|Birth Day:||May 1, 1788|
|Death Date:||December 20, 1812 or April 9, 1884 (aged 24 or 95)
Kenel, South Dakota or Wyoming
|Birth Place:||Salmon, United States|
|#1||Jean Baptiste Charbonneau||Children||N/A||N/A||N/A|
As per our current Database, Sacagawea died on December 20, 1812 or April 9, 1884 (aged 24 or 95)
Kenel, South Dakota or Wyoming.
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
In 1800, when she was about 12 years old, she and several other girls were kidnapped by a group of Hidatsa in a battle that resulted in the deaths of several Shoshone: four men, four women, and several boys. She was held captive at a Hidatsa village near present-day Washburn, North Dakota.
On November 4, 1804, Clark recorded in his journal:
Charbonneau and Sacagawea moved into the expedition's fort a week later. Clark nicknamed her "Janey." Lewis recorded the birth of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau on February 11, 1805, noting that another of the party's interpreters administered crushed rattlesnake rattles in water to speed the delivery. Clark and other European-Americans nicknamed the boy "Little Pomp" or "Pompy."
In April, the expedition left Fort Mandan and headed up the Missouri River in pirogues. They had to be poled against the current and sometimes pulled from the riverbanks. On May 14, 1805, Sacagawea rescued items that had fallen out of a capsized boat, including the journals and records of Lewis and Clark. The corps commanders, who praised her quick action, named the Sacagawea River in her honor on May 20, 1805. By August 1805, the corps had located a Shoshone tribe and was attempting to trade for horses to cross the Rocky Mountains. They used Sacagawea to interpret and discovered that the tribe's chief, Cameahwait, was her brother.
While traveling through what is now Franklin County, Washington, in October 1805, Clark noted that "the wife of Shabono [Charbonneau] our interpetr we find reconsiles all the Indians, as to our friendly intentions a woman with a party of men is a token of peace," and that she "confirmed those people of our friendly intentions, as no woman ever accompanies a war party of Indians in this quarter" [sic].
Sakakawea (/səˌkɑːkəˈwiːə/) is the next most widely-adopted spelling, and is the most-often accepted among specialists. Proponents say the name comes from the Hidatsa tsakáka wía ('bird woman'). Charbonneau told expedition members that his wife's name meant "Bird Woman," and in May 1805 Lewis used the Hidatsa meaning in his journal:
On the return trip, they approached the Rocky Mountains in July 1806. On July 6, Clark recorded:
Following the expedition, Charbonneau and Sacagawea spent 3 years among the Hidatsa before accepting William Clark's invitation to settle in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1809. They entrusted Jean-Baptiste's education to Clark, who enrolled the young man in the Saint Louis Academy boarding school. Sacagawea gave birth to a daughter, Lizette Charbonneau, sometime after 1810. However, there is no later record of Lizette among Clark's papers. It is believed that she died in childhood.
According to Bonnie "Spirit Wind-Walker" Butterfield (2010), historical documents suggest that Sacagawea died in 1812 of an unknown sickness. For instance, a journal entry from 1811 by Henry Brackenridge, a fur trader at Fort Lisa Trading Post on the Missouri River, wrote that Sacagawea and Charbonneau were living at the fort. Brackenrige recorded that Sacagawea "had become sickly and longed to revisit her native country." Butterfield then points to the following year, 1812, where a Fort-Lisa clerk, John Luttig, recorded in his journal on December 20 that "the wife of Charbonneau, a Snake Squaw [i.e. Shoshone Indians], died of putrid fever." He goes on to say that she was "aged about 25 years. She left a fine infant girl." Furthermore, documents held by Clark show that her son Baptiste already had been entrusted by Charbonneau into Clark's care for a boarding school education, at Clark's insistence (Jackson, 1962).
As further proof that Sacagawea died in 1812, Butterfield writes:
Some Native American oral traditions relate that, rather than dying in 1812, Sacagawea left her husband Charbonneau, crossed the Great Plains, and married into a Comanche tribe. She was said to have returned to the Shoshone in 1860 in Wyoming, where she died in 1884.
In February 1813, a few months after Luttig's journal entry, 15 men were killed in a Native attack on Fort Lisa, then located at the mouth of the Bighorn River. Luttig and Sacagawea's young daughter were among the survivors. Charbonneau was mistakenly thought to have been killed at this time, but he apparently lived to at least age 76. He had signed over formal custody of his son to William Clark in 1813.
The use of this spelling almost certainly originated from the use of the "j" spelling by Nicholas Biddle, who annotated the journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition for publication in 1814. This use became more widespread with the publication of the 1902 novel The Conquest: The True Story of Lewis and Clark, written by Eva Emery Dye. It is likely that Dye used Biddle's secondary source for the spelling, and her highly popular book made it ubiquitous throughout the United States (previously most non-scholars had never even heard of Sacagawea).
After his infant son died, Jean-Baptiste came back from Europe in 1829 to live the life of a Western frontiersman. He became a gold miner and a hotel clerk and in 1846 led a group of Mormons to California. While in California he became a magistrate for the Mission San Luis Rey. He disliked the way Indians were treated in the Missions and left to become a hotel clerk in Auburn, California, once the center of gold rush activity.
After working six years in Auburn, the restless Jean-Baptiste left in search of riches in the gold mines of Montana. He was 61 years old, and the trip was too much for him. He became ill with pneumonia and died in a remote area near Danner, Oregon, on May 16, 1866.
According to these narratives, Porivo lived for some time at Fort Bridger in Wyoming with her sons Bazil and Baptiste, who each knew several languages, including English and French. Eventually, she found her way back to the Lemhi Shoshone at the Wind River Reservation, where she was recorded as "Bazil's mother." This woman, Porivo is believed to have died on April 9, 1884.
The spelling Sacagawea was established in 1910 by the Bureau of American Ethnology as the proper usage in government documents. It would be the spelling adopted by the U.S. Mint for use with the dollar coin, as well as the U.S. Board on Geographic Names and the National Park Service. The spelling is also used by a large number of historical scholars.
An account of the expedition published in May 1919 noted that "A sculptor, Mr. Bruno Zimm, seeking a model for a statue of Sacagawea that was later erected at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, discovered a record of the pilot-woman's death in 1884 (when ninety-five years old) on the Shoshone Reservation, Wyoming, and her wind-swept grave."
In 1925, Dr. Charles Eastman, a Dakota Sioux physician, was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to locate Sacagawea's remains. Eastman visited various Native American tribes to interview elderly individuals who might have known or heard of Sacagawea. He learned of a Shoshone woman at the Wind River Reservation with the Comanche name Porivo ('chief woman'). Some of those he interviewed said that she spoke of a long journey wherein she had helped white men, and that she had a silver Jefferson peace medal of the type carried by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He found a Comanche woman named Tacutine who said that Porivo was her grandmother. According to Tacutine, Porivo had married into a Comanche tribe and had a number of children, including Tacutine's father, Ticannaf. Porivo left the tribe after her husband, Jerk-Meat, was killed.
In 1959, she was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Likewise, in 1976, she became a Hall-of-Fame Honoree of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2001, she was given the title of Honorary Sergeant, Regular Army, by then-president Bill Clinton. In 2003, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
It was Eastman's conclusion that Porivo was Sacagawea. In 1963, a monument to "Sacajawea of the Shoshonis" was erected at Fort Washakie on the Wind River reservation near Lander, Wyoming, on the basis of this claim.
In 1967, the actress Victoria Vetri, under the name Angela Dorian, played Sacajawea in the episode "The Girl Who Walked the West" of the syndicated television series, Death Valley Days.
Idaho native John Rees explored the 'boat launcher' etymology in a long letter to the U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs written in the 1920s. It was republished in 1970 by the Lemhi County Historical Society as a pamphlet entitled "Madame Charbonneau" and contains many of the arguments in favor of the Shoshone derivation of the name.
In 2000, the United States Mint issued the Sacagawea dollar coin in her honor, depicting Sacagawea and her son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Because no contemporary image of Sacagawea exists, the face on the coin was modeled on a modern Shoshone-Bannock woman named Randy'L He-dow Teton. The portrait design is unusual, as the copyrights have been assigned to and are owned by the U.S. Mint. Therefore the portrait is not in the public domain, as most US coin designs are.
Currently, Sacagawea is 233 years, 2 months and 23 days old. Sacagawea will celebrate 234th birthday on a Sunday 1st of May 2022.
Find out about Sacagawea birthday activities in timeline view here.