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Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

March 17, 1806


Monday March 17th 1806.

Catel and his family left us this morning. Old Delashelwilt and his women still remain    they have formed a ca[m]p near the fort and seem to be determined to lay close sege to us but I beleive notwithstanding every effort of their wining graces, the men have preserved their constancy to the vow of celibacy which they made on this occasion to Capt C. and myself.    we have had our perogues prepared for our departer, and shal set out as soon as the weather will permit.    the weather is so precarious that we fear by waiting untill the first of April that we might be detained several days longer before we could get from this to the Cathlahmahs as it must be calm or we cannot accomplish that part of our rout. Drewyer returned late this evening from the Cathlahmahs with our canoe which Sergt. Pryor had left some days since, and also a canoe which he had purchased from those people.    for this canoe he gave my uniform laced coat and nearly half a carrot of tobacco.    it seems that nothing excep this coat would induce them to dispose of a canoe which in their mode of traffic is an article of the greatest val[u]e except a wife, with whom it is equal, and is generally given in exchange to the father for his daughter. I think the U' States are indebted to me another Uniform coat, for that of which I have disposed on this occasion was but little woarn.—    we yet want another canoe, and as the Clatsops will not sell us one at a price which we can afford to give we will take one from them in lue of the six Elk which they stole from us in the winter. [1]

The pellucid jellylike substance, called the sea-nettle is found in great abundance along the strad where it has been thrown up by the waves and tide.—

There are two speceis of the Fuci or seawreck [seaweed] which we also find thrown up by the waves.    the 1st speceis [2] at one extremity consists of a large vesicle or hollow vessell which would contain from one to two gallons, of a conic form, the base of which forms the extreem end and is convex and globelar bearing on it's center some short broad and irregular fibers.    the substance is about the consistence of the rind of a citron mellon and ¾ of an inch thick.    the rihind is smooth.    from the small extremity of the cone a long, hollow, celindrick, and regularly tapering tube extends to 20 or thirty feet and is then terminated with a number of branches which are flat ½ an inch in width rough particular on the edges where they are furnished with a number of little ovate vesicles or bags of the size of a pigeon's egg.    this plant seems to be calculated to float at each extremity while the little end of the tube from whence the branches proceed, lies deepest in the water.—

The other speceis [3] I have never seen but Capt. Clark who saw it on the coast towards the Killamucks informed me that it resembled a large pumpkin, it is solid and it's specific gravity reather greater than the water, tho it is sometimes thrown out by the waves.    it is of a yellowis brown colour.    the rhind smooth and consistence hard[er] than that of a pumpkin tho' easily cut with a knife.    there are some dark brown fibers reather harder than any other part which pass longitudinally through the pulp or fleshey substance wich forms the inferior of this marine production.—

The following is a list of the names of the commanders of vessels who visit the entrance of the Columbia river in the spring and autumn fror the purpose of trading with the natives or hunting Elk.    these names are spelt as the Indians pronounce them. [4]

Mr. Haley, their favorite trader visits them in a vessel with three masts, and
   continues some time
Youens, visits in a 3 masted vessel— Trader
Tallamon do. 3 do. no trader
Callallamet do. 3 do. Trader. has a wooden leg
Swipton do. 3 do. Trader.
Moore do. 4 do. do.
Mackey do. 3 do. do.
Washington do. 3 do. do.
Mesship do. 3 do. do.
Davidson do. 2 no trader hunts Elk
Jackson do. 3 masted vessel Trader
Bolch do. 3 do. do.
   he has one eye.
do. 3 do. do. tho' he has been gone some years.
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2020/08/13 02:41