The Journals of Lewis & Clark: April 12, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
April 11, 1806
April 13, 1806

April 12, 1806

Saturday April 12th 1806. It rained the greater part of last night and still continued to rain this morning. I therefore determined to take up the remaining perogue this morning for which purpose I took with me every man that could be of any service. a small distance above our camp there is one of the most difficult parts of the rapid. at this place the current sets with great violence against a projecting rock. in hawling the perogue arround this point the bow unfortunately took the current at too great a distance from the rock, she turned her side to the stream and the utmost exertions of all the party were unable to resist the forse with which she was driven by the current, they were compelled to let loose the cord and of course both perogue and cord went a drift with the stream. the loss of this perogue will I fear compell us to purchase one or more canoes of the indians at an extravegant price. after breakfast all hands were employed in taking our baggage over the portage. we caused all the men who had short rifles to carry them, in order to be prepared for the natives should they make any attempts to rob or injure them. I went up to the head of the rapids and left Capt. C. below. during the day I obtained a vocabulary of the language of the War-clel-lars &c. I found that their numbers were precisely those of the Chinnooks but the other parts of their language essentially different. by 5 P.M. we had brought up all our baggage and Capt. C. joined me from the lower camp with the Clahclellah cheif. there is an old village situated about halfway on the portage road the fraim of the houses, which are remarkably large one 160 by 45 feet, remain almost entire. the covering of the houses appears to have been sunk in a pond back of the village. this the chief informed us was the residence occasionally of his tribe. these houses are fraimed in the usual manner but consist of a double set as if oune house had been built within the other. the floors are on a level with the ground. the natives did not croud about us in such numbers today as yesterday, and behaved themselves much better; no doubt the precautions which they observed us take had a good effect. I employed sergt. Pryor the greater part of the day in reparing and corking the perogue and canoes. it continued to rain by showers all day. about 20 of the Y-eh-huhs remained with me the greater part of the day and departed in the evening. they conducted themselves with much propryety and contemned the conduct of their relations towards us. We purchased one sheepskin for which we gave the skin of an Elk and one of a deer. this animal was killed by the man who sold us the skin near this place; he informed us that they were abundant among the mountains and usually resorted the rocky parts. the big horned animal is also an inhabitant of these mountains. I saw several robes of their skins among the the evening was rainy cold and far advanced and ourselves wet we determined to remain all night. the mountains are high steep and rocky. the rock is principally black. they are covered with fir of several speceis and the white cedar. near the river we find the Cottonwood, sweet willow, broad leafed ash, a species of maple, the purple haw, a small speceis of cherry; purple currant, goosberry, red willow, vining and white burry honeysuckle, huckkle burry, sacacommis, two speceis of mountain holley, &common ash. for the three last days this inclusive we have made only 7 miles.

Saturday April 12th 1806. rained the greater part of the last night and this morning untile 10 A.M. we employed all hands in attempting to take up the lost Canoe. in attempting to pass by a rock against which the Current run with emence force, the bow unfortunately took the Current at too great a distance from the rock, She turned broad Side to the Stream, and the exertions of every man was not Sufficient to hold her. the men were Compelled to let go the rope and both the Canoe and rope went with the Stream. the loss of this Canoe will I fear Compell us to purchase another at an extravigent price. after brackfast all hands who were employed in Carrying the baggage over the portage 11/2 miles which they performed by 4 P.M. the nativs did not visit us in Such Crouds to day as yesterday. we Caused all the men of the party who ha Short guns to carry them on the portage for fear of Some attempt on the part of the nativs to rob the party. The rain Continued at intervales all day. in the evening after everry thing was taken from the lower Camp I Set out myself accompanied by the Cheif of the Clah-clal lars to the head of the portage. as we passed the remains of an old Village about half way the portage, this Cheif informed me that this old Village had been the residence of his Tribe dureing the last Salmon Season. this village I mentiond in decending this river, but did not know the Tribes that had inhabited it that time. Capt. Lewis took a vocabulary of the languge of those people whilst I had all the baggage taken across the portage & we formed a Camp at the place we had encamped on our way down.

at my arival at the head of the portage found about 20 of the natives of the Wy ach hich tribe who reside above the rapids, with Capt Lewis. those people appeared much better disposed towards us than either the Clahclallah or Wahclellah and Condemn their Conduct much. Those tribes I believe to be all the Same Nation their Language habits manners dress &c. are presisely alike and differ but little from those below the Great Narrows of this river. I observed a woman with a Sheep Skin robe on which I purchased for one Elk and one deer Skin. the father of this woman informed me that he had killed the animal off of which he had taken this Skin on the mountains imediately above his village, and that on those mountains great numbers of those animals were to be found in large flocks among the Steep rocks. I also purchased 2 pieces of Chapellell and Some roots of those people. as the evening was rainey and ourselves and party wet we Concluded to delay untill the morning and dry our selves. The Indians left us about 6 P M and returned to their Village on the opposit Side. mountains are high on each Side and Covered with Snow for about 1/3 of the way down. the growth is principally fir and White Cedar. the bottoms and low Situations is Covered with a variety Such as Cotton, large leafed ash, Sweet willow a Species of beech, alder, white thorn, cherry of a Small Speces, Servis berry bushes, Huckleberries bushes, a Speces of Lorel &c. &c. I saw a turkey buzzard which is the 3rd which I have Seen west of the rocky mountains. the 1st was on the 7 inst. above quick Sand river. for the three last days this inclusive we have made 7 miles only.