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

Clark, January 10, 1806

Friday the 10th of January 1806

I derected Serjt. Gass to Continue with the Salt makers untill Shannon return from hunting, and then himself and Shannon to return to the Fort, I Set out at Sunrise with the party waded the Clat Sop river which I found to be 85 Steps across and 3 feet deep, on the opposite Side a Kil a mox Indian Came to and offered to Sell Some roots of which I did not want, he had a robe made of 2 large Sea otter Skins which I offered to purchase, but he would not part with them, we returned by nearly the Same rout which I had Come out, at four miles, I met Gibson & Shannon each with a load of meat, they informed me that they had killed Elk about 2 miles off, I directed 3 men to go with the hunters and help them pack the meat to the place they were makeing Salt, and return to the fort with Serjt. Gass, the balance of the party took the load of the 3 men, after crossing the 2d Creek frasure informed me that he had lost his big knife, here we Dined, I put frasurs load on my guide who is yet with me, and Sent him back in Serch of his knife with directions to join the other men who were out packing meat & return to the fort all together. I arrived at the Canoes about Sunset, the tides was Comeing in I thought it a favourable time to go on to the fort at which place we arrived at 10 oClock P M, found Several inidians of the Cath'-lah-mah nation the great Chief Shahhar-wah cop who reside not far above us on the South Side of the Columbia River, this is the first time I have Seen the Chief, he was hunting when we passed his village on our way to this place, we gave him a medal of the Smallest Size, he presented me with a basquet of Wappato, in return for which I gave him a fish hook of a large Size and Some wire, those people Speak the Same language with the Chinnooks and Clatsops, whome they all resemble in Dress, Custom, manners &c. they brought Some Dried Salmon, Wappato, Dogs, and mats made of rushes & flags to barter; their Dogs and part of their wappato they disposed of, and remained in their Camp near the fort all night.

In my absence the hunters from the fort killed only two Elk which is yet out in the woods. Capt. Lewis examined our Small Stock of merchendize found Some of it wet and Dried it by the fire. Our merchindize is reduced to a mear handfull, and our Comfort, dureing our return next year, much depends on it, it is therefore almost unnecessary to add that it is much reduced The nativs in this neighbourhood are excessively fond of Smokeing tobacco. in the act of Smokeing they appear to Swallow it as they draw it from the pipe, and for maney draughts together you will not perceive the Smoke they take from the pipe, in the Same manner they inhale it in their longs untill they become Surcharged with the vapour when they puff it out to a great distance through their norstils and mouth; I have no doubt that tobacco Smoked in this manner becomes much more intoxicating, and that they do possess themselves of all its virtues to the fullest extent; they frequently give us Sounding proofs of its createing a dismorallity of order in the abdomen, nor are those light matters thought indelicate in either Sex, but all take the liberty of obeying the dicktates of nature without reserve. Those people do not appear to know the use of Speritious licquors, they never haveing once asked us for it; I prosume therefore that the traders who visit them have never indulged them with the use of it; of whatever Cause this may proceed, it is a verry fortunate occurrence, as well for the nativs themselves, as for the quiet and Safty of those whites who visit them. George Drewyer visited this traps in my absence and caught a Beaver & a otter; the beaver was large and fat, and Capt. L. has feested Sumptiously on it yesterday; this we Consider as a great prize, it being a full grown beaver was well Supplyed with the materials for makeing bate with which to Catch others. this bate when properly prepared will entice the beaver to visit it as far as he can Smell it, and this I think may be Safely Stated at 1/2 a mile, their Sence of Smelling being verry accute. To prepare beaver bate, the Caster or bark Stone is taken as the base, this is generally pressed out of the bladder like bag which Contains it, into a phiol of 4 ounces with a wide mouth; if you have them you will put from 4 to 6 Stone in a phial of that Capacity, to this you will add half a nutmeg, a Dozen or 15 grains of Cloves and 30 grains of Sinimon finely pulverised, Stur them well together, and then add as much ardent Sperits to the Composition as will reduce it to the Consistancey of mustard prepared for the table, when thus prepared it resembles mustard precisely to all appearance. When you cannot precure a phial a bottle made of horn or a light earthern vessel will answer, in all Cases it must be excluded from the air or it will Soon lose its Virtue; it is fit for use imediately it is prepared but becoms much Stronger and better in 4 or 5 days and will keep for months provided it be purfectly Secluded from the air. when Cloves are not to be had use double the quantity of allspice, and when no Spices can be obtained use the bark of the root of the Sausafras; when Sperits cannot be had use oil Stone of the beaver adding mearly a Sufficent quantity to moisten the other materials, or reduce it to a Stiff paste. it appears to me that the principal use of the Spices is only to give a variety to the Scent of the bark Stone and if So the mace vineller, and other Sweet Smelling Spices might be employd with equal advantage. The Male Beaver has Six stones, two which Contanes a Substance much like finely pulverised bark of a pale yellow Colour and not unlike tanner's ooz in Smell, these are Called the bark Stones or castors; two others, which like the bark stone resemble Small blatters, contain a pure oil of a Strong rank disagreable Smell, and not unlike train Oil, these are Called the Oil Stones, and two others of Generation. The bark stones are about 2 inches in length, the others Somewhat Smaller, all are of a long Oval form, and lye in a bunch together between the skin and the root of the tail beneath or behind the fundiment with which they are Closely Connected and Seam to Communicate, the pride of the female lye on the inner Side much like those of the hog they have no further parts of Generation that I can proceive, and therefore believe that like the birds they Coperate with the extremity of the gut. The female have from 2 to 4 young ones at a birth and bring forth once a year only which usially happins about the Latter end of May and beginning of June. at this Stage She is Said to drive the Mail from the lodge, who would otherwise distroy the young