Lewis, March 27, 1806
Thursday March 27th 1806. We set out early this morning and were shortly after joined by some of the Skillutes who came along side in a small canoe for the purpose of trading roots and fish. at 10 A.M. we arrived at two houses of this nation on the Stard. side where we halted for breakfast. here we overtook our hunters, they had killed nothing. the natives appeared extreemly hospitable, gave us dryed Anchovies, Sturgeon, wappetoe, quamash, and a speceis of small white tuberous roots about 2 inches in length and as thick as a man's finger; these are eaten raw, are crisp, milkey, and agreeably flavored. most of the party were served by the natives with as much as they could eat; they insisted on our remaining all day with them and hunting the Elk and deer which they informed us were very abundant in their neighbourhood. but as the weather would not permit us to dry our canoes in order to pitch them we declined their friendly invitation, and resumed our voyage at 12 OCk. the principal village of these Skillutes reside on the lower side of the Cow-e-lis'-kee river a few miles from it's entrance into the columbia. these people are said to be numer-ous. in their dress, habits, manners and language they differ but little from the Clatsops Chinnooks &c. they have latterly been at war with Chinnooks but peace is said now to be restored between them, but their intercourse is not yet resumed. no Chinnooks come above the marshey islands nor do the Skillutes visit the mouth of the Columbia. the Clatsops, Cathlahmahs and Wackkiacums are the carriers between these nations being in alliance with both.- The Coweliskee is 150 yards wide, is deep and from indian Information navigable a very considerable distance for canoes. it discharges itself into the Columbia about three miles above a remarkable high rocky vole which is situated on the N. side of the river by which it is washed on the South side and is seperated from the Nothern hills of the river by a wide bottom of several miles to which it is united. I suspect that this river waters the country lying West of the range of mountains which pass the columbia between the great falls and rapids, and north of the same nearly to the low country which commences on the N. W. coast about Latitude ____ North. above the Skillutes on this river another nation by the name of the Hul-loo-et-tell reside, who are said also to be numerous. at the distance Of 2 m. above the village at which we breakfasted we passed the entrance of this river; we saw several fishing camps of the Skillutes on both sides of the Columbia, and were attended all the evening by parties of the natives in their canoes who visited us for the purpose of trading their fish and roots; we purchased as many as we wished on very moderate terms; they seemed perfectly satisfyed with the exchange and behaved themselves in a very orderly manner. late in the evening we passed our camp of the 5th of November and encamped about 41/2 above at the commencement of the bottom land on stard. below Deer Island. we had scarcely landed before we were visited by a large canoe with eight men; from them we obtained a dryed fruit which resembled the raspburry and which I beeive to be the fruit of the large leafed thorn frequently mentioned. it is reather ascid tho pleasently flavored. I preserved a specemine of this fruit I fear that it has been baked in the process of drying and if so the seed will not vegitate. saw the Cottonwood, sweet willow, oak, ash and the broad leafed ash, the growth which resembles the beach &c. these form the growth of the bottom lands while the hills are covered almost exclusively with the various speceis of fir heretofore discribed. the black Alder appears as well on some parts of the hills as the bottoms. before we set out from the Skillute village we sent on Gibson's canoe and Drewyers with orders to proceed as fast as they could to Deer island and there to hunt and wait our arrival. we wish to halt at that place to repair our canoes if possible. the indians who visited us this evening remained but a short time, they passed the river to the oposite side and encamped. the night as well as the day proved cold wet and excessively disagreeable. we came 20 miles today.