Randy’L He-dow Teton - born 1976
- is a
Shoshone-Bannock/Cree from the Lincoln Creek district of the Fort Hall
Reservation in Southeastern Idaho - who posed as
the model for the US Sacagawea dollar coin first issued in 2000.She graduated from the University of
New Mexico at 24 with a BA in Art History and a minor in Native American Studies. nativeamericanencyclopedia.com -
infoplease.com - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacagawea_dollar
She was a slave, a woman and an
Indian. And America might not be what it is today without Sacagawea.
Sacagawea was probably born in 1790 in what is now Idaho. A member of the
Shoshone tribe, she was kidnapped as a child by the Hidatsa tribe. The Hidatsas
sold her as a slave to the Mandan Sioux of modern-day North Dakota.
There are conflicting stories, but Sacagawea ended up with a Canadian trapper
named Toussaint Charbonneau. One story says he won her and another Indian woman
in a bet.
Others say Charbonneau bought
the women. Whatever the truth, by the winter of 1805,
the two were a couple, and Sacagawea was pregnant and near term. That sets the
stage.Two years earlier, President Thomas Jefferson had sent emissaries to
France to buy New Orleans. He believed U.S. interests mandated that the city,
near the mouth of the Mississippi River, be part of the country. Alternatively,
the emissaries were to negotiate free navigation of the river.
But Napoleon had another idea. He needed money and offered a deal: France's
entire Louisiana Territory for a
then-kingly $15 million.
Jefferson jumped at it. So what was out there? Before the Louisiana Purchase,
the United States of America ended at the Mississippi. The fact is, white
Easterners at the time knew more about the face of the moon than the interior of
the North American continent -- and the U.S. government had just bought
800,000 square miles of it sight unseen. Jefferson sent his private secretary,
Army Capt. Meriwether Lewis, to explore. Lewis recruited Lt. William Clark and
the Corps of Discovery and in 1804 set off up the Missouri River into terra
incognita. The all-male, all-single, mostly soldier group was to map, observe
and record everything and to find a navigable water route to the Pacific.
Lewis and Clark realized they would need interpreters to speak with the Indian
tribes they expected to meet. In
1805, they wintered at the Mandan village along the Missouri. There, they hired
Charbonneau as an interpreter and guide.
Along with Charbonneau came Sacagawea. The thinking was she could help translate
when the expedition reached her native area. The Indian teen-ager gave birth to
a son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, on Feb. 12, 1805, in the Mandan village. The
baby was strapped to his mother's back when the expedition left the Mandans that
April.The expedition continued up the Missouri River. Stories told over the
years have Sacagawea guiding Lewis and Clark through the wilderness,
interpreting for them and keeping them out of harm's way more than a few times.
There are contrarians.
Historian Stephen Ambrose, in "Undaunted Courage his book about the Lewis and
Clark expedition, contends Sacagawea was not a guide and that neither Lewis nor
Clark thought of consulting her even when she clearly could have helped. The two
seem to have asked for her advice only once -- for a route when they entered her
people's hunting grounds. She pointed them up a tributary of the Beaverhead
What is not disputed are the events following Sacagawea's reunion with her tribe
on Aug. 15, 1805. If what happened had been part of a Hollywood movie, critics
probably would have panned it as unrealistic. Lewis met with the chief of the
Shoshones. Sacagawea listened to the parlay and then recognized the chief was
her brother, Cameahwait.
Her relationship to the chief cemented the expedition's standing with the tribe.
It also may have been the critical breakthrough Lewis and Clark needed to reach
the Pacific and return. They desperately needed Indian help to get over the
Bitterroot Mountains of Montana and Idaho.
Cameahwait sold horses to the travelers and provided a guide to lead them across
the Bitterroots. Even with Shoshone help, the expedition suffered many hardships
going over the mountains. Had Sacagewea not helped them establish a rapport with
Cameahwait, the explorers would certainly have fared far worse.
Eventually, Lewis and Clark met up with the Nez Perce tribe and made their way
to the Columbia River and to the Pacific Ocean. They wintered over at the mouth
of the Columbia and started home in the spring. When the party reached the
Mandan village, Charbonneau and Sacagawea stayed behind.
Following the expedition, Clark offered to school Jean Baptiste. Charbonneau and
Sacagawea accepted the offer and moved to the St. Louis area. They had a
daughter named Lizette and then moved back to the Mandan village in 1811.
Sacagawea died of "putrid fever" on Dec. 20, 1812, or maybe not. Shoshone oral
tradition says she returned to the Shoshones and settled at the Wind River
reservation in modern-day Wyoming. Tribal tradition says she died on April 9,
1884, and is buried there.
A slave, an Indian and a woman, Sacagawea received little respect during her
lifetime. Today, the United States recognizes her and her place in American
history through its new Golden Dollar coin. The front features a portrait of her
and a bundled Jean Baptiste.
- MONUMENT IN SOUTH DAKOTA -
GRAVE FORT WASHAKIE WYOMING
Who Was Sacagawea? Sacagawea was the Shoshone Indian who assisted the
historic Lewis and Clark expedition. Between 1804-1806, while still a teenager,
she guided the adventurers from the Northern Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean
and back. Her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, and their son who was born during
the trip, Jean Baptiste, also accompanied the group. Without Sacagawea's navigational, diplomatic, and
translating skills, the famous Lewis and Clark expedition would have perished.
For one, she helped Lewis and Clark obtain the
horses they needed to continue their journey. infoplease.com - 2014
Sacajawea ... Sakakawea ...
Sacajawea ? Sakakawea ? or
Sacajawea ? What is the correct spelling of the name of the
American Indian woman who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their western
journey in the early years of the 19th Century ? That depends
on which source one consults; there is no uniform consensus. According to
her husband, her name meant Bird Woman. In the Hidatsa language its
correct spelling is "Tsakaka-wias." Wyoming and
several other Western states spell it "Sacajawea,"
a Shoshone word for "Boat-Launcher." In Clark's own
journal entry, dated April 7, 1805, her name is rendered as as
Sah-kah-gar-wea . https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/1234
May 14, 1805 - The
boat Sacajawea was riding in was hit by a high wind and nearly capsized.
Her calmness earned her compliments from the Captains. "The Indian
woman to whom I ascribe equal fortitude and resolution, with any person onboard
at the time of the accident, caught and preserved most of the light articles
which were washed overboard".
July 28, 1805 - Sacajawea
was a remarkable woman in time of sorrow.
camp is precisely on the spot that the Snake Indians were encamped at
the time the Minnetares of the Knife River first came in sight of them
five years since. From hence they retreated about three
miles up Jefferson's River and concealed themselves in the woods, the
Minnetares pursued, attacked them, killed 4 men, 4 women, a number of
boys, and made prisoners of all the females and four boys, Sacajawea was
one of the female prisoners. I cannot discover that she shows any
emotion of sorrow in recollecting this event, or of joy in being
restored to her native country; if she has enough to eat and a few
trinkets to wear I believe she would be perfectly content anywhere..."
August 8, 1805 - Sacajawea
was attached to her country and kin.
"The Indian woman
recognized the point of a high plain to our right which she informed us
was not very distance from the summer retreat of her nation on a river
beyond the mountains which runs to the west. This hill she says
her nation calls the Beaver's Head, as it resembles the head of that
animal. She assures us that we shall either find her people o this
river or on the river immediately west..."
August 17, 1805 - Five
years later, Sacajawea had an emotional reunion with her brother, Chief
Cameahwait; it was Sacajawea who secured the horses that the Expedition
"Clark saw Sacajawea, who was with her husband 100 yards ahead, began to
dance and show every mark of the most extravagant joy, turning round him
and pointing to several Indians, whom he now saw advancing on horseback,
sucking her fingers to indicate that they were of her native tribe"...
"She came into the tent, sat down, and was beginning to interpret, when in
the person of Cameahwait she recognized her brother; She instantly
jumped up, and ran and embraced him, throwing over him her blanket and
October 19, 1805 - The
presence of Sacajawea was an invitation to the Indians that the white
people came in peace. "The sight of this Indian woman, wife to one of
our interprs. confirmed those people of our friendly intentions, as no
woman ever accompanies a war party of Indians in this quarter..."
November 20, 1805 -
Sacajawea, always pleasing the Captains. "one of the Indians had on a
roab made of 2 Sea Otters Skins the fur of them were more butifull than
any fur I had ever seen both Capt. Lewis & my Self endeavored to
purchase the roab with differant articles at length we precurred
it for a belt of blue beeds which the - wife of our interpreter Shabono
wore around her waste..."
November 24, 1805 -
Reaching the place where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific
Ocean, the members of the Expedition were given the right to vote
on the location where they would settle for the winter.
Sacajawea (Janey) in favor of a place where there is plenty of Potas.
January 7, 1806 - A whale
had washed ashore, near present day Seaside/Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Sacajawea accompanied the group to the ocean. "...she observed
that she had traveled a long way with us to see the great waters, and
that now that monstrous ish was also to be seen,..."
July 15, 1806 - Sacajawea
proved a valuable guide on the return journey. She
remembered trails from her childhood; the most important trail was a
large road that passed through a gap in the mountain, which led to
Yellowstone River. Today, it is known as Bozeman Pass, Montana.
August 14, 1806 - End of the Journey for
Sacajawea... returning to the Hidatsa-Mandan Village. " I offered to
take the little son a butifull promising child who is 19 months old to
which they both himself & wife were willing provided the child had been
weened. They observed that in one year the boy would be
sufficiently old to leave his mother & he would then take him to
me if I would be so friendly as to raise the child ... to which I
agreed". Capt. Clarks' Journal Entry August 17, 1806
... Sacagawea can be a role model for women because she was a wife and a mother at
the same time as she
was working hard for what was the best for the expedition. She must have had an incredible amount of strength to
carry her baby on her back while gathering food, walking nearly across a continent, and acting as a sort of “ambassadress” to all the