Clark's Celilo Maps

Clark's Original Tinted Map

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interactive image labeling Clark's descriptions on his hand-drawn map

Clark made two nearly identical pen-and-ink drawings, with his sure and steady hand, of the Great—or Celilo—Falls of the Columbia. This one appears in the notebook believed to have been his journal No. 6, now known as Codex H, which contains his daily entries from October 11 through November 19, 1805, as well as a number of other important documents.1 This map begins on the flyleaf of the book and continues on page one. The page size is 7-7/8 by 4-7/8 inches.

Clark may have added the watercolor treatment during the ensuing winter at Fort Clatsop, or perhaps post-expedition, possibly with the expectation that it could serve as the basis for a hand-tinted engraving in the published version of the expedition's journals.

A short distance downriver are the Short and Long Narrows, which Clark also charted for possible use in Biddle's edition of the journals.

Clark's 1814 Map (Detail)

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Interactive map correlating places with Clark's journal entries about them

From [Nicholas Biddle, editor,] History of an Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep, 1814), Volume 2, facing p. 31. Original size, 4-1/8 by 7-1/8 inches.

The text displayed above is from Biddle's edition, Volume 2, pp. 31-32. The summary statement quoted at the bottom of the map does not appear in the journals, but was perhaps dictated to Biddle by either Clark or George Shannon during their conversations with him in 1810.

The arrows on the map indicate the direction of the current. Those that point upriver indicate major eddies where the Indians would have caught the most salmon. No doubt there were many more smaller eddies as well.

Funded in part by a grant from the National Park Service's Challenge-Cost Share Program

  • 1. For an inventory of the contents of Codex H, see Moulton, Journals, 2:558.