Women Heroes


by Karen from Columbus


What is a hero? To me, a hero expresses courage, leadership skills, and adaptability. My hero, Sacagawea, had all of these qualities, and that is why she is my hero.

Sacagawea was born around 1778. She was the daughter of the Shoshone Chief. At age twelve, though, she was kidnapped by their enemies, the Hidatsa Indians. After, she was sold to Toussaint Charbonneau, a French- Canadian trapper. Then she became his wife. As a couple, they lived with the Hidatsa and Mandan Indians. They were located by the upper Missouri River area in North Dakota. In November of 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark came to lead an expedition. They planned to explore the western lands and to find a route to the Pacific Ocean. They hired Charbonneau, Sacagawea’s husband, as an interpreter for their journey. Sacagawea chose to go along with them even though she was pregnant with her first child. Since Sacagawea knew the Shoshone language, Lewis and Clark thought that her knowledge may help. This wasn’t a vacation for her though. There were many challenges on her journey. First of all she was the only woman on the journey. She gave birth on the journey and had to carry her son, Jean Baptiste, on her back the whole way. She picked fruits and vegetables for the group to eat. While on their journey, they encountered the Shoshone Indians and her brother, Cameahwait, was the chief. After this happy reunion, she decided to stay with the expedition and keep going. In the end though it was all worth it because she helped Lewis and Clark explore this new land. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know where this country would be right now.

After the trip, her and her husband went to see Clark with their son because during the trip Clark became very fond of him and nicknamed him “Pomp.” They left their son with Clark. Then, three years later, Sacagawea had a second child named Lisette. It is thought that Sacagawea died at Fort Manuel, South Dakota, in 1812, just a few months after giving birth to Lisette. After, Clark took both children in and looked after them. Then he took custody of them both. Sacagawea was featured on a dollar coin issued in 2000 by the US Mint. That is an extraordinary honor.

Sacagawea has inspired me because I see it as I can do whatever I want, no matter what, if I put my mind to it. She also showed me that I can do whatever I want even though I am a girl. I now realize how important everyone is who founded our country because I don’t know where we’d be today if it wasn’t for them. Some of my goals in life are to become a teacher and to be the best person that I can be. In my eyes, if she could teach Lewis and Clark new things then I surely should be able to teach kids new things. I also know that she always tried to be the best person she could be by going on that trip with strangers, and so when I ever doubt myself, I can always look up to her.

In conclusion, Sacagawea is a hero. She had courage to go on a trip with complete strangers to stay with her husband. She had leadership skills when she led the group to their destination. She could also adapt easily to all the new places she went on her journey. Sacagawea is a hero to me and I hope she is also a hero to you.

Page created on 3/27/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/27/2010 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.