The Journals of Lewis & Clark: December 31, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
December 30, 1805
January 1, 1806

December 31, 1805

December 31st Tuesday 1805

A Cloudy night & Some rain, this day proved Cloudy and Some Showers of rain to day all the Indians Continued at their Camp near us, 2 others Canoes Came one from the War-ci-a-cum Village, with three Indians, and the other from higher up the river of the Skil-lute nation with three men and a Squar; Those people brought with them Some Wapto roots, mats made of flags, & rushes, dried fish and Some fiew Shene-tock-we (or black) roots & Dressed Elk Skins, all of which they asked enormous prices for, particularly the Dressed Elk Skins; I purchased of those people Some Wapto roots, two mats and a Small pouch of Tobacco of their own manufactory- for which I gave large fish hooks, which they were verry fond, those Indians are much more reserved and better behaved to day than yesterday- the Sight of our Sentinal who walks on his post, has made this reform in those people who but yesterday was verry impertenant and disagreeable to all- This evening they all Cleared out before the time to Shut the gates, without being derected to doe So- I derected Sinks to be dug and a Sentinal Box which was accomplished one of those Indeans brought a Musquet to be repared, which only wanted a Screw flattened, for which he gave me a Peck of Wapto roots, I gave him a flint and a pice of Sheep Skin of which he was pleased

Tuesday 31st December 1805

last night was Cloudy and Some rain, this day prove Cloudy and Showerry all day, all the Indians Continue at their Camp near us, two other Canoes arrived, one from the War ci a cum Village with 3 indians and the other of 3 men & a Squar from higher up the river and are of the Skil-lute nation, those people brought with them Some Wappato roots, mats made of flags and rushes dried fish, and a fiew Shaw-na tah-que and Dressed Elk Skins, all of which they asked enormous prices for, perticularly the dressed Elk Skins, I purchased of those people Some Wap pa to two mats and about 3 pipes of their tobacco in a neet little bag made of rushes- This tobacco was much like what we had Seen before with the So So ne or Snake indians, for those articles I gave a large fishing hook and Several other Small articles, the fishinghooks they were verry fond of. Those Skit lutes are much better behaved than the War ci a cum indeed we found a great alteration in the Conduct of them all this morning, the Sight of our Sentinal on his post at the gate, together with our deturmined proseedure of putting all out at Sun Set has made this reform in those War ci a corns who is foward impertinant an thieveish.

The nativs all leave us the fort this evening before Sun Set without being told or desired to do So- we had Sinks dug & a Sentinal box made- a Skit lute brought a gun which he requested me to have repared, it only wanted a Screw flattened So as to Catch, I put a flint into his gun & he presented me in return a peck of Wappato for payment, I gave him piece of a Sheap Skin and a Small piece of blue Cloth to Cover his lock for which he was much pleased and gave me in return Some roots &c.

I Saw flies and different kinds of insects in motion to day- Snakes are yet to be Seen and Snales without Covers is Common and verry large water fowls of various kinds are in great numbers in the rivers and Creeks and the sides of Meriwethers Bay near us but excessively wild- the fore part of this night fair and Clear

With the party of Clat Sops who visited us last was a man of much lighter Coloured than the nativs are generaly, he was freckled with long duskey red hair, about 25 years of age, and must Certainly be half white at least, this man appeared to understand more of the English language than the others of his party, but did not Speak a word of English, he possessed all the habits of the indians