Who Was Sacagawea? by Judith Bloom FradinSacagawea was only sixteen when she made one of the most remarkable journeys in American history, traveling 4500 miles by foot, canoe, and horse-all while carrying a baby on her back! Without her, the Lewis and Clark expedition might have failed. Through this engaging book, kids will understand the reasons that today, 200 years later, she is still remembered and immortalized on a golden dollar coin.
Whatever happened to Sacagawea's son Pompy?
In , when she was about 12 years old, Sacagawea was kidnapped by a war party of Hidatsa Indians -- enemies of her people, the Shoshones. The Shoshones possessed horses that the expedition needed to cross the Bitterroot Mountains. The captains felt that because of her Shoshone heritage, Sacagawea could be important in trading for horses when the Corps reached the western mountains and the Shoshones. While Sacagawea did not speak English, she spoke Shoshone and Hidatsa. Her husband Charbonneau spoke Hidatsa and French.
His mother was a Shoshone Indian known as Sacagawea. He spoke French and English and learned German and Spanish during his six years in Europe from to He spoke Shoshone and other western American Indian languages, which he picked up during his years of trapping and guiding. Jean Baptiste was the son of Sacagawea , a Shoshone , and her French Canadian husband-captor Toussaint Charbonneau , the latter who worked as a trapper and interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In his early childhood, he accompanied his parents as they traveled across the country. The expedition co-leader William Clark nicknamed the boy Pompey "Pomp" or "Little Pomp", Because that was the traditional name for a shoshone womans first child.
Having acquired the taste of freedom and equality, Sacagawea would find that the white world no longer needed the services of a young Native American. She remained living with her controlling and abusive, polygamous husband, Charbonneau and his several "Squaw" wives, until her death at about age 24, 6 years after the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Her legend began to grow immediately, and nobody wanted to believe she was dead. Sacagawea's death in was not accepted by White or Native American peoples until historical documents were unearthed by historians and publicized in the middle of the 20th century. When writer Henry Brackenridge met Charbonneau and Sacagawea in , he described her as a "good creature, of a mild and gentle disposition, greatly attached to the whites, whose manners and dress she tries to imitate, but she had become sickly, and longed to revisit her native country. On December 20, , at the frontier trading post on the Missouri River in present Corson County, South Dakota, trapper John Luttig recorded a historic journal entry: "this Evening the Wife of Charbonneau a Snake Squaw [the common term used to denote Shoshone Indians], died of a putrid fever she was a good and the best Women in the fort, aged abt 25 years she left a fine infant girl. In a book published in , Grace Hebard theorized that Sacagawea lived a long life and did return to her Shoshone people in Wyoming, where she died at years of age in