Seaman was the name of the newfoundland dog that belonged to Meriweather Lewis and accompanied him on the famous Lewis and Clark expedition from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean in 1803. Lewis purchased Seaman for $20, and was the only pet that was taken along for the trip. Seaman was purchased specifically for the trip, perhaps as protection against the wild animals that the party was sure to encounter. Several times, according to the journals of Lewis and Clark Seaman either warned the Corps of Discovery, as the exploring party was called, of approaching danger, or his barking and growling scared the would-be attacker away.
Seaman became very popular with the men (and woman) in the group, and became known as "our dog". The dog was a great hit among the Indians encountered along the way, and on several occasions Lewis was approached with offers for the purchase of Seaman. On November 16, near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, Lewis mentioned that an encampment of Shawnee and Delaware Indians were encountered. “(O)ne of the Shawnees a respectable looking Indian offered me three beverskins for my dog with which he appeared much pleased...I prised much for his docility and qualifications generally for my journey and of course there was no bargain.” Seaman also proved to be quite good at catching ground squirrels, a skill which Lewis used to his advantage. “The squirrell appears in great abundance on either side of the river. I made my dog take as many each day as I had occasion for, they wer fat and I thought them when fryed a pleasent food.” Living up to his breeds' reputation as strong swimmers, Seaman amazed the party when “Dreywer Drouillard wounded a deer which ran into the river. my dog pursued caught it drowned it and brought it to shore at our camp.” Lewis even named a creek after the dog, in Montana.
There is a children's book written about Seaman. It is entitled Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West With Lewis and Clark and was written by Gail Langer Karwoski. My son reports that this is a "pretty good book". Another book is written from Seaman's point of view. It is called The Captain's Dog - My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe. and was written by Roland Smith in 1999. My son hasn't read it yet, but when he does I'll update this wu.