The Journals of Lewis & Clark: October 31, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
October 30, 1805
November 1, 1805

October 31, 1805

October 31st Thursday 1805

a cloudey raney morning I proceed down the river to view it more at leasure, I took Jos. Fields & Peter Crusat and proceeded on down, Send Crusat back at 2 ms. to examine the rapid near the shore & I proceeded on down about 10 miles to a very high rock in a bottom on the Stard. opsd. 2 Islands covered with timber on which I saw Inds. at a distance; found the river rocky for 6 miles, after which the Current became uniform- at 1 mile I passed an old deserted village on a Pond on a high Situation of 8 Houses- at 31/2 miles one house the only remt. of an antient Village 1/2 a mile lower I saw 8 Vaults for the Dead which was nearly Square 8 feet Closely Covered with broad boads Curiously engraved, the bones in Some of those vaults wer 4 feet thick, in others the Dead was yet layed Side of each other nearly East & west, raped up & bound Securley in robes, great numbers of trinkets Brass Kittle, Sea Shells, Iron, Pan Hare &c. &c. was hung about the vaults and great many wooden gods, or Images of men Cut in wood, Set up round the vaults, Some of those So old and worn by time that they were nearly worn out of Shape, and Some of those vaults So old that they were roted entirely to the ground- notwithstanding they wood is of Pine & _____ or Seder as also the wooden gods

I can not learn certainly if those people worship those woden emiges, they have them in conspicuous parts of their houses at 5 miles I passed 4 large houses on the Stard Side a little above the last rapid and opposit a large Island which is Situated near the Lard. Side- The enhabitents of those houses had left them closely Shut up, they appeared to Contn. a great deel of property and Provisions Such as those people use, I did not disturb any thing about those houses, but proceed on down below the rapid which I found to be the last, a large village has at Some period been on the Stard. Side below this rapid The bottom is high Stoney and about 2 miles wide covered with grass, here C is the head of a large Island in high water, at this time no water passes on the Stard. Side I walked thro this Island which I found to be verry rich, open & covered with Strawberry vines, and has greatly the appearance of having at Some period been Cultivated, The natives has dug roots in Some parts of this Isld. which is about 3 miles long & 1 Wide, a Small Island covered with timber opposit the lower point no water runs on the Stard. Side. of it. below and in the middle of the river is a large Island Covered with tall trees opposit the Strawberry Island on its Stard. Side a creek falls in which has no running water at present, it has the appearanc of throwing out emense torents- I saw 5 Indians in a canoe below- Jo. killed a Sand hill Crane & we returned by the same rout to camp at the grand Shute where I found Several Indians, I Smoked. Two canoes loaded with fish for the Trade below Came down & unloaded the after noon fare

Those Indians Cut off the hands of those they kill & proserve the fingers.

October 31st Thursday 1805

A Cloudy rainey disagreeable morning I proceeded down the river to view with more attention we had to pass on the river below, the two men with me Jo. Fields & Peter Crusat proceeded down to examine the rapids the Great Shute which commenced at the Island on which we encamped Continud with great rapidity and force thro a narrow chanel much compressd. and interspersed with large rocks for 1/2 a mile, at a mile lower is a verry Considerable rapid at which place the waves are remarkably high, and proceeded on in a old Indian parth 21/2 miles by land thro a thick wood & hill Side, to the river where the Indians make a portage, from this place I dispatched Peter Crusat (our principal waterman) back to follow the river and examine the practibility of the Canoes passing, as the rapids appeared to continue down below as far as I could See, I with Jo. Fields proceeded on, at 1/2 a mile below the end of the portage passed a house where there had been an old town for ages past as this house was old Decayed and a plat of flees I did not enter it, about 1/2 a mile below this house in a verry thick part of the woods is 8 vaults which appeared Closely Covered and highly deckerated with orniments. Those vaults are all nearly the Same Sise and form 8 feet Square, 5 feet high, Sloped a little So as to convey off the rain made of Pine or Cedar boards Closely Connected & Scurely Covered with wide boards, with a Dore left in The East Side which is partially Stoped with wide boards curiously engraved. In Several of those vaults the dead bodies wre raped up verry Securely in Skins tied around with cords of grass & bark, laid on a mat, all east & west and Some of those vaults had as maney as 4 bodies laying on the Side of each other. the other Vaults Containing bones only, Some contained bones for the debth of 4 feet. on the tops and on poles attached to those vaults hung Brass kitties & frying pans pearced thro their bottoms, baskets, bowls of wood, Sea Shels, Skins, bits of Cloth, Hair, bags of Trinkets & Small peices of bone &c and independant of the curious ingraveing and Paintings on the boards which formed the vaults I observed Several wooden Images, cut in the figure of men and Set up on the Sides of the vaults all round. Some of those So old and worn by time, that they were nearly out of Shape, I also observed the remains of Vaults rotted entirely into the ground and covered with moss. This must bee the burrying place for maney ages for the inhabitants of those rapids, the vaults are of the most lasting timber Pine & Cedar- I cannot Say certainly that those nativs worship those wooden idols as I have every reason to believe they do not; as they are Set up in the most conspicious parts of their houses, and treated more like orniments than objects of aderation. at 2 miles lower & 5 below our Camp I passed a village of 4 large houses abandend by the nativs, with their Bores bared up, I looked into those houses and observed as much property as is usial in the houses of those people which induced me to conclude that they wre at no great distance, either hunting or Colecting roots, to add to their winter Subsistance. from a Short distance below the vaults the mountain which is but low on the Stard. Side leave the river, and a leavel Stoney open bottom Suckceeds on the Said Std. Side for a great Distance down, the mountains high and rugid on the Lard Side this open bottom is about 2 miles a Short distance below this village is a bad Stoney rapid and appears to be the last in view I observed at this lower rapid the remains of a large and antient Village which I could plainly trace by the Sinks in which they had formed their houses, as also those in which they had buried their fish- from this rapid to the lower end of the portage the river is Crouded with rocks of various Sizes between which the water passes with great velociety createing in maney places large Waves, an Island which is Situated near the Lard. Side occupies about half the distance the lower point of which is at this rapid. immediately below this rapid the high water passes through a narrow Chanel through the Stard. Bottom forming an Island of 3 miles Long & one wide, I walked through this Island which I found to be verry rich land, and had every appearance of haveing been at Some distant period Cultivated. at this time it is Covered with grass intersperced with Strawberry vines. I observed Several places on this Island where the nativs had dug for roots and from its lower point I observed 5 Indians in a Canoe below the upper point of an Island near the middle of the river Covered with tall timber, which indued me to believe that a village was at no great distanc below, I could not See any rapids below in the extent of my view which was for a long distance down the river, which from the last rapids widened and had everry appearance of being effected by the tide,- I deturmind to return to Camp 10 miles distant, a remarkable high detached rock Stands in a bottom on the Stard Side near the lower point of this Island on the Stard. Side about 800 feet high and 400 paces around, we call the Beaten rock. a Brook falls into the narrow Chanel which forms the Strawberry Island, which at this time has no running water, but has every appearance of dischargeing emence torrents &c. &c. Jo. Fields Shot a Sand hill Crane. I returned by the Same rout on an Indian parth passing up on the N W. Side of the river to our Camp at the Great Shute. found Several Indians from the village, I Smoked with them; Soon after my return two Canoes loaded with fish & Bear grass for the trade below, came down ,from the village at the mouth of the Catterack River, they unloaded and turned their Canoes up Side down on the beech, & camped under a Shelveing rock below our Camp

one of the men Shot a goose above this Great Shute, which was floating into the Shute when an Indian observed it, plunged into the water & Swam to the Goose and brought in on Shore, at the head of the Suck, as this Indian richly earned the goose I Suffered him to keep it which he about half picked and Spited it up with the guts in it to roste.

This Great Shute or falls is about 1/2 a mile with the water of this great river Compressed within the Space of 150 paces in which there is great numbers of both large and Small rocks, water passing with great velocity forming & boiling in a most horriable manner, with a fall of about 20 feet, below it widens to about 200 paces and current gentle for a Short distance. a Short distance above is three Small rockey Islands, and at the head of those falls, three Small rockey Islands are Situated Crosswise the river, Several rocks above in the river & 4 large rocks in the head of the Shute; those obstructions together with the high Stones which are continually brakeing loose from the mountain on the Stard Side and roleing down into the Shute aded to those which brake loose from those Islands above and lodge in the Shute, must be the Cause of the rivers darning up to Such a distance above, where it Shows Such evidant marks of the Common current of the river being much lower than at the present day