Home Forum Resources Shop Journey Log Back to map


Lewis and Clark
SHOWING RECORD: 7 of 16   Cowlitz Indians
PreviousNextJournals and Maps
Cowlitz Indians

First Noted by Expedition
While wintering at Fort Clatsop, November 1805 to March 1806

The Cowlitz were a small Chinookan-speaking tribe who lived north of the Columbia River in houses made of wooden planks. Like their neighbors the Chehalis, they were frequent visitors to the Corps of Discovery at Fort Clatsop.

By the time they met Lewis and Clark, the Cowlitz were already in a decline, which accelerated during the rest of the 19th century.

An epidemic wiped out much of the population around 1829-30, leaving about 500 Cowlitz. The population rebounded slightly, and today most of the 1,400 remaining Cowlitz live near their ancestral lands. However, they are not currently recognized as a tribe by the U.S. government. It is also likely that in recent years their language has become extinct.

Subscribe Online
Your subscriptions help National Geographic conservation efforts worldwide >>

Alsea Indians
Cathlamet Indians
Chehalis Indians
Chinook Indians
Clackamas Indians
Clatsop Indians
Cowlitz Indians
Quinault Indians
Siletz Indians
Siuslaw Indians
Tillamook Indians