One of the
Nine Young Men from Kentucky
The youngest member of the "Corps of Discovery" was Private George
Shannon. Private Shannon is mentioned in several journal entries
due to his lack of orientation. On several occasions Private Shannon was
sent out into the wilderness and found himself lost. The first time this
happened was on August 27th, 1804 near Yankton, South Dakota.
While searching for lost horses, Private Shannon became as lost as the
horses and did not find his way back to the company until September 11th.
During his time on the prairie Private Shannon lived for 12 days on a
few wild grapes and a rabbit. It was later discovered that he was
traveling ahead of the Corps and after despairing because he could not
catch up with them he returned down river towards Saint Louis and
eventually found the party.
Private Shannon would have other lost-and-found episodes during his
travels, most lasted only a few hours, but on August 6th,
1805 Shannon was in trouble again. This time while hunting near Dillon,
Montana he didn't find the party until August 9th. Again
Shannon thought that the Corps was up river from him. Captain Lewis
wrote: "Shannon arrived, and informed us that having missed the party
the day on which he set out he had returned the next morning to the
place from whence he had set out or first left them and not finding them
that they were not above him as the river could not be navigated; he
then returned to the forks and had pursued us up this river. He brought
the skins of three deer, which he had killed, which he said were in good
order. He had lived very plentifully this trip, but looked a good deal
worried with his march."
Later in life George Shannon studied law and became a lawyer and a
senator from Missouri.
(1787 - 1836)
In 1787 George Shannon was born, a relative to
Governor Shannon of Kentucky and of Irish-Protestant descent.
During a visit to Pittsburgh he had a chance
meeting with Lewis who was patiently waiting for the completion
of the keelboat that was to be used on his expedition.
Shortly afterwards Shannon enlisted on October 19, 1803 and
became one of the ?Nine Young Men from Kentucky? and the
youngest member of the
He was selected to be a member of the Permanent
Party and was sent to Camp Dubois.
In 1807, he was one of the force under Ensign Nathaniel Pryor
which attempted to return
Sheheke (Big White) to his home among the Mandans.
He was elected a member of the Kentucky House of
Representatives in 1820 and 1822. He was a State senator from
Missouri for a time, then returned to law. He died suddenly in
court at Palmyra, Missouri, in 1836, aged forty-nine, and
he is buried in an unmarked grave in the Massie Mill Cemetery
one mile north of Palmyra.
in NE Nebraska