Monday, October 28, 2013

Jean Baptiste Charbonneau
The most amazing discoveries can be made out here "in the middle of nowhere!"
While in Jordan Valley, we learned that Jean Baptiste was buried in the vacinity.  It was fascinating to read about this man who was really a man of two different worlds. We visited his grave on the way back to Caldwell.
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau was born to Sacagawea and a French Canadian trapper named  Touissant Charbonneau during the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  William Clark was very fond of the boy who was nicknamed "Pomp".
When Sacagawea died, William Clark adopted Jean Baptiste who was approximately seven years old.   Jean Baptiste was educated in St. Louis, Missouri.  Already knowing several native dialects, he was fluent in English, French, German, and Spanish!
At age eighteen, he toured Europe and Africa.  He was close to a German family of nobilitiy.
Not too many years later, he returned to the United States and spent the rest of his life as a fur trapper, trader, military scout, gold prospector, and mountain man.
He died at Inskip Station in Danner (now a ghost town), Oregon from pneumonia.  Interestingly he had left Auburn, California and, it is thought, may have been headed to Montana for more prospecting.  He was 61 years old.
For you Californians out there, you can visit a memorial plaque in his honor under the cedar tree near the Old Fire House in Old Town, Auburn, California.

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