The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, February 6, 1806
Clark, February 6, 1806
Thursday February 6th 1806
Sent Serjt. Gass and party this morning with Ru Field to bring in the Elk which Field had killed. late in the evening Serjt. Pryor returned with the fish of about 2 Elk and four skins the Indians haveing taken the ballance of Seven Elk which Drewyer killed the other day. I find that those people will all Steal.
No. 3 a Species of fir, which one of my men inform me is presisely the Same with that called the balsam fir of Canada. it grows here to considerable Size, being from 21/2 to 4 feet in diameeter and rises to the hight of 100 or 120 feet. it's Stem is Simple branching assending and proliferous-. it's leaves are cessile, acerose, 1/8 of an inch in length and 1/16 of an inch in width, thickly scattered on all Sides of the twigs as far as the groth of four proceeding years, and respects the three undersides only, the upper Side being neglected and the under Side but thinly furnished; gibbous a little declineing, obtusely pointed, Soft flexable, 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 a considerable quantity of a fine Clear arromatic Balsom in appearance and taste like the Canadian balsom. Small pustuls filled with the balsom 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 Smothe and easily punctured. the bark of the tree is generally thin of a dark brown colour and reather Smooth tho not as much so as the white pine of the U. States the wood is white and Soft.
No. 4 a Species of fir which in point of Size is much that of No 2,-. the Stem Simple branching assending and proliferous; the bark of a redish dark brown and thicker than that of No. 3. it is devided with Small longitudinal interstices, but these are not So much ramefied as in the Specis No. 2. the leaves with respect to their possition in reguard to each other is the Same with the balsam fir, as is the leaf in every other respect than that, it is 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 glossy. 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 arives to the Size of No. 2, and No. 4. the Stem Simple branching, diffuse and proliferous. the bark thin dark brown, much divided with Small longitudinal interstices scaleing off in thin rolling flakes. it affords but little rosin and the wood is redish white 2/3ds of the diamieter in the Center the ballance white Somewhat porus and tough. the twigs are much longer and more slender than in either of the other speceies. the leaves are acerose 1/20 of an inch in width, and an inch in length, sessile, inserted on all Sides of the bough, Streight, their extremities pointing obliquely towards the extremities of the bough and more thickly placed than in either of the other Species; gibbous and flexable but more stiff 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 pail green. No. 6 the White pine; or what is usially So Called in Virginia. I see no difference between this and that of the mountains in Virginia; unless it be the uncommon length of the cone of this found here, which are Sometimes 16 or 18 inches in length and about 4 inches in Surcumfrance. I do not recollect those of Virginia, but it Strikes me that they are not So long. this Species is not common I have Seen it only in three instances since I have been in this neighbourhood, I saw a few on Haleys bay on the North Side of the Columbia River, a fiew scattering on the Sea coast to the North on one of which I engraved my name-and Some on the S S E Side of E co la Creek near the Kil a mox nation, at which place I Saw the white & red Cedar