Sacajawea (1788-1812)

Inducted - Wednesday, September 15, 1993
Sculptor: William J. Williams

Where is Sacajawea in the Hall of Famous Missourians?

Sacajawea was the only woman to accompany the expedition by Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark into Missouri and other territories of the Louisiana Purchase. Her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, was hired as an interpreter and took Sacajawea along. Pregnant, she was allowed to join the party as an unofficial member because the captains thought she would be useful to help in communicating with some of the Indian tribes they met and also in obtaining horses from her native tribe, the Shoshone.

On August 15, 1805 Sacajawea was re-united with her tribe, only to learn that all her family had died, with the exception of two brothers and the son of her oldest sister, whom she adopted.

In August 1806, Captain Clark wrote to Charbonneau and invited him to come to St. Louis and bring his family, or to send Jean Baptiste, their son, to Clark for schooling.
Charbonneau and Sacajawea accepted the offer and lived near St. Louis for a time. In March 1811, however, Charbonneau sold his land back to Clark and returned to the Dakotas with Sacajawea. Their son remained in St. Louis in the care of Cpt. Clark, who was the Indian Agent of the Louisiana Purchase at that time.