The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, January 10, 1806

Lewis, January 10, 1806

Saturday January 10th 1806. About 10 A.M. I was visited by Tia Shah-har-war-cap and eleven of his nation in one large canoe; these are the Cuth'-lah-mah nation who reside first above us on the South side of the Columbia river; this is the first time that I have seen the Chief, he was hunting when we past his vilage on our way to this place. I gave him a medal of the smallest size; he presented me with some indian tobacco and a basquit of wappetoe, in return for which I gave him some thread for making a skiming net and a small piece of tobacco. these people speak the same language with the Chinnooks and Catsops whom they also resemble in their dress customs manners &c. they brought some dryed salmon, wappetoe, dogs, and mats made of rushes and flags, to barter; their dogs and a part of their wappetoe they disposed off, an remained all night near the fort. This morning Drewyer and Collins returned having killed two Elk only, and one of those had died in their view over a small lake which they had not the means of passing it being late in the evening and has of course spoiled, as it laid with the entrals in it all night; as the tide was going out we could not send for the elk today, therefore ordered a party to go for it early in the morning and George and Collins to continue their hunt; meat has now become scarce with us.

Capt Clark returned at to P.M. this evening with the majority of the party who accompanyed him; having left some men to assist the saltmakers to bring in the meat of two Elk which they had killed, and sent 2 others through by land to hunt. Capt. Clark found the whale on the Coast about 45 Miles S. E. of Point Adams, and about 35 Miles from Fort Clatsop by the rout he took; The whale was already pillaged of every valuable part by the Killamucks, in the vicinity of one of whose villages it lay on the strand where the waves and tide had driven up and left it. this skelleton measured one hundred and five feet. Capt. C. found the natives busily engaged in boiling the blubber, which they performed in a large wooden trought by means of hot stones; the oil when extracted was secured in bladders and the guts of the whale; the blubber, from which the oil was only partially extracted by this process, was laid by in their lodges in large fliches for uce; this they usually expose to the fire on a wooden spit untill it is pretty well warmed through and then eat it either alone or with the roots of the rush, squawmash, fern wappetoe &c. The natives although they possessed large quantities of this blubber and oil were so penurious that they disposed of it with great reluctance and in small quantities only; insomuch that the utmost exertions of Capt. C. and the whole party aided by the little stock of merchandize he had taken with him and some small articles which the men had, were not able to procure more blubber than about 300 lb. and a few gallons of the oil; this they have brought with them, and small as the store is, we prize it highly, and thank providence for directing the whale to us, and think him much more kind to us than he was jonah, having sent this monster to be swallowed by us in stead of swallowing of us as jona's did. Capt. C. found the road along the coast extreemly difficult of axcess, lying over some high rough and stoney hills, one of which he discribes as being much higher than the others, having it's base washed by the Ocean over which it rares it's towering summit perpendicularly to the hight of 1500 feet; from this summit Capt. C. informed me that there was a delightfull and most extensive view of the Ocean, the coast and adjacent country; this Mout. I have taken the liberty of naming Clark's Mountain and point of view; it is situated about 30 M. S. E. of Point Adams and projects about 21/2 miles into the Ocean; Killamucks river falls in a little to the N. W. of this mountain; in the face of this tremendious precepice there is a stra of white earth (see specimen No. ____) which the neighbouring Indians use to paint themselves, and which appears to me to resemble the earth of which the French Porcelain is made; I am confident this earth contains Argill, but wether it also contains Silex or magnesia, or either of those earths in a proper proportion I am unable to determine.- Shannon and Gass were found with the Salt makers and ordered to return McNeal was near being assassinated by a Killamuck Indian, but fortunately escaped in consequence of a Chinnook woman giving information to Capt. C., the party and Indians with them before the villain had prepaired himself to execute his purposes. The party returned excessively fortiegued and tired of their jaunt. Killamucks river is 85 yards wide, rappid and 3 feet deep in the shallowest part. The Killamucks in their habits customs manners dress and language differ but little from the Clatsops & Chinnooks. they place their dead in canoes resting on the ground uncovered, having previously secured the dead bodies in an oblong box of plank.

The coast in the neighbourhood of Clarks Mountain is sliping off & falling into the Ocean in immence masses; fifty or a hundred Acres at a time give way and a great proportion in an instant precipitated into the Ocean. these hills and mountains are principally composed of a yellow clay; there sliping off or spliting assunder at this time is no doubt caused by the incessant rains which have fallen within the last two months. the country in general as about Fort Clatsop is covered with a very heavy growth of several species of pine & furr, also the arbor vita or white cedar and a small proportion of the black Alder which last sometimes grows to the hight of sixty or seventy feet, and from two to four feet in diameter. some species of the pine rise to the immence hight of 210 feet and are from 7 to 12 feet in diameter, and are perfectly sound and solid.