The Journals of Lewis & Clark: March 24, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
March 23, 1806
March 25, 1806

March 24, 1806

Monday March 24th 1806. This morning we sent out a party of 15, at light, for the meat, and concluded to take breakfast before we set out. they soon returned. we breakfasted and set out at 1/2 after 9 A.M. Saw a white woodpecker with a red head of the small kind common to the United States; this bird has but lately returned. they do not remain during the winter. the country thick and heavily timbered. we saw very few waterfowl today, not a single swan, white brant nor a small goose is to be seen. a few Cormorant, duckinmallard, butterbox, and common large geese were only to be found the tide being out this morning we found some difficulty in passing through the bay below the Cathlahmah village; this side of the river is very shallow to the distance of 4 miles from the shore tho there is a channel sufficient for canoes near S. side. at 1 P.M. we arrived at the Cathlahmah village where we halted and purchased some wappetoe, a dog for the sick, and a hat for one of the men. on one of the seal Islands opposite to the village of these people thy have scaffolded their dead in canoes elivating them above tidewater mark. these people are very fond of sculpture in wood of which they exhibit a variety of specemines about their houses. the broad peices supporting the center of the roof and those through which the doors are cut, seem to be the peices on which they most display their taist. I saw some of these which represented human figures setting and supporting the burthen on their sholders. at half after 3 P.M. we set out and continued our rout among the seal Islands; not paying much attention we mistook our rout which an Indian perceiving pursued overtook us and put us in the wright channel. this Cathlahmah claimed the small canoe which we had taken from the Clatsops. however he consented very willingly to take an Elk's skin for it which I directed should be given him and he immediately returned. we continued our rout along the South side of the river and encamped at an old village of 9 houses opposite to the lower Wackkiacum village. the night was cold tho wood was abundant after dark two Chinnook men came to us in a small canoe. they remained with us all night. came 15 miles today.

Monday 24th of March 1806

Sent out 15 men verry early this morning for the flesh of the two Elk killed by Drewyer and Fields yesterday. they returned at 8 oClock, after taking a Slight brackfast we Set out at half past 9 a.m. and proceeded to the Cath lah mah Village at 1 P.M. and remained untill 1/2 after 3 this village we purchased a fiew wappato and a Dog for our Sick men Willard and Bratten who are yet in a weak State. at this Village I saw two very large elegant Canoes inlaid with Shills, those Shills I took to be teeth at first View, and the nativs informed Several of the men that they the teeth of their enemies which they had killed in War. in examineing of them Closely haveing taken out Several pices, we found that were Sea Shells which yet contained a part of the iner ____ they also deckerate their Smaller wooden vessles with those Shells which have much the appearance of humane teeth, Capt Cook may have mistaken those Shills verry well for humane teeth without a Close examination. The Village of these people is the dirtiest and Stinkingest place I ever Saw in any Shape whatever, and the inhabitants partake of the carrestick of the Village. we proceeded on through Some difficult and narrow Channels between the Seal Islands, and the South Side to an old village on the South Side opposit to the lower War ki a com village, and Encamped. to this old villg. a very considerable deposit of the dead at a Short distance below, in the usial and Customary way of the nativs of this Coast in Canoes raised from the ground as before described. Soon after we made our Camp 2 Indians visited us from the opposit Side, one of them Spoke Several words of English and repeeted the names of the traders, and maney of the Salors. made 16 Miles