Why is Sacagawea famous

Why is Sacagawea famous

Sacagawea, a Lemhi Shoshone woman, was famous for her role in accompanying Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in an expedition to explore the Western region of the United States. She served as an interpreter, navigator, and was proven to be helpful all throughout the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition.

History has it, or some say a mythology since the only written facts about Sacagawea’s existence was based on a travel journal written by Lewis and Clark, that Sacagawea was only 17 years old when she joined the expedition in 1804. The group was composed of 33 people wherein she was the only woman and expecting a baby.

In actuality it was her husband Toussaint Charbonneau, a fur trader with French-Canadian descent, that was first hired by the group of explorers (known as Corps of Discovery) to act as an interpreter. Besides, Charbonneau was also instructed to bring along his wife and baby boy Jean Baptiste (nicknamed Pomp) when the expedition started in 1805.

Sacagawea was more than useful to the expedition. She knew two types of Native American dialects, the Shoshone and Hidatsa, in addition to the French language that she used to communicate with her husband. Also it was her expertise with the terrain and mountains, familiarity with local customs and traditions, and being a native herself that helped the group in dealing with the indigenous people.

At one instance, Sacagawea (acting calm and resourceful) was responsible in saving a lot of important paperwork and items collected by the group when the boat that she was in almost flipped over. What’s more, when the group arrived at the Shoshone tribe, it turned out that the chief of the tribe was Sacagawea’s brother. The group was provided with all the necessary horses, food stuff and shelter that they needed in the journey, all thanks to Sacagawea’s brother.

There are other interesting stories about Sacagawea regardless of the fact that few information was written about her, even her photo is unknown. However, her personality and the things that she did gained her much respect and appreciation in the society today. To the National Woman Suffrage Association, Sacagawea symbolizes freedom and a woman’s worth.

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