John Dame

(1784 - unknown)
Private, U.S. Army

Pelican Slayer

This New Hampshire-born artillerist was serving under Capt. Amos Stoddard at Fort Kaskaskia in "the Illinois" when he joined the expedition in 1803 at the age of nineteen.1 From the start, he was assigned to the detail that would take the barge back to St. Louis in the spring of 1805. During his short time with the Corps has a reputation as a quiet and well disciplined soldier.

Dame's sole claim to notice in the captains' journals was the fact that he shot an American white pelican on August 8, 1804, at what the captains named Pelican Island, near today's Little Sioux, Iowa.2


1. Moulton, ed., Journals, 2:516.

2. The island no longer exists because of the Missouri's changing path. Ibid, 2:463n3.

Funded in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Challenge Cost Share Program.