The Journals of Lewis & Clark: January 7, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
January 6, 1806
January 8, 1806

January 7, 1806

Monday January 7th 1806. Last evening Drewyer visited his traps and caught a beaver and an otter; the beaver was large and fat we have therefore fared sumptuously today; this we consider a great prize for another reason, it being a full grown beaver was well supplyed with the materials for making bate with which to catch others. this bate when properly prepared will intice the beaver to visit it as far as he can smell it, and this I think may be safely stated at a mile, their sense of smelling being very accute. To prepare beaver bate, the castor or bark stone is taken as the base, this is gently pressed out of the bladderlike bag which contains it, into a phiol of 4 ounces with a wide mouth; if you have them you will put from four to six stone in a phiol of that capacity, to this you will add half a nutmeg, a douzen or 15 grains of cloves and thirty grains of cinimon finely pulverized, stir them well together and then add as much ardent sperits to the composition as will reduce it the consistency mustard prepared for the table; when thus prepared it resembles mustard precisely to all appearance. when you cannot procure a phiol a bottle made of horn or a tight earthen vessel will answer, in all cases it must be excluded from the air or it will soon loose it's virtue; it is fit for uce immediately it is prepared but becomes much stronger and better in about four or five days and will keep for months provided it be perfectly secluded from the air. when cloves are not to be had use double the quantity of Allspice, and when no spice can be obtained use the bark of the root of sausafras; when sperits cannot be had use oil stone of the beaver adding mearly a sufficient quantity to moisten the other materials, or reduce it to a stif past. it appears to me that the principal uce of the spices is only to give a variety to the scent of the bark stone and if so the mace vineller and other sweetsmelling spices might be employed with equal advantage. The male beaver has six stones, two which contain a substance much like finely pulvarized bark of a pale yellow colour and not unlike tanner's ooz in smell, these are called the bark stones or castors; two others, which like the bark stone resemble small bladders, contain a pure oil of a strong rank disagreeable smell, and not unlike train oil, these are called the oil stones; and 2 others of generation. the Barkstones are about two inches in length, the others somewhat smaller all are of a long oval form; and lye in a bunch together between the skin and the root of the tail, beneath or behind the fundament with which they are closely connected and seem to communicate. the pride of the female lyes on the inner side much like those of the hog. they have no further parts of generation that I can perceive and therefore beleive that like the birds they copulate with the extremity of the gut. The female have from two to four young ones at a birth and bring fourth once a year only, which usually happens about the latter end of may and begining of June. at this stage she is said to drive the male from the lodge, who would otherwise destroy the young.- dryed our lodge and had it put away under shelter; this is the first day during which we have had no rain since we arrived at this place. nothing extraordinary happened today.

Jany 7th Tuesday 1806

Set out at Day light, porceded up the Creek about 2 mile and crossed on a tree trunk the Salt makers have fallen across, then proceeded on to the Ocean 3/4 mile & proceded up 3 miles to the mouth of Colimex River about 80 or 100 yds wide verry rapid & Cuts its banks, here we found an old Village of 3 houses, one only inhabited by one familey, I gave the man a fish hook to put the party across, on the bank found a Skeet fish which had been lef by the tide proceded on 2 miles on the bank opposit a kind of bay the river Cross to the Sea Cost to 2 Inds Indians Lodges at which place I found our Salt makers near the foot of a mountain which form the Shore. Brackfast and hirired an Indian to pilot me to the Ca le mix nation where the whale is for which I gave a file, we proceded on the Stone under a high hill on our right bluff. Soft Stone Sees verry high, Several parts of this hill recently Sliped in, about 3/4 of a mile abov the Houses Saw a Canoe in which the Dead was buried at 21/2 miles assended a Steep mountain, as Steep at it is possible places for 1500 feet we hauled our Selves up by the assistence of the bushes if one had Given way we must have fallen a great distant the Steepest worst & highest mountain I ever assended I think it at least 1500 feet highr than the Sea imidiately under on the riht. we met 14 Indians loaded with blubber proceded on thro an unusual bad way falling timber bendig under logs &c. and encamped on a Creek which runs to my left find Day and night, the timber Spruc White Cedar & &.

Tuesday 7th of January 1806

Some frost this morning. It may appear Somewhat incrediable, but So it is that the Elk which was killed last evening was eaten except about 8 pounds, which I directed to be taken along with the Skin, I proceded up the South fork of the Creek about 2 miles and crossed on a pine tree which had been fallen by the Saltmakers on their first going out, on this tree we crossed the deepest of the water and waded on the opposit Side for 30 yards, from thence to the ocian 3/4 of a mile through a Continuation of open ridgey Prarie, here the Coast is Sandy, we proceeded on the Sandy beech nearly South for 3 miles to the mouth of butifull river with bold and rapid Current of 85 yards wide and 3 feet deep in the Shallowest place, a Short distance up this river on the N E Side is the remains of an old village of Clatsops. I entered a house where I found a Man 2 Womn & 3 Children, they appeared retchedly pore & dirty, I hired the man to Set us across the River which I call after the Nation Clat Sop river for which I gave 2 fishing hooks- at this place the Creek over which I crossed on a tree passes within 100 yards of the Clat Sop river over which the nativs have a portage which affords them an easy Communication with the villages near point adams, and at the mouth of the Creek, on which we lay last night. in walking on the Sand after crossing the river I Saw a Singular Species of fish which I had never before Seen one of the men Call this fish a Skaite, it is properly a Thornback. I proceeded on about 2 miles to near the base of high Mountain where I found our Salt makers, and with them Sergt. Gass, Geo. Shannon was out in the woods assisting Jo Field and gibson to kill Some meat, the Salt makers had made a neet Close Camp, Convenient to wood Salt water and the fresh water of the Clat Sop river which at this place was within 100 paces of the Ocian they wer also Situated near 4 houses of Clatsops & Killamox, who they informed me had been verry kind and attentive to them. I hired a young Indian to pilot me to the whale for which Service I gave him a file in hand and promised Several other Small articles on my return, left Sergt. Gass and one man of my party Werner to make Salt & permited Bratten to accompany me, we proceeded on the round Slipery Stones under a high hill which projected into the ocian about 4 miles further than the direction of the Coast. after walking for 21/2 miles on the Stones my guide made a Sudin halt, pointed to the top of the mountain and uttered the word Pe Shack which means bad, and made Signs that we could not proceed any further on the rocks, but must pass over that mountain, I hesitated a moment & view this emence mountain the top of which was obscured in the clouds, and the assent appeard. to be almost perpindecular; as the Small Indian parth allong which they had brought emence loads but a fiew hours before, led up this mountain and appeared to assend in a Sideling direction, I thought more than probable that the assent might be torerably easy and therefore proceeded on, I soon found that the ____ become much worst as I assended, and at one place we were obliged to Support and draw our Selves up by the bushes & roots for near 100 feet, and after about 2 hours labour and fatigue we reached the top of this high mountain, from the top of which I looked down with estonishment to behold the hight which we had assended, which appeared to be 10 or 12 hundred feet up a mountain which appeared to be almost perpindicular, here we met 14 Indians men and women loaded with the oil & Blubber of the whale. In the face of this tremendeous precipic imediately below us, there is a Strater of white earth (which my guide informed me) the neighbouring indians use to paint themselves, and which appears to me to resemble the earth of which the French Porcelain is made; I am confident that this earth Contains argill, but whether it also Contains Silex or magnesia, or either of those earths in a proper perpotion I am unable to deturmine. we left the top of the precipice and proceeded on a bad road and encamped on a Small run passin g to the left. all much fatiagued