The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, March 29, 1806

Lewis, March 29, 1806

Saturday March 29th 1806. We set out early this morning and proceeded along the side of Deer Island; halted at 10 A.M. near its upper point and breakfasted. here we were joined by three men of the Clan-nah-min-na-mun nation. the upper point of this Island may be esteemed the lower side or commencement of the Columbian valley. after breakfast we proceeded on and at the distance of 14 miles from our encampment of the last evening we passed a large inlet 300 yds in width. this inlet or arm of the river extends itself to the South 10 or 12 M. to the hills on that side of the river and receives the waters of a small creek which heads with killamucks river, and that of a bayau which passes out of the Columbia about 20 miles above, the large Island thus formed we call wappetoe island. on this inlet and Island the following nations reside, (viz) Clan-nah-min-namun, Clacks-star, Cath-lah-cum-up, Clah-in-na-ta, Cath-lah-nah-qui-ah, and Cath-lah-cam-mah-tup. the two first reside on the inlet and the others on the bayau and island.- observed a speceies of small wild onion growing among the moss on the rocks, they resemble the shives of our gardens and grow remarkably close together forming a perfect turf; they are quite as agreeably flavoured as the shives. on the North side of the columbia a little above the entrance of this inlet a considerable river discharges itself. this stream the natives call the Cah-wah-na-hi-ooks. it is 150 yards wide and at present discharges a large body of water, tho from the information of the same people it is not navigable but a short distance in consequence of falls and rappids a tribe called the Hul-lu-ettell reside on this river above it's entr.- at the distance of three miles above the entrance of the inlet on the N. side behind the lower point of an island we arrived at the village of the Cath-lah-poh-tle with consists of 14 large wooden houses. here we arrived at 3 P.M. the language of these people as well as those on the inlet and wappetoe Island differs in some measure from the nations on the lower part of the river. tho many of their words are the same, and a great many others with the difference only of accent. the form of their houses and dress of the men, manner of living habits customs &c as far as we could discover are the same. their women wear their ornaments robes and hair as those do below tho here their hair is more frequently braded in two tresses and hang over each ear in front of the body. in stead of the tissue of bark woarn by the women below, they wear a kind of leather breech clout about the width of a common pocket handkerchief and reather longer. the two corners of this at one of the narrow ends are confined in front just above the hips; the other end is then brought between the legs, compressed into a narrow foalding bundel is drawn tight and the corners a little spread in front and tucked at the groin over and arround the part first confind about the waist. the small robe which dose not reach the waist is their usual and only garment commonly woarn be side that just mentioned. when the weather is a litte warm this robe is thrown aside and the leather truss or breech-clout constitutes the whole of their apparel. this is a much more indecent article than the tissue of bark, and bearly covers the mons venes, to which it is drawn so close that the whole shape is plainly perceived. the floors of most of their houses are on a level with the surface of the earth tho some of them are sunk two or 3 feet beneath. the internal arrangement of their houses is the same with those of the nations below. they are also fond of sculpture. various figures are carved and painted on the peices which support the center of the roof, about their doors and beads. they had large quantities of dryed Anchovies strung on small sticks by the gills and others which had been first dryed in this manner, were now arranged in large sheets with strings of bark and hung suspended by poles in the roofs of their houses; they had also an abundance of sturgeon and wappetoe; the latter they take in great quantities from the neighbouring bonds, which are numerous and extensive in the river bottoms and islands. the wappetoe furnishes the principal article of traffic with these people which they dispose of to the nations below in exchange for beads cloth and various articles. the natives of the Sea coast and lower part of the river will dispose of their most valuable articles to obtain this root. they have a number of large symeters of Iron from 3 to 4 feet long which hang by the heads of their beads; the blade of this weapon is thickest in the center tho thin even there. all it's edges are sharp and it's greatest width which is about 9 inches from the point is about 4 inches. the form is thus. this is a formidable weapon. they have heavy bludgeons of wood made in the same form nearly which I presume they used for the same purpose before they obtained metal. we purchased a considerable quantity of wappetoe, 12 dogs, and 2 Sea otter skins of these people. they were very hospitable and gave us anchovies and wappetoe to eat. notwithstanding their hospitality if it deserves that appellation, they are great begers, for we had scarcely finished our repast on the wappetoe and Anchovies which they voluntarily set before us before they began to beg. we gave them some small articles as is our custom on those occasions with which they seemed perfectly satisfyed. we gave the 1st Cheif a small medal, which he soon transfered to his wife. after remaining at this place 2 hours we set out & continued our rout between this island, which we now call Cath-lah-poh-tle after the nation, and the Lard shore. at the distance of 2 miles we encamped in a small prarie on the main shore, having traveled 19 miles by estimate. the river rising fast. great numbers of both the large and small swans, gees and ducks seen today. the former are very abundant in the ponds where the wappetoe is found, they feed much on this bulb. the female of the duck which was described yesterday is of a uniform dark brown with some yellowish brown intermixed in small specks on the back neck and breast. the garter snakes are innumerable, & are seen entwined arround each other in large bundles of forty or fifty lying about in different directions through the praries. the frogs are croaking in the swams and marhes; their notes do not differ from those of the Atlantic States; they are not found in the salt marshes near the entrance of the river. heared a large hooting owl hollowing this evening. saw several of the crested fishers and some of the large and small black-birds.