Search sponsored by Coast Marketplace
Home Life In One Ear

In One Ear: Happy New Year?

The Corps of Discovery endures New Year’s Day
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on December 29, 2017 12:01AM

Ever wonder how Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their Corps of Discovery spent New Year’s Day 1806 on the North Coast? Their journals tell the tale (

“The year commenced with a wet day; but the weather still continues warm; and the ticks, flies and other insects are in abundance …” Sgt. Patrick Gass wrote. Of historical note: “We gave our fortification the name of Fort Clatsop.” (Shown, a soil painting of the fort by Jan Lang.)

“This morning I was awoke at an early hour by the discharge of a volley of small arms,” Lewis recalled in his journal, “which were fired by our party in front of our quarters to usher in the new year; this was the only mark of rispect which we had it in our power to pay this selibrated day.

“Our repast of this day, tho’ better than that of Christmass, consisted principally in the anticipation of the 1st day of January 1807, when in the bosom of our friends we hope to participate in the mirth and hilarity of the day … At present we were content with eating our boiled elk and wappetoe (a tuber), and solacing our thirst with our only beverage, pure water.”


Share and Discuss


User Comments