The 19th century American West was a place for emigrants to dream about, but speculation ended after travelers crossed the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. A formidable geography and environment forced people to quickly adapt -- or return to their homes. One person who made an extraordinary adjustment was Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau. He also was the adopted son of William Clark, co-leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Contradictions haunted this man of Anglo and Indian worlds. He was raised in Clark's elite domain and spent six years in a European kingdom, but chose to live and work in the vast western wilderness. How did this educated, courtly man thrive among rugged, violent adventurers and omnipresent danger? What were his significant historical accomplishments? What did he do in Europe? Does he have descendants?

The text tracks him over two-thirds of the American continent and places him in several major historical events. Along with his travels and contributions, the extraordinary life-long relationship between the Charbonneau family and Clark is examined. The author reflects throughout the narrative on the rigorous personal challenges and economic developments Jean Baptiste and others faced. Twenty-first century readers will vividly come to realize how 19th century westerners contributed to hard-earned American values.


Followers of Lewis and Clark, the Charbonneau family, exploration and settlement of the early American West including Indian-Anglo conflict, the Mexican War and the Gold Rush will find the text to be accurate, informative and rewarding. Above all, the Jean Baptiste Charbonneau Biography will establish him as perhaps the most unique frontiersman in the history of the American West.



The Jean Baptiste Charbonneau Biography is in its 3rd edition. It's easily ordered at,,, Powell's and It's also available as an ebook at BOOKSTORES please order at


Written history is based on document research. Baptiste Charbonneau kept no known journal, so key aspects of his life are a mystery.

To that end, in order to round out this remarkable man's story, I have completed a screenplay entitled A TALE OF RECKONING. It is an adapted biopic that greatly expands his personal relationships and adventures. He is the protagonist in a dramatic, visceral story that makes him fully human and unforgettable, even more than his biography. Screenplay LOGLINE: Based on a true story, he only wants a family but this famous frontiersman experiences bigotry, love and danger as he heads to his day of reckoning.

If you are a producer, agent or manager, please visit www.a-tale-of-reckoning for the synopsis. 


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