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Crossroads lecturer reenacts life of Lewis and Clark's youngest member
Photos and Story by James Hill
R.J. Brown will reenact the difficult journey and intriguing life of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery’s youngest member, George Shannon, at the Wednesday, June 21, Crossroads Lecture. This public program will take from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Washington County Museum.
Admission to the Crossroads Lecture is $3 per person and free to WCHS members, employees of corporate members, and PCC students and staff. Parking in lot A in front of the museum is free with a museum permit. The museum is located on the Portland Community College Rock Creek Campus.
At the lecture, “Private George Shannon Remembers,” Brown will reincarnate the 18-year-old student from Pennsylvania who was recruited by and accompanied Cpt. Meriwether Lewis as a private in the Corps of Discovery. Brown helps visualize Shannon and the trials of his journey with some historical props from that era such as a 50-caliber Kentucky long rifle, a captain’s artillery sword and dress tri-corn hat as well as ermine, deer and coyote hides and head pieces used for trading and Native American ceremonies.
“I strive to show the audience the unbelievably difficult conditions on the trail,” Brown says. “The Corps went into a wilderness that only Native Americans had seen before. I tell stories of their incredible journey from the perspective of the young Private Shannon.”
Brown has been the president of the Historical Society of Columbia County for nine years. He is a charter member of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission in Oregon that has overseen bicentennial activities throughout the state. He moved to Oregon in 1947 and worked in safety, health, business and fire protection for 48 years. Brown, who is now retired, has lived in St. Helens since 1992.