This excerpt was written by Captain Clark, Sunday, December 1, 1805, from the Pacific coast in present-day Oregon State. It describes the dramatic landscape and daily chores for the Corps. The spellings are Clark’s own.
“A cloudy windey morning wind from the East, dispatched two hunters, I deturmined to take a Canoe & a fiew men and hunt the marshey Islands above Point William, the Wind rose So high that I could not proceed, and returned to partake the dried fish, which is our Standing friend, began to rain hard at Sun Set and Continued. my hunters returned without any thing haveing Seen 2 parcels of elk men all employed to day in mending their leather Clothes, Shoes &c. and Dressing leather. The emence [immense] Seas and waves which breake on the rocks & Coasts to the S W. & N W roars like an emence fall at a distance, and this roaring has continued ever Since our arrival in the neighbourhood of the Sea Coast which has been 24 days Since we arrived in Sight of the Great Western; (for I cannot Say Pacific) Ocian [Ocean] as I have not Seen one pacific day Since my arrival in its vicinity, and its waters are forming and petially [perpetually] breake with emence waves on the Sands and rockey Coasts, tempestous and horiable. …”
This excerpt was written by Captain Lewis, Thursday, January 2, 1806, from Fort Clatsop, the Pacific winter fort of the Corps.
“Sent out a party of men and brought in the two Elk which were killed yesterday. Willard and Wiser [expedition participants] have not yet returned nor have a party of hunters returned who set out on the 26th [of December] … the Indians who visited yesterday left us at 1 P M today after having disposed of their roots and berries for a few fishinghooks and some other small articles. we are infested with swarms of flees already in our new habitations; the presumption is therefore strong that we shall not devest [divest] ourselves of this intolerably troublesome vermin during our residence here. The large, and small or whistling swan, sand hill Crane, large and small gees, brown and white brant, Cormorant, duckan mallard, Canvisback duck, and several other species of ducks, still remain with us; tho' I do not think that they are as plenty as on our first arrival in the neighbourhood. Drewyer visited his traps and took an otter. the fur of both the beaver and otter in this country are extreemly good; those annamals [animals] are tolerably plenty near the sea coast, and on the small Creeks and rivers as high as the grand rappids, but are by no means as much so as on the upper part of the Missouri.”