Sacagawea Facts

Sacagawea Facts
Sacagawea was a Shoshone Native most famous for having been the interpreter and the only woman on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Sacagawea was born in approximately 1788, the daughter of a Shoshone Indian Chief, in Lemhi County, Idaho. When she was only 12 she was kidnapped along with several other girls in her tribe, by an enemy tribe. She was sold to Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian trapper, who married her and lived with her among the Mandan and Hidatsa Natives in present-day North Dakota. When Lewis and Clark hired Charbonneau as an interpreter on their famous expedition, Sacagawea was also brought along, despite her having just given birth. She was invaluable to the expedition. Following the expedition her life was not well documented. It is believed she died in 1812, and Clark ultimately took care of her children.
Interesting Sacagawea Facts:
Sacagawea may have been spelled Sakakawea, or even Sacajawea. The correct spelling is debated to this day. In the journals of the Corps of Discovery expedition led by Lewis and Clark her name was spelled seven different ways.
Clark referred to Sacagawea as 'Janey' in his journal, as well as 'squaw'. At the time 'squaw' was not considered to be a derogatory term.
The Lewis and Clark expedition included 32 male members and Sacagawea was the only female.
When Sacagawea joined the expedition she brought her 55 day old newborn son Jean Baptiste along.
Sacagawea was very helpful on the Lewis and Clark expedition. She taught the men what plants were safe to eat.
During the expedition a boat capsized, spilling important documents and supplies into the river. Sacagawea managed to save much of the spilled supplies and documents. The men were so grateful for Sacagawea's efforts that day that they named the river after her. It is the Sacagawea River in Montana.
On the expedition Sacagawea was reunited with her brother whom she hadn't seen since she was kidnapped as a child. Her brother was Chief Camaehwait.
Clark often referred to Sacagawea as Janey and nicknamed her son Jean Baptiste 'Pomp'.
When deciding where to build the fort in the winter along the expedition, everyone was given a vote. Sacagawea was given a vote as well.
Clark climbed a 200-foot tall rock along the Yellowstone River, naming it Pompy's Tower in honor of Sacagawea's son Jean Baptiste.
Along the expedition Sacagawea helped to negotiate with Native tribes to ensure the safety of the expedition members along their journey.
Charbonneau was paid with 320 acres of land and $533.33 for his services during the expedition. Sacagawea was not paid at all.
Six years after the expedition Sacagawea had another baby - a girl named Lizette.
Although documentation by John Luttig, a Fort Manuel clerk, states that Sacagawea died in 1812 from typhus, Native Americans believe she died in 1884.
The U.S. Mint issued a coin in 2000 - a golden dollar featuring Sacagawea and her infant son Jean Baptiste. The reverse design has been changed each year since 2009 - featuring an image of Native American culture.


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