History 131

Robin Wright
History 131-I3/ paper
October 27, 2013
Sacagawea and Her Role in the American History
Sacagawea (Sacajawea) was a bilingual Shoshone woman born around 1788-1789. When she was around twelve years old she was kidnapped by the Hidatsa tribe, the enemies of the Shoshone. After being kidnapped Sacagawea was traded for some type of pay-off and she became the property of French-Canadian fur trader Toussaint Charbonneau. Charbonneau lived among the Mandan and Hidatsa, believed in polygamy and Sacagawea soon became his second wife and soon after became pregnant.   It was during this time of life that Sacagawea would unknowing impact American history.   On November 4, 1804 William Clark and Meriwether Lewis were setting in motion their plans for their historical expedition from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Ocean and on this day they met French-Canadian named Toussaint Charbonneau.   Charbonneau had went to meet the two men in order to obtain a job as an interpreter on the expedition.   While talking to the men Charbonneau informed the men that he had two wives whom happened to be Squaws who were Snake (Shoshone) Indians.   Lewis and Clark knew that while they were on their voyage they would need someone to help them interpret and who would help secure supplies from the Shoshone when they passed through their territory.   Therefore the two men engaged Charbonneau to come along with them; they also asked Charbonneau if he could bring one of his wives as well in order to interpret the Snake (Shoshone) language.   There is no mention to why Charbonneau chose to bring along Sacagawea who just had an infant son two months earlier but lucky for Lewis and Clark he did.   Sacagawea, her infant son, and her husband Charbonneau all joined the Lewis, Clark, and the Crop of Discovery and set out for their long and testing journey.   Sacagawea would be the only woman member of this expedition which time and time would prove its importance to the party.  

Once the...