About George Shannon
George Shannon (1785–1836), the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (not counting the infant Jean Baptiste Charbonneau and Lewis's dog Seaman), was born in Pennsylvania. He joined the Corps of Discovery in August 1803, as one of the three men (and Seaman) from Pittsburgh recruited by Lewis as he was waiting for the completion of the voyage's vessels in the city.
During the trip, Shannon got lost on two occasions. On August 26, 1804, he was sent to retrieve two pack horses; he was separated from the party for sixteen days and nearly starved, as he went without food for twelve days except for some grapes and rabbits. At first he thought he was behind the expedition, so he sped up thinking he could catch up. Then, getting hungry, he went downstream to look for a trading party he could stay with. Finally John Colter was sent to find him.
Shannon got lost again August 6, 1805, when the expedition was at the Three Forks. He was dispatched up a fork the party had named Wisdom (the middle fork was named Jefferson and the placid fork, Philanthropy). He rejoined the party after three days by backtracking to the forks and following the trail of the others.
In 1807 he was with a party led by Nathaniel Pryor that was attempting to return the Mandan chief Sheheke to his people. He was wounded in an encounter with the Arikaras and lost a leg; he would eventually receive a government pension.
In 1810 he assisted in Nicholas Biddle's history of the expedition. Later, Clark asked him to join a fur trading enterprise, but Shannon chose to study law instead. By 1818 he had a law practice in Lexington, Kentucky, and later ran for senator from Missouri. He was buried in Palmyra, Missouri.
Shannon County, Missouri is named after George Shannon.