The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, February 6, 1806

Lewis, February 6, 1806

Thursday February 6th 1806. Sent Sergts. Gass and Ordway this morning with R. Fields and a party of men to bring in the Elk which Field had killed. Late in the evening Sergt. Pryor returned with the flesh of about 2 Elk and 4 skins the Indians having purloined the ballance of seven Elk which Drewyer killed the other day. I find that there are 2 vilages of Indians living on the N. side of the Columbia near the Marshy Islands who call themselves Wackki-a-cum. these I have hertofore Considered as Cath-lah-mahs. they speak the same language and are the same in every other rispect.

No. 3 A species of fir which one of my men informs me is precisely the same with that called the balsam fir of Canada. it grows here to considerable size, being from 21/2 to 4 feet in diameter and rises to the hight of eighty or an hundred feet. it's stem is simple branching, ascending and proliferous. it's leaves are sessile, acerose, one 1/8 of an inch in 1/16th of an inch in width, thickly scattered on all sides of the twigs as far as the growth of four preceeding years and rispect the three undersides only the uper side being neglected and the under side but thinly furnished; gibbous, a little declining, obtusely pointed, soft flexible, and the upper disk longitudinally marked with a slight channel; this disk is of a glossy deep green, the under one green tho paler and not glossy. this tree affords considerable quantities of a fine clear arromatic balsam in appearance and taste like the Canadian balsam. smal pustules filled with this balsam rise with a blister like appearance on the body of the tree and it's branches; the bark which covers these pustules is soft thin smoth and easily punctured. the bark of the tree generally is thin of a dark brown colour and reather smooth tho not as much so as the white pine of our county. the wood is white and soft.- (No. 4) is a species of fir which in point of size is much that of No. 2. the stem simple branching ascending and proliferous; the bark of a redish dark brown and thicker than that of No. 3. it is divided with small longitudinal interstices, but these are not so much ramifyed as in species No. 2. the leaves with rispect to their position in regard to each other is the same with the balsam fir, as is the leaf in every other rispect except that it not more than 2/3ds the width and little more than half the length of the other, nor is it's upper disk of so deep a green nor so glossey. it affords no balsam and but little rosin. the wood also white soft and reather porus tho tough.- No 5. is a species of fir which arrives to the size of Nos. 2 and 4, the stem simple branching, diffuse and proliferous. the bark thin, dark brown, much divided with small longitudinal interstices and sometimes scaleing off in thin rolling flakes. it affords but little rosin and the wood is redish white 2/3ds of the diameter in the center, the ballance white, somewhat porus and tough. the twigs are much longer and more slender than in either of the other species. the leaves are acerose, 1/20th of an inch in width, and an inch in length, sessile, inserted on all sides of the bough, streight, their extremities pointing obliquely toward the extremities of the bough and more thickly placed than in either of the other species; gibbous and flexeable but more stif than any except No. 1 and more blontly pointed than either of the other species; the upper disk has a small longitudinal channel and is of a deep green tho not so glossy as the balsam fir, the under disk is of a pale green.- No. 65 the white pine; or what is usually so called in Virginia. I see no difference between this and that of the mountains in Virginia; unless it be the uncommon length of cone of this found here, which are sometimes 16 or 18 inches in length and about 4 inches in circumpherence. I do not recollect those of virginia perfectly but it strikes me that they are not so long. this species is not common I have only seen it but in one instance since I have been in this neighbourhood which was on the border of Haley's bay on the N. side of the Columbia near the Ocean.