Sacagawea (1788 – 1812) is well known to most school children as the woman who smoothed the way for the men of the Lewis and Clark expedition across the frontier of America before paved roads, cars, planes, TVs, or phones existed.
Many facts about Sacagawea are lost in the mists of myth. Her early years are partially documented. She was born to a Shoshone tribe. And kidnapped as a child by a Hidatsa tribe. This tribe traded, or sold her to a French trapper, Toussaint Charbonneau, as a “wife.” He was asked to join the Lewis and Clark expedition. Sacagawea joined them, even though they would walk much of the way, and she was pregnant. The Journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806.
After her son was born, she continued the trek, and carried him along. She was able to met with her long lost brother at a critical moment in the journey. If she hadn’t met him, the team would have been killed. In many other ways, she saved them, through languages they did now speak, medical care, cooking, and reminding them of why they took the journey.
After the trek was over, her history starts to get murky with mists.
According to most sources, she gave birth to a daughter in 1812 and died. William Clark then adopted her two children, although the man who is supposed to be her husband, is still alive for nearly 30 more years.
There is also another documented story, that claims she survived and left to marry a Comanche and lived to be over 100 years old.
She was a true pioneer for women’s right’s to make their own decisions, and did what she could to teach others to treat women with respect.
Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17