What happened to Seaman after the Lewis and Clark Expedition?

newfoundland dog

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“What happened to Seaman after the Expedition?” It’s a short, logical question that deserves a long, detailed answer.

Unfortunately, we can’t provide one because nothing is known for certain about Seaman after the final journal entry about him on July 15, 1806. Captain Lewis wrote (describing the hoard of mosquitoes), “…my dog even howls with the torture he experiences from them, they are always most insupportable, they are so numerous that we frequently get them in our thrats as we breath.”

So, from mid-July until nearly the end of September 1806, there’s no mention of the Newfoundland again. Most people feel that if anything happened to Seaman during this time, surely Lewis or one of the other journal keepers would have written about it. After all, it seems all of the men considered the dog one of their own. This leads you to believe that Seaman returned with Lewis to “civilian life” and either remained in St. Louis, or traveled with him to Washington or Albemarle County.

Most Newfoundlands lived to be approximately 10 years of age during the early 19th century, so it’s possible, if Seaman was less than one year old when Lewis purchased him in 1803, the dog could have lived to around 1813, long after Lewis himself.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Last updated: September 4, 2018