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Corps Of Bibliography

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Sacagawea & “The Corps of Discovery”

The Journey That Changed America

When you open up a book and read about the Lewis and Clark expedition, it is likely that you are going to read about a woman named Sacagawea. But who exactly is Sacagawea? In about 1788, Sacagawea was born in the Lemhi-River Valley in present day Idaho. For the following twelve years, she grew up as a Shoshone child. Although everyone got along with each other, every person in the community had a responsibility. Children were expected to work hard and taught from a very young age to be hospitable. They catered to absolutely everyone, and this was a well-known trait for most of the Shoshones. Most woman grew up and had children by the time they reached the age of twenty- such was the expectation of most Shoshone woman. However, at the age of twelve, Sacagawea, along with her brother, sister and mother were captured by the Hidatsa tribe. This tribe had the opposite reputation as the Shoshones, being known as cold people. The way Sacagawea, as well as many other young girls, does prove the accusation. Sacagawea became isolated in her new tribe, mainly due to her dreams of becoming more than just a mother.

When Sacagawea was about 17 years old, she met and married Toussaint Charbonnueau who was an explorer on the trip. Although the marriage lasted all the way until Sacagawea’s death, it wasn’t too good of a relationship. Some historians say that Charbonnueau constantly abused her. But, because she was traveling on the expedition, there was no possible way for her to divorce him. Some historians say that she could have been too scared to divorce him because by the time she was married to him, she was pregnant with his baby and she was almost at term. On February 11, 2805 (which is about half way through the trip), Sacagawea gave birth to her first child, Jean-Baptise. Jean was quickly nicknamed Pomp, and this is the name he is mainly known as. Whenever there is a portrait or statue of Sacagawea, she is usually carrying Pomp on her back. Unfortunately, in her mid-20’s, Sacagawea passed away. Medical researches consider the cause of death to be an illness she suffered through many years of her adult life. And because this was just a few weeks after giving birth to Lisette, her daughter, some think that the birth could have aggravated the illness.

But what exactly did Sacagawea that made her so famous? She must have made a vital impact on the Lewis and Clark journey to be noted so frequently- which is absolutely right. “Everything she did on that journey was for her people.” ( Sacagawea was a huge part of the Corps of Discovery. Many people find Sacagawea so unique because she was the only female to travel with the explorers during the Corps of Discovery. But not alone did she just go along, she helped tremendously. Although there were a couple trained medics, Sacagawea really helped in that field. She knew exactly what was suitable for eating and what should not be touched or eaten. This really helped because there were plenty plants and various other things that would be extremely dangerous if consumed or came in contact with.

Sacagawea also served as a mediator, in ways, when there was interaction between the Americans and the Natives. Many think that Sacagawea was used just as a translator which wasn’t true, at all. Of course, the fact that she spoke both the Hidatsa, Shoshone and a little English was very helpful. But a Native woman going to speak to a Native chief was much less intimidating. There was no conflict as long as the Natives allowed the Americans to move much faster and effectively. If Sacagawea hadn’t been able to talk to the head of the tribes, trouble could’ve been instigated. She kept everything balanced and everyone clam during hard times, such as the times when there was a lack of food. Sacagawea was a immense help during the Lewis and Clark journey.

When you open up the map, you will see 50 states in the United States. But, that’s not the way the map always looked. At one point, there was only one third of the country. However, by the year 1803, the second third of the country was filled when Thomas Jefferson purchased over 828,000 square miles to the west of the American territory. What was in this brand new land? Such was the question for most Americans. They were soon to find out after a two year expedition, which is known as the Corps of Discovery.

The beginning of the 1800’s brought a lot of changes for the American people. The country is starting to revolve and everyone started to see many positive improvements. John Adams finishes his one term in 1801, after being elected in 1797. John Adams had both ups and downs during his presidency but left office with mainly accomplishments. Next came Thomas Jefferson and during his two terms (1801-1809), he did a few



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