Sacajawea - SACAJAWEA

This illustration, by Gary Lucy, depicts an artist’s interpretation of “Lewis and Clark: The Departure from the Wood River Encampment, May 14, 1804.” It is online courtesy Gary Lucy Gallery, Inc. via th U.S. Army Center of Military History.


It was a time of exploration. When Lewis and Clark set out to find a waterway across the North American west, the typical "Indian Horseman" knew his way on the plains but the average white hunter did not.

Even those who knew the way could not easily cross the great mountains that met the great plains. A transcontinental railway was not yet feasible.

Native Americans still lived and hunted (especially buffalo) on their own lands, not on reservations. Women of the various tribes had little to say about whom they would marry. Sometimes they were given in trade to explorers, as depicted in Alfred Jacob Miller’s "The Trapper’s Bride." Sacajawea, a Shoshone Indian, was such a woman.

She had been kidnapped by the Hidatsa tribe who then sold her to the Mandan Sioux. When she was a teenager, the Mandan sold Sacajawea to a French trapper and interpreter, Toussaint Charbonneau.

In 1804, Sacajawea and Charbonneau were living in a Mandan-Hidatsa village in modern-day North Dakota. It was there that she met Lewis and Clark.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Jun 28, 2019

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"SACAJAWEA" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 01, 2001. Nov 20, 2019.
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