J. B. "Pompey" Charbonneau

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J. B. "Pompey" Charbonneau

Also Known As: ""POMP"", "'POMP'"
Birthplace: Fort Mandan, ND
Death: May 16, 1866 (61)
Danner, OR (Pneumonia)
Place of Burial: Danner, Jordan Valley, Oregon
Immediate Family:

Son of Toussaint Charbonneau and Sacajawea "Bird Woman"
Husband of Charlotte Dumont Charbonneau
Brother of Lissette Charbonneau; Ticannaf Charbonneau Comanche Indian and Lizette Charbonneau
Half brother of Louis Napoleon Charbonneau, SR; Toussaint Charbonneau; Lizzette Charbonneau; Basil Charbonneau and Tess Charbonneau

Occupation: Born on the Lewis & Clark expedition
Label: Born on trail with Lewis & Clark, lived with and was education paid for by Clark
Managed by: Ruth Lahoe (Buggzy)
Last Updated:

About J. B. "Pompey" Charbonneau

They called Jean-Baptiste "Pompey" which meant "Little Chief". Pompey was sent to Europe to be educated as he had been promised by Captain Clark. It is said he fathered a child in Europe but the child died as a infant.


Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (February 11, 1805 – May 16, 1866) was an American explorer, guide, fur trapper trader, military scout during the Mexican-American War, alcalde (mayor) of Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, and a gold prospector and hotel operator in Northern California. He spoke French and English, and learned German and Spanish during his six years in Europe from 1823 to 1829. He also spoke Shoshone and other western American Indian languages, which he picked up during his years of trapping and guiding.

Jean Baptiste was the son of Sacagawea, a Shoshone, and her Metis French-Canadian husband Toussaint Charbonneau, who worked as a trapper and interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition; he was born at Fort Mandan in North Dakota. He was taken by his parents as an infant across the country. The Expedition co-leader William Clark nicknamed the boy Pomp. He lived with Clark in St. Louis, Missouri as a boy, where he attended St. Louis Academy. Clark paid for his education. Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau also had a second child, a daughter named Lizette Charbonneau who, as there is no later record of her among William Clark's papers, is believed to have died in childhood.

Charbonneau's image appears with that of his mother on the United States Sacagawea dollar bronze one dollar coin. He is the 2nd child depicted on United States currency. Pompeys Pillar on the Yellowstone River in Montana and the community of Charbonneau, Oregon are named for him.

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J. B. "Pompey" Charbonneau's Timeline

February 11, 1805
Fort Mandan, ND
May 16, 1866
Age 61
Danner, OR
Danner, Jordan Valley, Oregon