About the Expedition
Rivers, Forests & Prairies
Links We Like
Book: Adventuring Along the Lewis and Clark Trail
Join an Outing!
The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For January 5:
Captain Clark (current)
|<< Previous Entry (12/31/1805)||(1/6/1806) Next Entry >>|
At 5 P.M., Willard and Wiser returned. They had not been lost as we expected. They informed us that it was not until the fifth day after leaving the fort that they could find a convenient place for making salt; that they had at length established themselves on the seacoast about 15 miles S.W. from this, near the houses of some Clatsop and Tillamook families; that the Indians were very friendly and had given them a considerable quantity of the blubber of the whale which perished on the coast some distance S.E. of them. It was white and not unlike the fat of pork, though the texture was more spongy and somewhat coarser. We had part of it cooked and found it very palatable and tender. It resembles the beaver in flavor.
Those men also informed us that the salt makers with their assistance had erected a comfortable camp, had killed an elk and several deer and secured a good stock of meat. They commenced the making of salt and found that they could make from 3 quarts to a gallon a day. They brought with them a specimen of the salt, of about a gallon. We found it excellent, white, and fine, but not so strong as the rock salt, or that made in Kentucky or the western parts of the U. States. This salt was a great treat to most of the party, having not had any since the 20th ult. As to myself I care but little whether I have any with my meat or not, provided the meat is fat, having from habit become entirely careless about my diet; and I have learned to think that if the cord be sufficiently strong which binds the soul and body together, it does not so much matter about the materials which compose it.
I determined to set out early tomorrow with two canoes and 12 men in quest of the whale, or at all events to purchase from the Indians a parcel of the blubber. For this purpose I made up a small assortment of merchandise and directed the men to hold themselves in readiness.
Reprinted by permission of the American Studies Programs at the University of Virginia.
The complete text can also be downloaded for printing from their website.