What happened to Sacagawea?

                                  After The Expedition returned to the Mandan village, Charbonneau was paid $500.33 and given 320 acres of land while Sacagawea received nothing. That is totally unfair; Sacagawea did much more than her husband and helped in too many ways to count.  Without her, The Expedition would not have even made it to the Pacific Ocean and back. Sacagawea stayed behind in the Mandan village while the rest of The Corps returned to St. Louis. From that point on nobody knows what became of Sacagawea. There are two most prominent ideas: the Wind River Reservation Native American way or the historian direction. 

                          Most historians believe that Sacagawea died at Ft. Manuel after giving birth to a daughter, Lisette. Accourding to this, Sacagawea had an illness that had bothered her all her life and had been aggrevated by the birth.  She would have only been 25 years old. The only evidence of this theory is a death recorded by John C. Luttig in a journal, "the wife of Charbonneau, a Snake squaw....aged about twenty-five years" and a ledger book note written by William Clark that seems to agree to this. No research can be done to find a grave because Lake Oahe now covers the site where Ft. Manuel once stood.

                          The other more believeable theory is the Shoshone oral tradition; which goes like this. "Sacagawea lived to an old age and died revered by her people on the Wind River Reservation in present day Wyoming. What happened, the Shoshone say, is this; following the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Sacagawea argued with Charbonneau, left him and became a wanderer. She lived with the Comanches for a time. Once back with the Shoshones she was reunited with her son, Baptise, and the nephew she had adopted while they traveled west...".

                          Rhea Porter White was very involved in raising a monument in Sacagawea's honor. In the early 1960's, the Governors of South Dakota and Wyoming had a dispute over where Sacagawea was buried. The Governor of Wyoming went to Rhea to ask her if she had proof of where Sacagawea was buried. "My mother answered calmly that she could prove Sacajawea was buried in Fort Washkie from the records of the Mormon church," recalls Dale Porter White, "there was no question about it at all and she could show him the paperwork." In 1884, an onetime Episcopalian minister performed a burial for a certain 'Bazil's mother'; Bazil's mother was later reconized as Sacagawea by the reverend.

                          Where ever Sacagawea spent her last days doesn't matter. In all history books, internet websites, and the hearts of Americans, Sacagawea will be seen as the backbone of the expedition as well as one of the most influential and remembered women of all time.  

statue form http://www.themediadrome.com/content/articles/history_articles/sacagewea.htm

golden dollar photos courtesy of the united states Mint


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What was Sacagawea's Importance to the Corps?

Who was Sacagawea?