Lewis, February 22, 1806
Saturday February 22cd 1806. We were visited today by two Clatsop women and two boys who brought a parsel of excellent hats made of Cedar bark and ornamented with beargrass. two of these hats had been made by measures which Capt Clark and myself had given one of the women some time since with a request to make each of us a hat; they fit us very well, and are in the form we desired them. we purchased all their hats and distributed them among the party. the woodwork and sculpture of these people as well as these hats and their waterproof baskets evince an ingenuity by no means common among the Aborigenes of America. in the evening they returned to their village and Drewyer accompanied them in their canoe in order to get the dogs which the Clatsops have agreed to give us in payment for the Elk they stole from us some weeks since. these women informed us that the small fish began to run which we suppose to be herring from their discription. they also informed us that their Chief, Coma or Comowooll, had gone up the Columbia to the valley in order to purchase wappetoe, a part of which he in tended trading with us on his return. one of our canoes brake the cord by which it was attatched and was going off with the tide this evening; we sent Sergt. Pryor and a party after her who recovered and brought her back. our sick consisting of Gibson, Bratton, Sergt. Ordway, Willard and McNeal are all on the recovery. we have not had as may sick at any one time since we left Wood River. the general complaint seams to be bad colds and fevers, something I beleive of the influenza.
The Antelope is found in the great plains of Columbia and are the same of those on the Missouri found in every part of that untimbered country. they are by no means as plenty on this side of the Rocky Mountains as on the other. the natives here make robes of their skins dressed with the hair on them. when the salmon begin to decline in the latter end of the sunme and Autumn the natves leave the river, at least a majority and remove to the plains at some distance for the purpose of hunting the Antelope. they pursue them on horse back and shoot them with their arrows. The sheep is found in various parts of the Rocky mountains, but most commonly in those parts which are timbered and steep. they are also found in greater abundance on the Chain of mountains with form the commencement of the woody country on this coast and which pass the Columbia between the great falls and rapids we have never met with this anamal ourselves but have seen many of their skins in possession of the natives dressed with the wooll on them and aso seen the blankets which they manufacture of the wooll of this sheep. from the skin the animal appears to be about the size of the common sheep; of a white colour. the wooll is fine on most parts of the body but not so long as that of our domestic sheep. the wooll is also curled and thick. on the back and more particularly on the top of the neck the wooll is intermixed with a considerable proportion of long streight hairs. there is no wooll on a small part of the body behind the sholders on each side of the brisquit which is covered with a short fine hairs as in the domestic sheep. form the signs which the Indians make in discribing this animal they have herect pointed horns, tho one of our Engages La Page, assures us that he saw them in the black hills where the little Missouri passes them, and that they were in every rispect like the domestic sheep, and like them the males had lunated horns bent backwards and twisted. I should be much pleased at meeting with this animal, but have had too many proofs to admit a doubt of it's existing and in considerable numbers in the mountains near this coast. the Beaver and common Otter have before been mentioned in treating of the occupations of the natives in hunting fishing &c. these do not differ from those of other parts of the Continent.