Sacagawea's Child: The Live and Times of Jean-Baptiste (Pomp) Charbonneau
Publisher: Arthur H Clark Company
203 pages with illustrations, plates, maps, appendix, bibliography and index. Royal octavo (9 1/2" x 6 1/4") bound in original publisher's red cloth with gilt lettering to spine and cover. Western Frontier Series XXXIII. First edition.
Susan Colby's biography of Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau draws on the nineteenth-century mountain man-trapper out of the shadow of his better-known parents to reveal an individual who is many ways reflected the potential transformative powers of the American West of this era. He was born on February 11, 1805 in Fort Mandan. When Jean Baptiste was 55 days old his parents took him with them to work. His father and mother had been hired as interpreters for the Corps of Discovery led by Lewis and Clark. Jean Baptiste became the youngest member of what is known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. For the next 16 months and for a total of 5,000 miles the expedition took him across the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean and back. During this time Clark grew fond of Pompy and his family and offered to take care of his education and raise him as his own child. In 1821 Jean Baptiste found employment with the Missouri Fur Company. In 1823 Duke Friedrich Paul Wilhelm of WÃ¼rttemberg was traveling on an expedition and was very impressed with Jean Baptiste. He invited him to Europe where he lived for the next 6 years. During this time he became fluent in German and Spanish. From 1829 to 1846 he was employed by the American Fur Company and the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. He was a guide, chief hunter and trader. In 1846 Jean Baptiste became a guide for the Mormon Battalion during the Mexican-American War; their mission was to build a road from Santa Fe to San Diego and to LA. After the war was over he was appointed alcalde (mayor) of Mission San Luis Rey de Francia by Colonel John D. Stevenson. In 1849 Jean Baptiste was motivated by the prospect of gold and relocated to Placer County in California in what now is Auburn. The following year California was accepted as a state into the Union during the Compromise of 1850 and people rushed for the prospect of gold. Jean Baptiste mined for the next decade. When gold became scarce he found occupation as a hotel manager at the Orleans Hotel.
A fine copy.
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