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The Shoshone Indians

The Newly Minted U.S.

Golden Coin...

This is the story of Sacagawea

Little did she know that her Native American training in mountain guidance

would have her go down in history as an American Legend...

Before Europeans came to America, the Shoshone Indians numbered about 60,000 and lived throughout a large area extending from what is now Southern California through Nevada into parts of Idaho and Utah. During the summer months, they would travel widely to hunt and gather, but would spend the winter in clan groups around various springs. In the spring and fall, representatives from all the clans gathered together - these were spiritual gatherings as well as meetings for decision making.

Equipped with only bows and arrows, Shoshone tribes had been continually raided and robbed by the Minitaree [Lakota] Sioux and Blackfoot Indian Tribes, who were armed with rifles supplied by white traders. Due to this major disadvantage, in nearly every conflict with other tribes, the Shoshone would forfeit many of their possessions and lose many Tribal members to enslavement or death.

This is how Lewis and Clark first met Sacagawea [Sah-cah-gar-we-ah]. She had been kidnapped and enslaved by the Mandan Lakota who were living in Fort Mandan, ND. The Mandan gambled her away to Charbonneau, a white fur trader who had lived among them for many years.

Today the Shoshone live on reservations in California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming…

The Lewis and Clark expedition encountered a Shoshone tribe for the first time in August 1805. In his log entry dated for August 17, 1805, Clark recorded that, "I had not proceeded on one mile before I saw at a distance Several Indians on horseback coming towards me, The Interpreter, Charbonneau & Sacagawea who were before me at Some distance danced for the joyful sight, and Sacagawea made signs to me that they were of her nation… In his entry for that same day, Lewis recorded that, "The Indian woman [Sacagawea] proved to be a sister of the Chief Cameahwait." The meeting of those people was really an emotional experience, particularly between Sacagawea and an Indian woman, who had been taken prisoner at the same time with her and who, had afterwards escaped from the Minnetares Lakota and rejoined her nation." Deeply moved by this reunion, Sacagawea might have taken advantage of such an astounding coincidence to return to her people, but instead she helped the explorers secure the horses they needed and journeyed on with them and her husband to the Pacific.

On the return journey, Sacagawea and Charbonneau parted with Lewis and Clark at a Hidatsa village on the upper Missouri, and from this point the historical record of their lives becomes somewhat conjectural.

Charbonneau evidently traveled to St. Louis at the invitation of William Clark, who had grown fond of the young Pompey and hoped he could induce his father to settle there. After a brief trial, however, Charbonneau returned to trapping, leaving his son in Clark's care. He worked for the American Fur Company, and later accompanied Prince Maximillian on the expedition that brought the artist Karl Bodmer to the upper Missouri in 1833.

Whether Sacagawea accompanied Charbonneau to St. Louis is uncertain. Some evidence indicates that she did make this journey, then returned to the upper Missouri with her husband where she died in an epidemic of "putrid fever" late in 1812. Other accounts say that Sacagawea ultimately rejoined the Shoshone on their Wind River reservation and died there in 1884.

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It is very important to me to get any and all feedback on this web page. It is my sincere hope that the youth who read these pages will become enlightened on the rich and beautiful culture of the 'Western Band of Shoshone Indians', so please take a moment and sign this guest book and let me know what your thoughts on these web pages are, both positive and negative for I can only learn from you...

Thank you for your interest...

Please visit the other sister sites for theTe-Moke Shoshone Western Band Tribes of Northeastern Nevada.

The Te-Moak Shoshone Western Band Tribe, Their Legacy...


The The Treaty of 1863, A must read!!!