Lewis and Clark Meet Sacagawea

As the Corps of Discovery pushed forward, into the heart of the Great Plains, the explorers saw "little toy dogs."  They named them "prairie dogs." 

Hearing a great roaring sound - something they had never-before experienced - the men were stunned to see a stampeding herd of buffalo.  Much about this journey was new to them, including other animals (like grizzly bears) which they observed en route.

Of course ... where there are buffalo, there are buffalo hunters.  Despite their expressed orders to be kind to Native Americans, Lewis and Clark still told the various tribes they were there to claim their lands. 

As the Americans passed through the tribal homelands, they did not know the land belonged to more than 170 different tribes.  Some of those tribes were peaceful; others were usually at war. 

After traveling about 1,600 miles in five months, Lewis and Clark needed to find a place to spend the winter.  With the temperature dropping to 45 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit), traveling was not possible. 

Staying near the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes, the Corps hired an interpreter - a French trapper named Toussaint Charbonneau. 

When the Corps began their travels again, after the weather improved, Charbonneau brought one of his two wives - a Shoshone named Sacagawea (Sacajawea).  Her tribe had horses which were much-needed as the expedition continued to travel west.

Expecting her first child, Sacagawea gave birth to a son (Jean Baptiste Charbonneau).  Lewis assisted in the baby's birth.

The entire group, including the baby, continued to travel where no "civilized people" had previously set foot.  Along the way, Sacagawea's importance grew as she showed Lewis and Clark which plants were (and weren't) edible. 

Not knowing how long the trip would actually take, the men needed to depend on the land - as well as their supplies - as they continued their trek to the "western ocean."

See, also, these videos:

Lewis and Clark - Corps of Discovery

Lewis and Clark - Meeting with the Shoshone

Lewis and Clark - Reach the Pacific Ocean

Lewis and Clark - After the Corps of Discovery

Meriwether Lewis - Girandoni Air Rifle

Sacajawea - Interpreter for Lewis and Clark

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
3 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jul 16, 2018

Media Credits

Clip from "Lewis & Clark - Great Journey West" (2002).  Online, courtesy National Geographic and YouTube. Copyright, National Geographic, all rights reserved. Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the program.

Directed by:
William Kronick
Jack Kaufman
Bert Haanstra
Terry Sanders
Nicholas Clapp

Narrated by:

Jeff Bridges


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Lewis and Clark Meet Sacagawea" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jul 16, 2018.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips