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By W. Dale Nelson

When interpreter Toussaint Charbonneau, a French Canadian fur dealer dwelling one of the Hidatsas, and his Shoshone Indian spouse, Sacagawea, joined the Lewis and Clark day trip in 1804, they headed into kingdom mostly unknown to them, because it used to be to Thomas Jefferson's hand-picked explorers. there's little question as to the significance of Sacagawea's presence at the trip. She has turn into a near-legendary determine for her function as interpreter, consultant, and “token of peace.” Toussaint, even if, has been maligned in either fiction and nonfiction alike—Lewis himself known as him “a guy of no abnormal merit.”

W. Dale Nelson deals a frank and sincere portrayal of Toussaint, suggesting his personality has maybe been judged too harshly. He used to be certainly necessary as an interpreter and without doubt valuable along with his wisdom of the Indian tribes the gang encountered. for instance, Toussaint proved his worthy in negotiations with the Shoshones for much-needed horses, and along with his event as a fur dealer, he consistently appeared to strike a greater discount than his companions.

During the excursion Sacagawea gave beginning to a son, Jean Baptiste. along with her demise in 1812, Clark assumed custody of her son and Toussaint lower back to his existence at the higher Missouri. Surviving his spouse via nearly 3 a long time, Toussaint labored lower than Clark (then Superintendent of Indian Affairs in St. Louis) as an interpreter for presidency officers, explorers, artists, and traveling dignitaries. Jean Baptiste traveled the Rocky Mountains as a mountain guy, was once a scout through the Mexican American warfare, and served as mayor and choose for the San Luis Rey Mission.

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Extra resources for Interpreters With Lewis and Clark: The Story of Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau

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It carried them past the mouths of two creeks that Toussaint recognized. They flowed into the Missouri just below an island that could hardly be missed. It was two-and-one-half miles long counting its sandbar. Toussaint said he had once camped on the uppermost of the two streams for several weeks with a Hidatsa Indian hunting party. ” Not quite. Toussaint said two Frenchmen who were with him lost their way and straggled a few miles farther. Although one of the Frenchmen, Jean Baptiste Lepage, was now part of their permanent party, the explorers could not determine how far the stragglers had gone.

These Indians were very different from the ones Toussaint knew, and perhaps they got on his nerves. ” But they were approaching their goal. The Columbia was widening and there was coastal fog. It rained all one night and for the next two days, an augury of things to come. ”17 46 CHAPTER FIVE Fort Clatsop Toussaint Charbonneau’s first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean came toward evening on November 18, 1805. It may have been his first sighting of any ocean. Or perhaps, between his birth near Montreal and his arrival at the Mandan villages, he had made it down the St.

Neither he nor Sacagawea knew the languages of the coastal tribes. These Indians were very different from the ones Toussaint knew, and perhaps they got on his nerves. ” But they were approaching their goal. The Columbia was widening and there was coastal fog. It rained all one night and for the next two days, an augury of things to come. ”17 46 CHAPTER FIVE Fort Clatsop Toussaint Charbonneau’s first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean came toward evening on November 18, 1805. It may have been his first sighting of any ocean.

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