If you have watched Night At The Museum movie, you probably know some minor details about the Native American teenager, Sacagawea, aka the love interest of Theodore Roosevelt. But in reality, she guided on the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the hidden corners of the Pacific Northwest and the Louisiana Purchase. So here are 15 unknown Sacagawea facts for kids, who became famous explorers of the mystical landscapes.
1. Sacagawea was a member of the Lemhi Shoshone tribe.
Researchers don’t have many details about Sacagawea’s early life like her childhood, her family, and so on. But according to some sources, she was born in modern-day Idaho in the year 1788.
Apart from that, she was a member of the Lemhi Shoshone tribe, which means Eaters of Salmon. This tribe mostly lived along the banks of the Lemhi River Valley and upper Salmon River.
2. Sacagawea was forcibly married off aged 13.
When Sacagawea was just 12 years old, her community got raided by the Hidatsa people. Later on, they took her with them. A year later, they sold her to someone else for marriage.
She was married to a French-Canadian trapper Toussaint Charbonneau who was 20 to 30 years older than her. He had a history of trading with Hidatsa.
3. Sacagawea was second wife of a French-Canadian trapper Toussaint Charbonneau.
Sacagawea was not the first wife of Toussaint Charbonneau. Previously, he married a Hidatsa woman called Otter Woman. Later on, he got married to Sacagawea for the second time.
4. In 1804, Sacagawea joined Lewis and Clark on their expedition.
In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned a new US Army unit to study their newly captured land for both scientific and commercial purposes. At that time, the entire country was roughly mapped and some lands in the US were still led by local Native American groups.
From 1804 to 1805, captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark went on an expedition to the Hidatsa village. On their journey as they traveled up to the Missouri River, they searched for someone who could help them to interpret and guide them.
In November 1804, Sacagawea and Charbonneau joined the team: one had ties to the land and could speak local languages, and the other had the best trapping skills. Their team became formidable and helped a lot in the new expeditions.
5. Sacagawea carried her infant son on her expeditions with her husband.
In February 1805, Sacagawea gave birth to her first kid and named him Jean Baptiste. In the April 1805 expedition, she took her child along with her on the Lewis and Clark expedition.
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6. A river was named after Sacagawea to honor her.
Sacagawea accompanied the team in the earlier tests expedition which was up the Missouri River in small canoes or boats (pirogues). Continuing their journey against the rough tide was challenging.
Soon, Sacagawea impressed everyone with her expedition with her fast thinking after saving the materials from a capsized boat. Later on, that river was named Sacagawea River to honor her and the explorers. This is a tributary river of the Musselshell River, located in modern-day Montana.
7. Sacagawea’s ties with local communities and the natural world did not prove to be valuable.
Sacagawea had connections with the local communities and the natural world. As she was a native Shoshone speaker, people traded and negotiated with their team. She convinced the Shoshone and other communities to serve as guides.
Many felt less threatened because there was a presence of a Native American woman along with a kid on the expedition. Thus, everything went on peacefully.
8. Sacagawea knew all the natural world.
Most of the time, Sacagawea proved her usefulness during tough days like famine and other hardships. Her knowledge of the natural world made her more intelligent. During such tough phases of life, she was able to identify and collect edible plants and medicines such as camas’ roots.
9. Sacagawea was always treated as an equal fellow among the crew during the expedition.
Sacagawea was respected by everyone including the men on the expedition. As she was treated equally, she was allowed to vote on the setup of winter camp, complete trade deals, and barter other things.
Apart from this, her knowledge and ideas were well listened to by others.
10. Sacagawea ended up living in St. Louis, Missouri.
After the crew returned from the expedition, Sacagawea and her family lived in Hidatsa for the next 3 years. This happened before accepting an offer from Clark to settle down in St. Louis.
During this period, Sacagawea gave birth to a daughter and named her Lizette. However, she died in infancy. Later on, Sacagawea and her small family remained close to Clark and he took over the responsibility of Jean Baptiste’s education in St. Louis.
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11. Sacagawea passed away at a very young age, in the year 1812.
As per the evidence found in various documentaries, Sacagawea’s reason behind death remains unknown. Some say that she passed away at the age of 25 from sickness in 1812 that is not known till now.
After her demise, William Clark became the official guardian of her kids the following year. Some Native American oral histories believe that at this time, she left her partner and came back to the Great Plains. Furthermore, some even suggest that she got married again and lived a happy and long life.
12. Today, Sacagawea has become an important symbolic figure in the United States of America.
Sacagawea’s name has been mentioned in the history books of the United States. From her expedition days, she was looked up to as a positive figure by female suffrage and other feminist groups.
In the 20th century, many people came to know about her. And today, she has become an example of female independence.
13. Sacagawea became a symbol and was worthy of various titles.
Sacagawea got adopted as the symbol by the National American Woman Suffrage Association. They even shared her life story far and wide across the United States of America.
14. Sacagawea was kidnapped at the age of 12 by the members of their rival tribe.
Sacagawea was born to the Lemhi Shoshone tribe in 1788 or 1789. And their traditional homeland was located near the Salmon River and what is now known as Idaho.
Some experts believe that Sacagawea was snatched away from her community. The stories reveal that she was traveling with a buffalo hunting party in 1800. Suddenly a group of Hidatsa tribes attacked their tribe.
Later on, she was kidnapped and taken to the settlement of Hidatsa-Mandan, which is located in the south-central part of present-day North Dakota.
15. After her abduction, Sacagawea was married off to a French-Canadian fur trader.
A few years later after getting kidnapped, Sacagawea spent the beginning of her years (1803 or 1804) with the Hidatsa tribe. Later on, she and another Shoshone woman were either gambled or sold away to a French-Canadian fur trader named Toussaint Charbonneau.
Her husband lived with the Hidatsa tribe who was much older than her. He was born in 1758 while some historical evidence points to his birth year as 1767. On the other hand, Sacagawea would have been 15 years old, which puts him either in his mid-forties or mid-thirties. Later on, she was married to Charbonneau.