|Death: ||Dec. 20, 1812|
South Dakota, USA
Native American Explorer. She was born a Shoshone around the year 1788 in their Rocky Mountain homeland which today is Idaho. Kidnapped by a Hidatsa Indian war party in 1800 at the age of twelve and sold to Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian fur trader who claimed her as his wife. In 1804, The Lewis and Clark Expedition was in full swing and had constructed a Fort which they named Mandan near what today is the city of Bismark, North Dakota. While wintering and waiting to proceed, they hired the couple as guides and interpreters for this journey from the Northern Plains to the Pacific. While waiting for Spring, Sacagawea gave birth to her son Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau. He soon became America's youngest explorer. She was the only woman to accompany the 33 members of the party to the Pacific Ocean and return. With the baby strapped to her back she became incredibly valuable to the group. The Indians along the route took the expedition as peaceful upon seeing mother with child. With her help, they were able to purchase horses needed to cross the Continental Divide. Her duties also consisted of digging for roots, picking berries and collecting edible plants all of which were eaten or used as medicine by the group. Many times she and her baby nearly lost their lives. On one occasion, the boat she was riding in capsized after being hit by high winds. On November 24, 1805, the expedition reached the spot where the Columbia River emptied into the Pacific. They settled here for the winter in an area which today is Astoria, Oregon. During the expedition's return journey, they passed through the homeland of the Shoshone. Sacagawea proved a valuable guide. She remembered trails from her childhood. The group returned to Fort Mandan marking the end of the trip for Sacagawea, Charbonneau and their boy, Jean Baptiste. When the trip was over, she received nothing but Charbonneau was given $500. and 320 acres of land. Six years after the expedition, Sacagawea gave birth to a daughter, Lisette. Charbonneau disappeared during a trapping trip and was never heard from again. There are two versions of the demise of Sacagawea. At the time of her death, Sacagawea was with her husband at Fort Manuel, a trading post in what is present-day South Dakota purported to have been stricken with a white man's disease. Her age was 24. Another version with credence indicates she died at the Wind River Indian Reservation (Wyoming) on November 1, 1877 at the ripe old age of 100. A known fact of record states that eight months after her death, Captain Clark legally adopted Sacagawea's two children, Jean Baptiste and Lisette. Baptiste was educated by Clark in St. Louis and then, at age 18 was sent to Europe. The fortunes of Lisette are not known but it is thought she may have never survived past infancy. Sacagawea was honored in the 2000 issue of the $l coin with the contrived image of her carrying the infant on her back.
Toussaint Charbonneau (1767 - 1843)*
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (1805 - 1866)*
Lisette Charbonneau (1812 - 1832)*
GPS (lat/lon): 42.99289, -108.91441
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 2321
I wish I spoke the Shoshone language, so I could honor you in your native tongue. America owes you a great debt of gratitude for your service, which the record says you performed cheerfully, and well. It is a great shame on this nation that we did not r...(Read more)|
Added: Oct. 6, 2015
Added: Sep. 22, 2015
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