Jean Baptiste Charbonneau facts for kids

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Jean Baptiste Charbonneau
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.jpg
Born (1805-02-11)February 11, 1805
Fort Mandan, present-day Washburn, North Dakota, U.S.
Died May 16, 1866(1866-05-16) (aged 61)
Danner, Oregon, U.S.
Resting place Jordan Valley Hamlet Cemetery, Danner, Oregon, U.S.
42°58′58″N 117°03′17″W / 42.982647°N 117.0547225°W / 42.982647; -117.0547225
Other names "Pomp", "Little Pomp", "Pompy"
Known for Accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition as an infant
Parent(s) Sacagawea
Toussaint Charbonneau

was the son of Toussaint Charbonneau and Sacagawea.

Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (February 11, 1805May 16, 1866) was the son of Sacagawea and her French Canadian husband Toussaint Charbonneau, born while they were members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He was a fur trapper and guide. He was an important figure in the Mexican-American War. Charbonneau and his mother are pictured on a one-dollar coin.

Expedition co-leader William Clark nicknamed him Pomp or Pompy. Pompeys Pillar on the Yellowstone River in Montana is named after him, and his image can be found on the Sacagawea dollar coin; he is the only child ever depicted on United States currency.

Years after the expedition, the Charbonneau family moved to St. Louis at Clark's invitation. Clark paid for young Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau to attend school there at St. Louis Academy, now known as St. Louis University High, and continued to oversee his care and schooling when Sacagawea returned up the Missouri River with the elder Charbonneau.

At the age of 18, Charbonneau met Prince Paul Wilhelm of Württemberg, nephew of King Fredrick I. The prince, traveling in America on a natural history expedition, invited Charbonneau to return to Europe with him, where he lived for six years and learned to speak four European languages. He travelled all over Europe and even visited Africa.

In 1829, Charbonneau returned to North America, where he lived as a mountain man and army scout. He guided the Mormon Battalion from New Mexico to the city of San Diego in California in 1846, and then accepted an appointment there as alcalde of Mission San Luis Rey. He was eventually forced to resign from that post after his repeated attempts to improve the condition of the local Native American tribes caused political trouble for him.

Charbonneau then got caught up in the California Gold Rush sweeping the state, and joined thousands of other "49ers" in Placer County. In May 1866, while en route from California to the new gold fields around Virginia City, Montana, he died, apparently of bronchitis, in Danner, Oregon, at age 61. A burial site for Charbonneau near Jordan Valley, Oregon, is generally believed to be the correct one. Another site and memorial stands in Fort Washakie, Wyoming, but whether the body interred there could be his is disputed. Charbonneau, Oregon is named after him.

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