The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, March 18, 1806

Lewis, March 18, 1806

Tuesday March 18th 1806. Drewyer was taken last night with a violent pain in his side. Capt. Clark blead him. several of the men are complaining of being unwell. it is truly unfortunate that they should be sick at the moment of our departure. we directed Sergt. Pryor to prepare the two Canoes which Drewyer brought last evening for his mess. they wanted some knees to strengthen them and several cracks corked and payed. he completed them except the latter operation which the frequent showers in the course of the day prevented as the canoes could not be made sufficiently dry even with the assistance of fire. Comowooll and two Cathlahmahs visited us today; we suffered them to remain all night. this morning we gave Delashelwilt a certificate of his good deportment &c. and also a list of our names, after which we dispatched him to his village with his female band. These lists of our names we have given to several of the natives and also paisted up a copy in our room. the object of these lists we stated in the preamble of the same as follows (viz) "The object of this list is, that through the medium of some civilized person who may see the same, it may be made known to the informed world, that the party consisting of the persons whose names are hereunto annexed, and who were sent out by the government of the U States in May 1804 to explore the interior of the Continent of North America, did penetrate the same by way of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers, to the discharge of the latter into the Pacific Ocean, where they arrived on the 14th November 1805, and from whence they departed the ____ day of March 1806 on their return to the United States by the same rout they had come out."- on the back of some of these lists we added a sketch of the connection of the upper branches of the Missouri with those of the Columbia, particularly of it's main S. E. branch, on which we also delienated the track we had come and that we meant to pursue on our return where the same happened to vary. There seemed so many chances against our government ever obtaining a regular report, though the medium of the savages and the traders of this coast that we declined making any. our party are also too small to think of leaving any of them to return to the U States by sea, particularly as we shall be necessarily divided into three or four parties on our return in order to accomplish the objects we have in view; and at any rate we shall reach the United States in all human probability much earlier than a man could who must in the event of his being left here depend for his passage to the United States on the traders of the coast who may not return immediately to the U States or if they should, might probably spend the next summer in trading with the natives before they would set out on their return. this evening Drewyer went inquest of his traps, and took an Otter. Joseph Fields killed an Elk.- The Indians repeated to us the names of eighteen distinct tribes residing on the S. E. coast who spoke the Killamucks language, and beyound those six others who spoke a different language which they did not comprehend.