Sacajawea "Bird Woman"

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Sacajawea "Bird Woman"

Also Known As: "Sacagawea", "Sakakawea"
Birthdate: (96)
Birthplace: Lemhi Valley, Idaho
Death: Died in Fort Washakie, Fremont, Wyoming, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Smoked Lodge and Otter Woman
Wife of Toussaint Charbonneau
Mother of Jean Baptiste "Pompey" Charbonneau and Lissette Charbonneau
Sister of Chief Kontakayak (aka Tamkahanka); N. N. and Cameahwait

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sacajawea "Bird Woman"

"The wife of [Charbonneau] our interpreter we find reconciles all the Indians, as to our friendly intentions--a woman with a party of men is a token of peace." ---William Clark

Find A Grave Memorial # 2321

In the early stages of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, at Fort Mandan on the Missouri River, an interpreter was engaged. This French-Canadian trader was named Toussaint Charbonneau. He brought along his young wife, Sacajawea, and their eight-week-old baby boy, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, strapped to his mother's back on a cradleboard.

Sacajawea was the daughter of a Shoshone chieftain. By the time the expedition reached Shoshone country, the explorers desperately needed horses. They encountered Sacajawea's band, now headed by her older brother Cameahwait due to the recent death of their father.

Elated to show her family the baby but grief stricken over her father's death, Sacajawea nevertheless arranged for horses and supplies. She and her husband accompanied the expedition to the Pacific and part of the way back, serving for 19 months. Charbonneau was paid around $500, but Sacajawea proved to be a more valuable guide and interpreter.

Sacajawea then disappeared from history. It was reported that she died of a fever in her 20s in 1812, although there were rumors that she returned to the Shoshone and lived until 1884.

Note: Sauvagesse was not really a "name" but a description. It's the feminine form of Sauvage, which translates to "savage."

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Sacajawea "Bird Woman"'s Timeline

May 1788
Lemhi Valley, Idaho
February 11, 1805
Age 16
Fort Mandan, ND
February 22, 1812
Age 23
Age 95
Fort Washakie, Fremont, Wyoming, United States