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EUROPEAN WIS ITS. But the circumstance which forms the soul of their trade, is the visit of the whites. They arrive generally about the month of April, and either remain until October, or return at that time; during which time, having no establishment on shore, they anchor on the north side of the bay, at the place already described, which is a spacious and commodious harbour, perfectly secure from all except the south and south-east winds; and, as they leave it before winter, they do not suffer from these winds, which, during that season, are the most usual and the most vioJent. This situation is recommended by its neighbourhood to fresh water and wood, as well as to excellent timber for repairs. Here they are immediately visited by the tribes along the sea-coast, by the Cathlamahs, and lastly by the Skilloots, that numerous and active people, who skirt the river between the marshy islands and the grand rapids, as well as the Coweliskee, and who carry down the fish prepared by their immediate neighbours the Chilluckitteguaws, Eneeshurs, and Echeeloots, residing from the grand rapids to the Falls, as well as all the articles which they have procured in barter at the market in May. The accumulated trade of the Columbia now consists of dressed and undressed skins of elk, sea otter, the common otter, beaver, common fox, spuck, and tiger cat. The articles of less importance, are a small quantity of dried or pounded salmon, the biscuits made of the chappelell roots, and some of the manufactures of the neighbourhood. In return they receive guns (which are principally old British or American muskets), powder, ball and shot, copper and brass kettles, brass tea-kettles, and coffee-pots, blankets, from two to three points, coarse scarlet and blue cloth, plates and strips of sheet copper and brass, large brass wire, knives, tobacco, fishhooks, buttons, and a considerable quantity of sailors’ hats, trowsers, coats, and shirts. But, as we have had occasion to remark more than once, the objects of foreign trade which are the most desired, are the common cheap blue or white beads, of about fifty or seventy to the penny-weight, which are strung on strands a fathom in length, and sold by the yard or the length of both arms: of these the
MonTHLY MAG. No. 257.
blue beads, which are called tia commashuck, or chief beads, hold the first rank in their ideas of relative value: the most inferior kind are esteemed beyond the finest wanpum, and are temptations which can always seduce them to part with their most valuable effects. Indeed, if the example of civilized life did not completely vindicate their choice, we might wonder at their infatuated attachment to a bauble in itself so worthless. Yet these beads are, perhaps, quite as reasonable objects of research as the precious metals, since they are at once beautiful ornaments for the person, and the great circulating medium of trade with all the nations on the Columbia. These strangers who visit the Columbia for the purpose of trade or hunting, must be either English or Americans. The Indians inform us that they speak the same language as we do, and indeed the few words which the Indians have learnt from the sailors, such as musket, powder, shot, knife, file, heave the lead, damned rascal, and other phrases of that description, evidently show that the visitors speak the English language. But, as the greater part of them annually arrive in April, and either remain till autumn, or revisit them at that time, which we could not clearly understand, the trade cannot be direct from either England or the United States, since the ships could not return thither during the remainder of the year. When the Indians are asked where these traders go on leaving the Columbia, they always point to the southwest, whence we presume that they do not belong to any establishment at Nootka Sound. The names and description of all these persons who visit them in the spring and autumn are remembered with great accuracy, and we took down, exactly as they were pronounced, the following list: The favourite trader is Mr. Haley, who visits them in a vessel with three masts, and continues some time. The others are, Youens, who comes also in a three masted vessel, and is a trader. Tallamon, in 3 three masted vessel, but he is not a trader. Callalamet, in a ship of the same size; he is a trader, and they say has a wooden leg. Swipton, three masted vessel, trader. 4 | Moore,
trade, but hunts elk.
Jackson, three masted vessel, trader.
Bolch, three do. do.
Skelley, also a trader, in a vessel with three masts, but he has been gone for some years. He had only one cye.
THEIR V E G E TAB LE 8.
The vegetable productions of the country, which furnish a large proportion of the food of the Indians, are the roots of a species of thistle, the fern, the rush, the liquorice, and a small cylindric root, resembling in flavour and consistency the sweet potatoe.
The native fruits and berries in use among the Indians, are what they call the shallun; the solme; the cranberry; a berry like the black haw; the scarlet berry, of the plant called Sacacommis; a purple berry, like the huckleberry.
The trees of a larger growth are very abundant; the whole neighbourhood of the coast is supplied with great quantities of excellent timber. The predominating growth is the fir, of which we have seen several species. There is one singular circumstance attending all the pine of this country, which is, that when consumed it yields not the slightest particle of ashes. The first species grows to an immense size, and is very commonly twentyseven feet in circumference, six feet above the earth's surface : they rise to the height of two hundred and thirty feet, and one hundred and twenty of that height without a limb. We have often found them thirty-six feet in circumference. One of our party measured one, and found it be forty-two feet in circumference, at a point beyond the reach of an ordinary man.
The second is a much more common species, and constitutes at least one half of the timber in this neighbourhood. It seems to resemble a spruce, rising from one hundred and sixty to one hundred and eighty feet, and is from four to six in diameter, straight, round, and regularly tapering.
The third species resembles in all points the Canadian balsam fir. It
Travels to the Source of the Missouri River,
grows from two and a half to four feet in diameter, and rises to the height of eighty or an hundred feet. The fourth species in size resembles the second. The fifth species in size resembles the second, and has a trunk simple, branching, and proliferous. The sixth species does not differ from what is usually denominated the white pine in Virginia. The seventh and last species grows in low grounds, and in places frequently overflown by the tide, seldom rising higher than thirty-five feet, and not more than from two and a half to four in diameter. There is a tree common to the Columbia river, below the entrance of Cataract river, when divested of its foliage, much resembling the ash: this tree is frequently three feet in
diameter, and rises from forty to fifty
feet: the fruit is a winged seed, somewhat resembling that of the maple. In the same part of the country there is also another growth, resembling the white maple, though much smaller, and is seldom to be seen of more than six or seven inches in diameter. These trees grow in clusters, from fifteen to twenty feet in height, from the same bed of roots, spreading and leaning outwards. The undergrowth consists of honeysuckles, alder, seven bark or nine bark, huckleberry, a shrub like the quill
wood, a plant like the mountain holly,
a green briar, the fern. QUADR U PEDS.
The quadrupeds of this country from the Rocky mountains to the Pacific Ocean, may be conveniently divided into the domestic and the wild animals. The first embraces the horse and dog only.
The horse appears to be of an excellent race, lofty, elegantly formed, active and durable : many of them appear like fine English coursers; some of them are pied, with large spots of white irregularly scattered, and intermixed with a dark brown bay: the greater part, however, are of an uniform colour, marked with stars and white feet, and resemble in fleetness and bottom, as well as in form and colour, the best blooded horses of Virginia.
The dog is unusually small, about the size of an ordinary cur: he is usually parti-coloured, amongst who,
the black, white, brown, and brindle, are the colours most predominant. . The second division comprehends the brown, white, or grisly bear, the black bear; the deer, common red deer, the black-tailed fallow deer, the mule deer, the elk, the wolves, the large brown wolf, the small wolf of the plains, the tiger-cat, the foxes, the common red fox, the silver fox, the fisher or black fox, the large red fox of the plains, the kit-fox, or small fox of the plains, the antelope, the sheep, beaver, common otter, sea-otter, mink, seal, racoon, squirrels, large gray squirrel, small gray squirrel, small brown squirrel, ground squirrel, braro, rat, mouse, mole, panther, hare, rabbit, polecat or skunk. B I R D S. The birds which we have seen be. tween the Rocky mountains and the Pacific may be divided into two classes, the terrestrial and the aquatic. In the former class are to be arranged, 1. The grouse or prairie-hen. This is peculiarly the inhabitant of the great plains of the Columbia, and does not differ from those of the upper portion of the Missouri. 2. The cock of the plains is found on the plains of the Columbia in great abundance, from the entrance of the south-east fork of the Columbia to that of Clarke’s river. It is about two and three-fourths the size of our ordinary turkey. 3. The pheasant, of which we distinguish the large black and white pheasant, the small speckled pheasant, the small brown pheasant. 4. The buzzard is, we believe, the largest bird of North America. One which was taken by our hunters was not in good condition, and yet the weight was twenty-five pounds. The aquatic birds are, the large blue and brown heron; the fishing hawk; the blue-crested fisher; several species of gulls; the cormorant; two species of loons; brant of two kinds; geese; swan; and several species of ducks. FISH. The fish which we have had an opportunity of seeing, are the whale, porpoise, skait, flounder, salmon, red char, two species of salmon trout, mountain or speckled trout, bottlenose, anchovy, and sturgeon. Of shell-fish we observe the clam, periwinkle,common muscle, the cockle, and a species with a circular flat shell,
The reptiles of this country are the rattlesnake, the gartersnake, lizard,
RETURN OF THE PARTY.
Many reasons had determined us to remain at fort Clatsop till the 1st of April. Besides the want of fuel in the Columbian plains, and the impracticability of passing the mountains before the beginning of June, we were anxious to see some of the foreign traders, from whom, by means of our ample letters of credit, we might have recruited our exhausted stores of merchandise. About the middle of March, however, we became seriously alarmed for the want of food : the elk, our chief dependence, had at length deserted their usual haunts in our neighbourhood, and retreated to the mountains. We were too poor to purchase other food from the Indians, so that we were sometimes reduced, not withstanding all the exertions of our hunters, to a single day’s provision in advance. The men too, whom the constant rains and confinement had rendered unhealthy, might, we hoped, be benefited by leaving the coast, and resuming the exercise of travelling. We therefore determined to leave fort Clatsop, ascend the river slowly, consume the month of March in the woody country, where we hope to find subsistence, and in this way reach the plains about the 1st of April, before which time it will be impossible to attempt crossing them : for this purpose we began our preparations. During the winter we had been very industrious in dressing skins, so that we now had a sufficient quantity of clothing, besides between three and four hundred pair of moccasins. But the whole stock of goods on which we are to depend, either for the purchase of horses or of food, during the long tour of nearly four thousand miles, is so much diminished, that it might all be tied in two handkerchiefs. We have in fact nothing but six blue robes, one of Scarlet, a coat and hat of the United States’ artillery uniform, five robes made of our large flag, and a few old clothes trimmed with ribbon. We therefore feel that our chief dependence must be on our guns, which, for. tunately for us, are all in good order, as we had taken the precaution of bringing a number of extra locks, and one of our men proved to be an excellent artist in that way. The powder had been secured in leaden canisto Is,
ters, and, though on many occasions they had been under water, it remained perfectly dry, and we now found ourselves in possession of one hundred and forty pounds of powder, and twice that quantity of lead, a stock quite sufficient for the route homewards. W. A. PPA.TOO IS LAN D. The visit of Captain Clarke to the Multnomahs, now enabled us to com bine all that we had seen or learnt of the neigbouring countries and nations. Of these the most important spot is Wappatoo island, a large extent of country lying between the Multnomah, and an arm of the Columbia, which we have called Wappatoo inlet, and separated from the main land by , a sluice eighty yards wide, which at the distance of seven miles up the Multnormah connects that river with the inlet. The island thus formed is about twenty miles long, and varies in breadth from five to ten miles: the land is high and extremely fertile, and on most parts is supplied with a heavy growth of cottonwood, ash, the large-leafed ash, and sweet willow, the black alder, common to the coast, having now disappeared. But the chief wealth of this island consists of the numerous ponds in the interior, abounding with the common arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia) to the root of which is attached a bulb growing beneath it in the mud. This bulb, to which the Indians give the name of wappatoo, is the great article of food, and almost the staple article of commerce on the Columbia. It is never out of season ; so that at all times of the year, the valley is frequented by the neighbouring Indians who come to gather it. It is collected chiefly by the women, who employ for the purpose canoes from ten to fourteen feetin length, about two feet wide, and nine inches deep, and tapering from the middle, where they are about twenty inches wide. They are sufficient to contain a single person and several bushels of roots, yet so very light that a woman can carry them with ease; she takes one of these canoes, into a pond where the water is as high as the breast, and, by rmeans of her toes, separates from the root this bulb, which on being freed from the mud rises immediately to the surface of the water, and is thrown into the canoe. In this manner these patient females remain in the water for several hours, even in the depth of winter. This plant is found through
Travels to the Source of the Missouri River,
the whole extent of the valley in which We now are, but does not grow on the
olumbia farther eastward. This valley is bounded westward by the mountainous country bordering the coast, from which it extends eastward thirty miles in a direct line, till it is closed by the range of mountains crossing the Columbia above the great Falls. Its length from north to south we are unable to determine, but we believe that, the valley must extend to a great distance: it is in fact the only desirable situation for a, settlement on the western side of the Rocky mountains, and being naturally fertile, would, if properly cultivated, afford subsistence for forty or fifty thousand souls. The highlands are generally of a dark rich loam, not much injured by stones, and, though waving, by no means too steep for cultivation; and a few miles from the river they widen, at least on the north side, into rich extensive prairies. The timber on them is abundant, and consists almost exclusively of the several species of fir already described, and some of which grow to a great height We measured a fallen tree of that species, and found that, including the stump of about six feet, it was three hundred and eighteen feet in length, though its diameter was only three feet. The dogwood is also abundant on the uplands : it differs from that of the United States in having a much smoother bark, and in being much larger, the trunk attaining a diameter of nearly two feet. There is some white cedar of a large size, but no pine of any kind. In the bottom lands are the cottonwood ash, large-leafed ash, and sweet willow. Interspersed with these are the pashequaw, shanataque, and compound fern, of which the natives use the roots; the red-flowering Currant abounds on the upland, while along the river bottoms grow luxuriantly the water-cress, strawberry, cinquefoil, narrowdock, sandrush, and the flowering pea, which is not yet in bloom. There is also a species of the bear’s claw now blooming, but the large-leafed thorn has disappeared, nor do we see any longer the huckle-berry, the shallun, nor any of the other evergreen shrubs which bear berries, except the species the leaf of which has a prickly imargin. - "The trade of all the inhabitants is in anchovies, sturgeon, but chiefly in wappatoo, to obtain which, the inha
is, that at some period, which the appearance of the trees induces us to fix within twenty years, the rocks from the hill sides have obstructed the narrow pass at the Rapids, and caused the river to spread through the woods. THE R O C KY MOUNTAIN S.
The country along the Rocky mountains for several hundred miles in length, and about fifty wide, is a high level plain, in all its parts extremely fertile, and in many places covered with a growth of tall long-leafed pine. This plain is chiefly interrupted near the streams of water, where the hills are steep and lofty; but the soil is good, being unincumbered by much stone, and possesses more timber than the level country. Under shelter of these hills, the bottom lands skirt the
the sun shines with intense heat in the confined bottoms, the plains enjoy a much colder air, and the vegetation is retarded at least fifteen days, while at the foot of the mountains the Snows are still many feet in depth; so that within twenty miles of our camp we observe the rigours of the winter cold, the cool air of spring, and the oppressive heat of midsummer. Even on the plains, however, where the snow has fallen, it seems to do but little injury to the grass and other plants, which, though apparently tender and susceptible, are still blooming, at the height of nearly eighteen inches through the snow. In short, this district affords many advantages to settlers, and, if properly cultivated, would yield every object necessary for the subsistence and comfort of civilized Inan, The Chopunnish themselves are in general stout, well formed, and active; they have high, and many of them aquiline, noses, and the general appearance of the face is cheerful and agreeable, though without any indication of gaiety and mirth. Like most of the Indians they extract their beards; but the women only pluck the hair from the rest of the body. That of the men is very often suffered to grow, nor does there appear to be any natural deficiency in that respect; for we observe several men, who, if they had adopted the practice of shaving, would have been as well supplied as ourselves. The dress of both sexes resembles that of the Shoshonees, and consists of a long shirt reaching to the thigh, leggings as high as the waist, moccasins and robes, all of which are formed of skins. Their ornaments are beads, shells, and pieces of brass attached to different parts of the dress, or tied round the arms, neck, wrists, and over the shoulders: to these are added pearls and beads, suspended from the ears, and a single shell of wampum through the nose. The head-dress of the men is a bandeau of fox or otter skin, either with or without the fur, and sometimes an ornament is tied to a plait of hair, falling from the crown of the head : that of the women is a cap without rim, formed of bear grass and cedar bark; while the hair itself, of both sexes, falls in two rows down the front of the body. Collars of bears” claws are also common. But a personal