How did Captain Lewis acquire Seaman

newfoundland dog

Photo: Library of Congress

Little is known about Seaman, but we do find in Lewis’s journal that he paid $20 for the Newfoundland dog. Depending on the inflation calculator you use, that’s approximately a current value of between $425 -$450. Many scholars believe Lewis purchased Seaman in September 1803 while in the Pittsburgh area waiting for the completion of the keelboat. The dog’s age at the time of purchase? Also unknown.

There’s also no record as to why Lewis selected a Newfoundland – it could have simply caught his attention, or he selected Seaman because the breed is known for being very intelligent, excellent swimmers, relentless hunters, and strong, loyal working companions.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Last updated: September 4, 2018