people are called "Choteaus Tribe," a spelling influenced by the captains' acquaintances in St. Louis. They are another Upper Chinookan-language group. Hajda (SOLC), 115. The term is apparently based on a personal name from people later referred to as Kanasisi. Silverstein, 545. (back)
5. Image Canoe Island, evidently today's Hayden and Tomahawk islands (see November 4, 1805). The camp was in present Vancouver, Clark County. Atlas map 79. (back)
6. Lewis probably refers to the dead, herbaceous, above ground leaf stalks of the perennial western bracken fern, Pteridium aquilinum L. var. pubescens Underw. Hitchcock et al., 1:93. Lewis's detailed description is at January 22, 1806. (back)
7. An "x" crosses out a portion of this sentence. (back)
8. The dominant fir species found in this region include Douglas fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco, western hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg., and grand fir, Abies grandis (Dougl.) Lindl. The large white cedar is western redcedar, or arborvitae, Thuja plicata Donn. Franklin & Dyrness, 45, 70. (back)
9. Western white pine, Pinus monticola Dougl. Hitchcock et al., 1:129. (back)
10. The soils found at levels between the floodplain of the Columbia River and the mountains in this area are formed on terrace deposits of the Columbia River. The soils in this area belong principally to the Lauren and Hillsboro soil associations; they are dark brown in color, generally well drained and moderately coarse in texture. (back)
11. Lewis in describing the valley between the Coast and Cascade ranges in Oregon and Washington, now a major population center of those two states. (back)
12. Perhaps McCarthy Creek, again, mouthing behind Sauvie Island in Multnomah County, Oregon, nameless on Atlas map 80. (back)
13. Clark describes the dress of the Yakima women who lived in the area of the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers on October 17, 1805. This passage is copied from Lewis's entry of the previous day. (back)
14. A sketch of the sword in Clark's Voorhis No. 2 (fig. 2). (back)
15. Mt. Jefferson, in Linn County, Oregon, is the center of present Mount Jefferson Wilderness. See the map, fig. 6. (back)
16. A number of tribes lived on Sauvie Island, Multnomah County, Oregon. Various Upper Chinookan-language people lived on and around the island, including the Katlaminimin. See Lewis's entry of March 29. (back)
18. McKeehan's note: "I had imagined that the Canadians, who accompanied me were the most expert canoe-men in the world, but they were very inferior to these people [the natives near the coast] as they themselves acknowledged, in conducting those vessels." McKeehan again cites Mackenzie to corroborate Gass and he inserted the bracketed material in his edition. Lewis described the local canoes at length on February 1, 1806. (back)
19. As in Whitehouse's entry for November 4, 1805, this is probably not Mt. Rainier, but Mt. St. Helens, Skamania County, Washington. (back)