The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, January 20, 1806

Lewis, January 20, 1806

Tuesday January 20th 1806. Visited this morning by three Clatsops who remained with us all day; the object of their visit is mearly to smoke the pipe. on the morning of the eighteenth we issued 6 lbs. of jirked Elk pr. man, this evening the Sergt. repoted that it was all exhausted; the six lbs. have therefore lasted two days and a half only. at this rate our seven Elk will last us only 3 days longer, yet no one seems much concerned about the state of the stores; so much for habit. we have latterly so frequently had our stock of provisions reduced to a minimum and sometimes taken a small touch of fasting that three days full allowance excites no concern. In those cases our skill as hunters afford us some consolation, for if there is any game of any discription in our neighbourhood we can track it up and kill it. most of the party have become very expert with the rifle. The Indians who visited us today understood us sufficiently to inform us that the whites did not barter for the pounded fish; that it was purchased and consumed by the Clatsops, Chinnooks, Cathlahmah's and Skillutes. The native roots which furnish a considerable proportion of the subsistence of the indians in our neighbourhood are those of a species of Thistle, fern and rush; the Liquorice, and a small celindric root the top of which I have not yet seen, this last resembles the sweet pittatoe very much in it's flavor and consistency.