Jones Was so overcome with the tumult of her emotions that

 people involved | time:2023-12-06 06:44:53

"About three o'clock a tremendous gale of wind arose accompanied with lightning, thunder, and hail: at six it lightened up for a short time, but a violent rain soon began, and lasted through the day. During the storm, one of our boats, secured by being sunk with great quantities of stone, got loose, but, drifting against a rock, was recovered without having received much injury. Our situation now became much more dangerous, for the waves were driven with fury against the rocks and trees, which till now had afforded us refuge: we therefore took advantage of the low tide, and moved about half a mile round a point to a small brook, which we had not observed before on account of the thick bushes and driftwood which concealed its mouth. Here we were more safe, but still cold and wet; our clothes and bedding rotten as well as wet, our baggage at a distance, and the canoes, our only means of escape from this place, at the mercy of the waves. Still, we continued to enjoy good health, and even had the luxury of feasting on some salmon and three salmon trout which we caught in the brook. Three of the men attempted to go round a point in our small Indian canoe, but the high waves rendered her quite unmanageable, these boats requiring the seamanship of the natives to make them live in so rough a sea."

Jones Was so overcome with the tumult of her emotions that

It should be borne in mind that the canoes of the explorers were poor dug-outs, unfit to navigate the turbulent waters of the bay, and the men were not so expert in that sort of seamanship as were the Indians whom they, with envy, saw breasting the waves and making short voyages in the midst of the storms. It continued to rain without any intermission, and the waves dashed up among the floating logs of the camp in a very distracting manner. The party now had nothing but dried fish to eat, and it was with great difficulty that a fire could be built. On the fifteenth of the month, Captain Lewis having found a better camping-place near a sandy beach, they started to move their luggage thither; but before they could get under way, a high wind from the southwest sprung up and they were forced to remain. But the sun came out and they were enabled to dry their stuff, much of which had been spoiled by the rain which had prevailed for the past ten days. Their fish also was no longer fit to eat, and they were indeed in poor case. Captain Lewis was out on a prospecting trip, and the party set out and found a beach through which a pleasant brook flowed to the river, making a very good camping-place. At the mouth of this stream was an ancient Chinook village, which, says the journal, "has at present no inhabitants but fleas." The adventurers were compelled to steer wide of all old Indian villages, they were so infested with fleas. At times, so great was the pest, the men were forced to take off all their clothing and soak themselves and their garments in the river before they could be rid of the insects. The site of their new camp was at the southeast end of Baker's Bay, sometimes called Haley's Bay, a mile above a very high point of rocks. On arriving at this place, the voyagers met with an unpleasant experience of which the journal gives this account:--

Jones Was so overcome with the tumult of her emotions that

"Here we met Shannon, who had been sent back to meet us by Captain Lewis. The day Shannon left us in the canoe, he and Willard proceeded till they met a party of twenty Indians, who, having never heard of us, did not know where they [our men] came from; they, however, behaved with so much civility, and seemed so anxious that the men should go with them toward the sea, that their suspicions were excited, and they declined going on. The Indians, however, would not leave them; the men being confirmed in their suspicions, and fearful that if they went into the woods to sleep they would be cut to pieces in the night, thought it best to pass the night in the midst of the Indians. They therefore made a fire, and after talking with them to a late hour, laid down with their rifles under their heads. As they awoke that morning they found that the Indians had stolen and concealed their guns. Having demanded them in vain, Shannon seized a club, and was about assaulting one of the Indians, whom he suspected as a thief, when another Indian began to load a fowling-piece with the intention of shooting him. He therefore stopped, and explained by signs that if they did not give up the guns a large party would come down the river before the sun rose to such a height, and put every one of them to death. Fortunately, Captain Lewis and his party appeared at this time. The terrified Indians immediately brought the guns, and five of them came on with Shannon. To these men we declared that if ever any one of their nation stole anything from us, he should be instantly shot. They reside to the north of this place, and speak a language different from that of the people higher up the river.

Jones Was so overcome with the tumult of her emotions that

"It was now apparent that the sea was at all times too rough for us to proceed further down the bay by water. We therefore landed, and having chosen the best spot we could select, made our camp of boards from the old [Chinook] village. We were now situated comfortably, and being visited by four Wahkiacums with wappatoo-roots, were enabled to make an agreeable addition to our food."

On the seventeenth Captain Lewis with a small party of his men coasted the bay as far out as Cape Disappointment and some distance to the north along the seacoast. Game was now plenty, and the camp was supplied with ducks, geese, and venison. Bad weather again set in. The journal under date of November 22 says:--

"It rained during the whole night, and about daylight a tremendous gale of wind rose from the S.S.E., and continued through the day with great violence. The sea ran so high that the water came into our camp, which the rain prevents us from leaving. We purchased from the old squaw, for armbands and rings, a few wappatoo-roots, on which we subsisted. They are nearly equal in flavor to the Irish potato, and afford a very good substitute for bread. The bad weather drove several Indians to our camp, but they were still under the terrors of the threat which we made on first seeing them, and behaved with the greatest decency.

"The rain continued through the night, November 23, and the morning was calm and cloudy. The hunters were sent out, and killed three deer, four brant, and three ducks. Towards evening seven Clatsops came over in a canoe, with two skins of the sea-otter. To this article they attached an extravagant value; and their demands for it were so high, that we were fearful it would too much reduce our small stock of merchandise, on which we had to depend for subsistence on our return, to venture on purchasing it. To ascertain, however, their ideas as to the value of different objects, we offered for one of these skins a watch, a handkerchief, an American dollar, and a bunch of red beads; but neither the curious mechanism of the watch, nor even the red beads, could tempt the owner: he refused the offer, but asked for tiacomoshack, or chief beads, the most common sort of coarse blue-colored beads, the article beyond all price in their estimation. Of these blue beads we had but few, and therefore reserved them for more necessitous circumstances."

The officers of the expedition had hoped and expected to find here some of the trading ships that were occasionally sent along the coast to barter with the natives; but none were to be found. They were soon to prepare for winter-quarters, and they still hoped that a trader might appear in the spring before they set out on their homeward journey across the continent. Very much they needed trinkets to deal with the natives in exchange for, the needful articles of food on the route. But (we may as well say here) no such relief ever appeared. It is strange that President Jefferson, in the midst of his very minute orders and preparations for the benefit of the explorers, did not think of sending a relief ship to meet the party at the mouth of the Columbia. They would have been saved a world of care, worry, and discomfort. But at that time the European nations who held possessions on the Pacific coast were very suspicious of the Americans, and possibly President Jefferson did not like to risk rousing their animosity.

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