The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, February 5, 1805

Lewis, February 5, 1805

5th February Tuesday 1805.

Pleasent morning wind from N. W. fair; visited by many of the natives who brought a considerable quanty of corn in payment for the work which the blacksmith had done for them- they are pecuarly attatched to a battle ax formed in a very inconvenient manner in my opinion. it is fabricated of iron only, the blade is extreemly thin, from 7 to nine inches in length and from 43/4, to 6 Inches on it's edge, from whence the sides proceed nearly in a straight line to the eye where it's width is generally not more than an inch. The eye is round & about one inch in diameter. the handle seldom more than fourteen inches in length, the whole weighing about one pound- the great length of the blade of this ax, added to the small size of the handle renders a stroke uncertain and easily avoided, while the shortness of the handel must render a blow much less forceable if even well directed, and still more inconvenient as they uniformly use this instrument in action on horseback. The oalder fassion is still more inconvenient, it is somewhat in the form of the blade of an Espantoon but is attatchd to a helve of the dementions before discribed the blade is sometimes by way of ornament purforated with two three or more small circular holes- the following is the general figure it is from 12 to 15 inces in length