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

Clark, March 18, 1806

Tuesday March 17th 1806

Drewyer was taken last night with a violent pain in his Side. I bled 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. Derected Sergt. Pryor to prepare the two Indian Canoes which we had purchased for his mess. they wanted Some knees to Strengthen them, and Several cracks corked and payed. he compleated them except paying. the frequent Showers of rain prevented the Canoes drying Sufficient to pay them even with the assistance of fire.

Commorwool and two Cathlahmahs visited us to day; 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. Those list's of our Names we have given to Several of the nativs, and also pasted 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 whoes names are hereunto annexed, and who were Sent out by the Government of the United 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 Ocian, where they arrived on the 14th of 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 lists we added a Sketch of the continent of the upper branches of the Missouri with those of the Columbia, particularly of its upper N. E. branch or Lewis's River, on which we also delienated the track we had Came and that we ment to pursue on our return, when the Same happened to vary. There Seemes So many chances against our governments ever obtaining a regular report, through the medium of the Savages, and the traders of this Coast that we decline makeing any. Our party are too small to think of leaveing any of them to return to the Unt. States by Sea, particularly as we Shall be necessarily devided into two or three parties on our return in order to accomplish the Object we have in View; and at any rate we Shall reach the U, States in all humain probabillity much earlier than a man Could who must in the event of his being left here depend for his passage to the U, State on the traders of the Coast, who may not return imediately to the U, States. or if they should, might probably Spend the next Summer in tradeing with the nativs before they would Set out on their return. This evening Drewyer went in quest of his traps, and took an otter. Joseph Field killd and Elk.- The Indians repeated to us Eighteen distinct Nations resideing on the S S. E Coast who Speak the Kil a mox language or understand it. and beyend those Six other Nations which Speak a different language which they did not comprehend.

The 2d Species of Seawreck which I saw on the coast to the S. S. E. near the Kil a mox nation. it resembles a large pumpkin, it is Solid and it's Specific Gravity reather greater than the water, tho it is Sometimes thrown out by the waves. it is of a pale yellowish brown colour. the rhind Smooth and consistency harder than that of the pumpkin, tho easily cut with a knife. there are Some fibers of a lighter colour and much harder than any other part which pass Longitudinally through the pulp or fleshey Substance which forms the interior of this marine production--