Sacagawea – Biography of Sacagawea

Born around 1788, near the Continental Divide on the current border between Idaho and Montana (USA), Sacagawea, also spelled Sacajawea, was a Shoshone Indian who, as a performer, traveled thousands of miles in the desert with the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–06), from the Mandan-Hidatsa villages in Dakotas to the Pacific Northwest.

Separate the fact from the legend in the life of Sacagawea it’s hard; historians disagree on the dates of his birth and death and even his name. In Hidatsa, Sacagawea (pronounced with a hard g) translates to “Bird womanAlternatively, Sacajawea Means “Canister launcher“in Shoshone. Others favor Sakakawea. The travel diaries of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark generally support the Hidatsa derivation.

A woman from the Lemhi Shoshone tribe, she was about 12 years old when a Hidatsa raiding group captured her near the head of the Missouri River around 1800. They enslaved her and took her to their Knife River villages, near present-day Bismarck, Dakota. from North; It was bought by the French Canadian fur trader Toussaint Charbonneau who made her one of his wives around 1804. They resided in one of the Hidatsa villages, Metaharta.

When the explorers Meriwether lewis Y William Clark arrived to the Mandan-Hidatsa villages and built Fort Mandan for the winter of 1804–05, they hired Charbonneau as an interpreter to accompany them to the Pacific Ocean. As she did not speak the native language and because the expedition needed to communicate with the Shoshones to acquire horses to cross the mountains, the explorers agreed that the pregnant woman Sacagawea it should also accompany them. On February 11, 1805, she gave birth to a son, Jean Baptiste.

Starting on April 7, the expedition ascended to Missouri. On May 14, Charbonneau almost capsized the white pirogue (boat) in which he was traveling Sacagawea. Remaining calm, he recovered important documents, instruments, books, medicines and other indispensable valuables that would have otherwise been lost. During the following week, Lewis and Clark named a tributary of the Mussellshell River of the Montana River “Sah-ca-gah-weah“, or” Bird Woman’s River, “in honor of her. She proved invaluable in numerous ways: searching for edible plants, making loafers and clothing, as well as dispelling suspicions of approaching Indian tribes through her presence; a woman and a boy accompanying a group of men indicated peaceful intentions.

In mid-August, the expedition encountered a band of Shoshone led by the brother of Sacagawea, Cameahwait. The brother and sister reunion had a positive effect on Lewis and Clark’s negotiations for the horses and guidance that allowed them to cross the Rocky Mountains. Upon reaching the Pacific coast, he was able to express his views on where the expedition would spend the winter and was granted his request to visit the ocean to see a beached whale. She and Clark loved each other and performed numerous acts of kindness for each other, but the romance between them only occurred in later fictions.

Sacagawea he was not the guide of the expedition, as some have mistakenly portrayed him; however, he recognized landmarks in southwestern Montana and informed Clark that Bozeman Pass was the best route between the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers on his return journey.

The Charbonneau family withdrew from the expedition upon returning to the Mandan-Hidatsa villages; Charbonneau eventually received $ 409.16 and 320 acres (130 hectares) for his services. Clark wanted to do more for his family, so he offered to help them and eventually secured Charbonneau a position as an interpreter. The family traveled to St. Louis in 1809 to baptize their son and left him in the care of Clark, who had previously volunteered to educate him. Shortly after the birth of a daughter named Lisette, a woman identified only as Charbonneau’s wife (but believed to be Sacagawea) died on December 20, 1812, at Fort Manuel, near present-day Mobridge, South Dakota. Clark became Lisette and Jean Baptiste’s legal guardian and scored on Sacagawea as deceased, on a list she compiled in the 1820s. Some biographers and oral traditions hold that it was another of Charbonneau’s wives who died in 1812 and that Sacagawea He went to live among the Comanches, started another family, joined the Shoshones, and died on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming on April 9, 1884.

The son of SacagaweaJean Baptiste traveled throughout Europe before returning to enter the fur trade. He sought out scouts and helped guide the Mormon Battalion to California before becoming mayor, hotel clerk, and gold miner. Attracted to the Montana goldfields after the Civil War, he died en route near Danner, Oregon, on May 16, 1866. Little is known of Lisette’s whereabouts prior to her death on June 16, 1832; she was buried in the cemetery of the old Catholic cathedral in St. Louis. Charbonneau died on August 12, 1843.

Sacagawea it has been commemorated with statues, monuments, stamps and place names. In 2000, his image appeared on a gold coin minted by the US Mint.In 2001, President Bill Clinton presented him with a posthumous decoration as an honorary sergeant in the regular army.