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Members of the Expedition

The Charbonneau Family

After Lewis and Clark, the most famous member of the expedition is Sacagawea. She was born around 1788, probably near Lemhi, Idaho, the daughter of a Shoshone chief. As a child she was kidnapped by the Hidatsa and sold into slavery to the Mandan. While with the Mandan, Sacagawea was sold or given to Toussaint Charbonneau, who made her his wife. On February 11, 1805, she gave birth to a son - John Baptiste. Lewis described Toussaint as a man "of no particular merit," while both captains acknowledged the indispensable service Sacagawea provided the Corps of Discovery. As Clark wrote, "a woman with a party of men is a token of peace."


Interpreter George Drouillard (? - 1810)

The son of a French-Canadian and a Shawnee mother, George Drouillard met Lewis at Fort Massac. Captain Daniel Bissell was probably employing Drouillard when Lewis recruited him for the expedition. Drouillard was known for his general skill as a scout, hunter, woodsman, and interpreter. Indeed, he was one of the best hunters of the expedition and often accompanied the captains on special reconnaissance missions. After the expedition, Drouillard became a partner in Manuel Lisa's fur-trading ventures on the upper Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers.


York (1770 - ?)

York was Clark's companion from childhood, in the fashion of the slaveholding South. Clark legally inherited York in 1799. The journals indicated that he was large, strong, and perhaps overweight. He carried a rifle during the expedition and performed his full share of duties like the other members of the Corps of Discovery. York received his freedom in 1811, and then operated a wagon freight business in Tennessee and Kentucky.

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