Index Inside the Corps The Native Americans The Archive Living History Into the Unknown Forum with Ken Burns Classroom Resources Related Products Interactive Trail Map Search Lewis and Clark navigation Introduction The Corps To Equip an Expedition Circa 1803 Lewis and Clark navigation

Little is known about the French boatman Baptiste Deschamps. He apparently was recruited at Kaskaskia and accompanied the Corps from Camp Dubois to Fort Mandan. Deschamps was not a member of the “permanent party” that traveled to the Pacific and back. On May 14, 1804, he was appointed “patron” of the French watermen on the expedition. He commanded nine oarsmen in the red pirogue, companion vessel of the smaller white pirogue, in the three boat flotilla that was led by the captains’ flagship, the keelboat. He was among the men who, on April 7, 1805, navigated the keelboat downriver to St. Louis.