Sacagawea with Lewis And Clark During Their Expedition of 1804-06  is a painting by Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945). It is online via Wikimedia Commons.


Shoshone oral tradition has it that Sacajawea lived into old age. It is that woman who died in 1884 and is buried on the Wind River Reservation.

Written records, however, conflict with the oral history:

  • They reveal Charbonneau’s wife died at age 25, soon after delivering her daughter Lisette.
  • While Charbonneau clearly had more than one “wife,” he did not have two daughters named Lisette.
  • Recent scholarship, therefore, holds to the belief that Sacajawea died in 1812.

Whether she lived a short or long life, the Shoshone teenager has become an American legend:

  • The U.S. Mint has created a gold dollar coin in her honor.
  • More schools in the States are named after her than after any other woman.

When Lewis and Clark are discussed, so is Sacajawea and the part she played in their mission. Ken Burns and his excellent PBS documentary have also raised Sacajawea’s profile in recent years. Even an elliptical caldera on the planet Venus has been named after her (Sacajawea Patera).

At the end of all the uncertainty, however, perhaps the exact details of her life matter less than the importance of her contribution to America’s heritage.

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

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

Original Release: Mar 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Jun 28, 2019

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

"THE LEGEND OF SACAJAWEA" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 01, 2001. Oct 20, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips