The Legacy of Sacajawea
Born in 1788 into the Lemhi-Shoshone Tribe in the Lemhi River Valley near present-day Salmon, Idaho, Sagajawea was kidnapped along with several other girls at age 12 and taken to a Hidatsa village in North Dakota, where she was then sold into marriage to French-Canadian fur trader Toussaint Charbonneau.
Four years later the Corps of Discovery, led by Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, arrived and built Fort Mandan. While interviewing trappers for the position of interpreter, they discovered that the then-pregnant Sacajawea spoke Shoshone, which Lewis & Clark knew they would need during their journey West. Sacajawea and Charbonneau were hired on as interpreters.