April 5, 1806
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April 5, 1806


This morning was so cloudy that I could not obtain any lunar observations with α Aquila as I wished. Joseph Fields and Drewyer departed this morning agreeably to their orders of last evening.    at 9 A. M. we Sent Sergt. Ordway and a party to assist Sergt. Pryor in bringing in the meat of four Elk which he had dryed.    at 1 P. M the party returned with the meat.    it had been so illy dryed that we feared it would not keep.    we therefore directed it to be cut thinner and redryed over a fire this evening, as we purpose setting out early in the morning.    the deerskins which we have had cased for the purpose of containing our dryed meat are not themselves sufficiently dryed for that purpose, we directed them to be dryed by the fire also.    the weather has been so damp that there was no possibility of pounding the meat as I wished.—    we were visited today by several parties of the natives as usual; they behaved themselves in a very orderly manner. Observed Magnetic Azimuth and altitude of the ☉ with Circumferenter and Sextant.

Time By
      Altitude of
☉'s U L.
with Sextant
of ☉ by
h    m    s        
A.M.    6    58    3   51    33    30   S.    89°    E.
7    2    43   53      7     —   S.    88°    E.

immediately after this observation the sun was suddenly obscured by a cloud and prevented my taking Equal Alitudes. I therefore had recourse to two altitudes in the evening which I obtained as the sun happened to shine a few minutes together through the passing clouds.

  Altitude of ☉'s L. L.
with Sextant.—
  h    m      s    
P.M. 0    35    21   89    29    15
  3    13    24   43    43    30

Saw the Log cock, [1] the hummingbird, gees ducks &c today.    the tick [2] has made it's appearance    it is the same with those of the Atlantic States.    the Musquetoes have also appeared but are not yet troublesome.—    this morning at 10 OClock Sergt. Gass returned with Collins and Windsor    they had not succeeded in killing the female bear tho' they brought the three cubs with them.    the Indians who visited us today fancyed these petts and gave us wappetoe in exchange for them. Drewyer informed me that he never knew a female bear return to her young when they had been allarmed by a person and once compelled to leave them. The dogwood [3] grows abundantly on the uplands in this neighbourhood. it differs from that of the United States in the appearance of it's bark which is much smoother, it also arrives here to much greater size than I ever observed it elsewhere    sometimes the stem is nearly 2 feet in diameter.    we measured a fallen tree of fir No. 1 [4] which was 318 feet including the stump which was about 6 feet high.    this tree was only about 3 ½ feet in diameter.    we saw the martin, [5] small gees, the small speckled woodpecker with a white back, [6] the Blue crested Corvus, [7] ravens, [8] crows, [9] eagles Vultures and hawks.    the mellow bug [10] and long leged spider have appeared, as have also the butterfly blowing fly [11] and many other insects. I observe not any among them which appear to differ from those of our country or which deserve particular notice.—


This morning was So Cloudy that we could not obtain any lunar observations with α Aquila as we wished.

Joseph Field & Drewrey left us this morning agreeably to their orders of last evening.    at the Same time we Sent Sergt. Ordway and five men to assist Sergt. Pryor in bringing in the meat of four Elk which he had dried in the woods.    at 1 p. m. the party returned with the meat.    it was not Sufficiently dryed to keep.    we had it cut thiner and redryed over a fire this evening, as we purpose Setting out early in the morning.    the dear skins which we had cased for the purpose of holding our dried meat is not Sufficently dry for that purpose, we derected them to be dried by the fire also.    the weather being So damp that there was no possibullity of pounding the meat as I wished.—    We were visited by Several parties of the nativs to day; they behaved themselves in a very orderly manner. [12]

Saw the Log cock, the humming bird, Geese, Ducks &c. to day.    the tick has made it's appearance it is the Same with those of the Atlantic States.    the Musquetors have also appeared, but are not yet much troublesom.—    this morning at 10 A M Sergt. Gass returned with Collins and Windser    they had not Suceeded in killing the female bear, tho' they brought the three cub's with them.    the Indians who visited us to day fancied those Petts and gave us wappato in exchange for them. Fir and White Cedar is the common growth of the up lands, as is the Cotton wood, ash, large leafed Ash and Sweet Willow that of the bottom lands. The Huckleberry, shallon, and the Several evergreen Shrubs, of that Speces that bears berries have Seased to appear, except that Species which has the leaf with a prickley Margin.    among the plants of this prarie in which we are encamped I observe the pashequo, Shannetahque, and Compound firn, the root of which the nativs eate; also the water cress, Straw berry flowering pea not yet in blume, narrow dock, and rush which are luxuriant and abundent in the river bottoms.    the large leafed thorn has also disappeard. The red flowering Current is found here in considerable quantities on the upland, and the Common Dog wood is found on either Side of the river in this neighbourhood and above Multnomah river. The Country on either Side is fertile, the bottom on the South Side is wide and inter sperced with Small ponds in which the nativs gather their Wappato.    back of this bottom the Country rises to about 200 feet and the Soil is very rich as that also above q Sandy river quite to the Mountains.    the Country on the N. Side from a fiew Miles above this place as low down as the enterance of Cah-wah-na-ki-ooks River rises to the hight generally of 150 or 200 feet is tolerably leavel, thickly timbered with Fir and White Cedar.    the Soil of the richest quallity. [13] Some Small Praries on the bank of the river. That portion of Country below as low down as the enterance of Cah-wah na ki ooks [14] River is a broken rich Country.    the hills are high, the bottom lands as before mentioned and fertile &c.—The Country a fiew miles up the Multnomah River rises from the river bottoms to the hight of from 2 to 300 feet and is rich & fertile. Some Plains can be Seen to the N. E. of our Camp of 10 or 12 miles in Secumference The Hunters & Serjt Pryor informed us that they had Measured a tree on the upper Side of quick Sand River 312 feet long and about 3 feet through at the Stump.


Saturday 5th of April 1806. Sergt. Gass & 2 other of the hunters returnd. with 3 Small black cubs which was sold to the Savages    I and 5 more men went over to the S. Side and climbed a high River hill on which is excelent rich land.    went to the Camp of our hunters and brought in the jurked meat.    three more hunters Sent on a head with their Small canoe a hunting    great numbers of Savages visited the Camp continually Since we have lay [in?] at this Camp, who were passing down with their famillys from the country above into the vally of Columbia in Search of food.    they inform us that the natives above the great falls have no provisions and many are dieing with hunger.    this information has been so repeatedly given by different parties of Indians that it does not admit of any doubt and is the cause of our delay in this neighbourhood for the purpose of procureing as much dryed Elk meat as will last us through the Columbia plains in which we do not expect to find any thing to kill &C.    the River hills are high above Quick Sand River    Some of the clifts is 200 feet high.    on the tops of those hills the land is excessively rich and thickly timbred with different Species of Fir intermixed with white cedder. I Saw one of the Fir trees which is 100 and 4 feet in length. Some dog wood [15] and Small Shrubs, in the River bottoms of the fertile valley of Columbia which we are now leaveing, and which extends for about 70 miles on the River below, the growth is ash cottonwood, large leaffed ash & Sweet willow [16] principally with sundry other Shrubs and bushes many of which bear a fruit which the natives make use of for food.    those bottoms also produce various Species of plants.    the roots of many of which the natives make use of prepared in different ways for food. Such as the root of the anual rush pasnaque wa pa toe which is the common arrow head & a Species of Fern [17]    the wapatoes they geather in the ponds but all other grow spontaineously in every part of the Columbian valley—


Saturday 5th.    The weather was plesant. There is a beautiful prairie and a number of ponds below the mouth of Sandy river; and about two miles from the Columbia the soil is rich with white cedar timber, [18] which is very much stripped of its bark, the natives making use of it both for food and clothing. [19] A number of the Indians visit us daily; and the females in general have that leather covering round their loins, which is somewhat in the form of a truss.

1. The pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus [AOU, 405]; see March 4, 1806. (back)
2. Either Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, or Ixodes pacificus. (back)
3. Nuttall's dogwood, Cornus nuttallii Aud. ex T. & G., a new species. Hitchcock et al., 3:588; Cutright (LCPN), 288, 407. Lewis compares it to the flowering dogwood, Cornus florida L. Bailey, 757. A vertical line runs through this passage and nearly to the end of the entry, perhaps Biddle's work. (back)
4. Sitka spruce, Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.; see February 4, 1806. (back)
5. Perhaps the purple martin, Progne subis [AOU, 611]. Holmgren, 32. (back)
6. Either the hairy woodpecker, Picoides villosus [AOU, 393], or downy woodpecker, P. pubescens [AOU, 394]. Holmgren, 34; Burroughs, 240–41. (back)
7. Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri [AOU, 478]. See Lewis's description at an undated entry, December 18, 1805. (back)
8. Common raven, Corvus corax [AOU, 486]. (back)
9. Corvus brachyrhynchos [AOU, 488]. (back)
10. Lewis probably meant "melon bug," actually a beetle of the family Chrysomelidea. (back)
11. From the family Calliphoridae. (back)
12. Here follows Clark's copy of Lewis's astronomical observation. (back)
13. The soils that have developed on the terraces above the Columbia River here belong to the Multnomah-Latourell soil association. These soils are dominantly a dark brown loam or silt loam. (back)
14. Both this and the previous reference to the river appear to be additions to blank spaces. (back)
15. Nuttall's dogwood, Cornus nuttallii Aud. ex T. & G.; see Lewis's entry of this day. (back)
16. The ash is Oregon ash, Fraxinus latifolia Benth.; cottonwood is black cottonwood; large leafed ash is bigleaf maple, Acer macrophyllum Pursh; and sweet willow is probably the Pacific willow, Salix lasiandra Benth. See Lewis's entries of March 25 and 27. (back)
17. The rush is probably giant horsetail, Equisetum telmateia Ehrh.; "pasnaque" may be Ordway's rendering of the Shoshone term pasigoo, designating camas (see Clark's entry of September 20, 1805); arrowhead is another name for wapato; and the fern is western bracken fern, Pteridium aquilinium L. This material largely follows Clark's entry of this day. (back)
18. Gass here refers probably to western redcedar, which the captains' usually called white cedar, but McKeehan's note, next, relates perhaps to western hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg. (back)
19. McKeehan's note: "Mr. M'Kenzie also mentions that the western Indians make use of the inner tegument of the bark of trees for food; and that it is generally considered by the more interior Indians as a delicacy, rather than an article of common food: that on this and herbs they are used to sustain themselves on their journies. He likewise states that of the inner rind of the hemlock, taken off early in the spring they make a kind of cakes, which they eat with salmon oil, and of which they appear very fond." (back)