Kempf tells story of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

Gary Kempf educated those in attendance at the December meeting of the MCHAPS on the life of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. - Photo by Seth Dukes | The Meade County Messenger

Seth Dukes:

Newsroom Coordinator


A riddle was posed to potential attendees of the Meade County Historical and Archaeological Preservation Society’s December meeting: What historical figure, who is known to almost no one, has his likeness appear on the American dollar? This figure’s grave is on the National Register of Historic Places, his portrait was painted by a famous artist, and his obituary was carried by the leading newspapers of the time.

It was revealed that the figure was none other than Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea, a Shoshone woman who, at age 16, met and helped the Lewis and Clark Expedition during their exploration and chartering of the Louisiana Territory.

Fort Knox authority, author, historian and paleontologist Gary Kempf presented the interesting story of Charbonneau, the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

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