Publications by our Members

Sacagawea's Son


by Albert Furtwangler
Oregon Historical Society Press, 2004.
Available from the Oregon Historical Society

The youngest member of the Lewis and Clark expedition learned to walk — and even to dance — on the Corps of Discovery’s way to the Pacific and back. Later baptized as Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, Sacagawea’s son was called Pomp on the trail. After the expedition, William Clark brought him to St. Louis for his schooling, and during his later years he lived at the court of a German duke and worked as a trader and guide on western trails. Charbonneau died in 1866 on his way from California to the goldfields in Montana. His grave near Jordan Valley, Oregon, marks the end of a long life of international adventures.

This essay questions earlier accounts and presents new information, including recent discoveries about the duke’s court and Charbonneau’s fathering of a child there. It also stresses that even though Charbonneau was cared for and carried far by whites, as an uprooted half-Indian he never found full acceptance in their world.