April is month of the Military Child
One of the earliest military children people may not think of is Jean Baptiste Charonneau who was the son of Sacagawea, the Native American member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Sacagawea was married to French-Canadian fur Trapper Toussaint Charbonneau who purchased her from Hidatsa kidnappers. Before her kidnapping Sacagawea was the daughter of a prominent Shoshone chief. Lewis and Clark hired Charbonneau as an interpreter for the expedition, but only if he brought along his wife to also serve as an interpreter. Sacagawea was pregnant while on the expedition and in 1805 gave birth to Jean Baptiste with the medical help of Meriweather Lewis. John Baptiste became the newest member of the expedition and accompanied his mother throughout the entire trip; she carried him on her back in an Indian cradleboard. Jean Bapstiste’s presence provided an unexpected usefulness to the expedition. The presence of a baby and mother helped convince Native Americans that the traveling party came in peace and meant well. Lewis and Clark both grew fond of the little boy. Clark later made Sacagawea a promise that after the expedition he would pay for Jean Baptiste’s education and upheld his word. Jean Baptiste attended a St. Louis Catholic academy and later learned French, German, and Spanish. He also traveled and hunted in Germany, explored Africa and later the American West. Born on a military expedition, it was almost as if he was meant to be an explorer himself.
For more information follow the link below
Photo credit: http://www.sacagawea-biography.org/jean-baptiste-charbonneau-pomp/
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