Jul 24, 2009
Dear journal, in 1800, at the age of 12 years old, I was kidnapped by the hadassah in Tanzania, the great enemies of my people, who were known as the shoshone. I was later sold as a slave to a man by the name of toussaint charbonneau, a French Canadian fur trader who claimed that I was his wife. However, it was not until 1804 that I would find my true calling in life. A group of white men, known as the corps of discovery, arrived in November to the hadassah mandan village and built a fort near by. Their purpose was described by president Jefferson to be for the exploration of the Missouri River, and its relationship to the mighty Pacific Ocean, a body of water, I had never encountered. Only a few months later, in the bitter cold month of February, I gave birth to my son, Jean Baptiste, charbonneau, the world's youngest, explorer. One of the leaders of the corps of discovery, a man by the name of Meriwether Lewis, would later write in his exploration journals that the birth was worthy of remark and my labor was tedious and the pain violent. I became very important to the two leaders of the exploration, captain Lewis and his companion, captain William Clark, when they learned of my shoshone descent. The shoshone were possessors of horses, a great commodity to the men's exploration. I was also useful in communicating between the explorers and the other native tribes. I could not speak English, but I could understand and speak both shoshone and hadassah. My husband, charbonneau, spoke both hadassah and French. A member of the corps of discovery, a man by the name of Francois labiche, spoke both French and English, which would make the final translation so that captain Lewis and Clark could understand all of the aspects of the trading process. I believe I also helped to ease the meetings between some of the tribes in the white men, because many natives had never even seen a man with white skin. The natives believed that seeing me and my son, along with the white men, was a sign of peace. When our exploration came to fruition, it was on November 24th, 1805. Almost a year, after I was introduced to the corps of discovery. At the point where the Columbia river empties into the Pacific Ocean, a vote took place as to where the corps would settle for the winter. I, and York, who was a slave to captain Clark, became the first woman and tea a slave to ever participate in a vote. It was at this point that I revealed to the captains that I had never viewed the ocean. I asked captain Clark if I may participate in this momentous occasion. They must have respected my assistance during this exploration, because I was permitted to accompany the group to see. Sincerely, sacajawea.