Sacagawea became part of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition into the American West as an interpreter in 1805, shortly after giving birth to a son. She, her husband and newborn son became part of the expedition. She was the only woman.
Despite her lack of formal education, she proved to be useful to the expedition in many ways. Speaking Shoshone and Hidatsa, she served as translator, along her her French-speaking husband, when the so-called Corps of Discovery met and traded with Native Americans. She also gathered roots, berries and other food and medicinal items. When a boat tipped over, she calmly gathered up valuable papers and other items while others panicked. Along the way, the expedition came across a band of Native Americans led by her brother, but Sacagawea was not allowed to stay with them.
She became the only woman to travel with the Corps of Discovery all the way to the Pacific Ocean and back. While her husband received $500 and a plot of land, Sacagawea was not paid for her services.
After she died an untimely death at the age of 25, her two children were adopted by William Clark. Her son, Jean Batiste, was educated and sent to Europe.Learn more about Modern History