When Sacajawea really died?
Sacajawea is one of the most famous figures in American history. She played a vital role in the Lewis and Clark expedition, helping the explorers navigate the uncharted territories of the western United States. However, there is a controversy surrounding her life and death, specifically around the age she died.
According to most historical accounts, Sacajawea was born in 1788 in what is now Idaho. She was a member of the Shoshone tribe and was kidnapped by a rival tribe when she was a young girl. Eventually, she was sold to a French-Canadian fur trader named Toussaint Charbonneau, who made her his wife.
When the Lewis and Clark expedition set out in 1804, Charbonneau was hired as an interpreter, and Sacajawea came along as his wife. She quickly became a valuable member of the expedition, using her knowledge of the land and her language skills to help the explorers communicate with the Native American tribes they encountered.
The controversy around Sacajawea’s age centers on when she died. Most historical accounts state that she died in 1812, just a few years after the Lewis and Clark expedition. This would make her only 24 or 25 years old at the time of her death. However, some people believe that she actually lived much longer and died in 1884, at the age of 96.
So why the discrepancy? There are a few different theories. One is that there were actually two different women named Sacajawea, and their stories have become conflated over time. Another theory is that Sacajawea did die in 1812, but her son Baptiste (who was born during the Lewis and Clark expedition) took on her name and continued to use it throughout his life. This would explain why there are records of a Sacajawea living in Wyoming in the late 1800s.
There is some evidence to support both of these theories. For example, there are accounts from the Lewis and Clark expedition that describe Sacajawea as being in her late teens or early twenties at the time, which would suggest that she did die in 1812. On the other hand, there are also records of a woman named Sacajawea who was living in Wyoming in the 1880s, and some Native American tribes claim that she lived to be quite old.
Ultimately, it’s impossible to know for sure when Sacajawea died or how old she was at the time. What is clear, however, is that her legacy lives on. She is remembered as a brave and resourceful woman who played a critical role in one of the most important expeditions in American history. Her story has inspired countless people over the years, and she continues to be an important figure in Native American history and culture.