“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Mobridge in Walworth County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)


Sakakawea Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, September 18, 2015
1. Sakakawea Marker
Inscription. Sakakawea won her place in history as the indomitable guide of Lewis and Clark on their trip to the Pacific in 1805. She was a member of the Shoshoni tribe dwelling near the Big Horn mountains in Montana. In one of the frequent tribal conflicts she was captured and taken to North Dakota as a war captive. Here she was purchased by a fur trader named Tousant Charbonneau, who according to custom made her his wife. Lewis and Clark, in search of an interpreter for their trip west, tried to hire Charbonneau, but he would not go unless his wife was permitted to accompany him. The explorers reluctantly gave their permission. This was a fortunate decision for Lewis and Clark. By her courage, endurance and unerring instinct she guided the expedition over seemingly insuperable obstacles. The leaders frequently gave her credit for the success of the venture. After returning east, Charbonneau and Sakakawea settled down at Fort Manuel, about 30 miles north of here near Kend, South Dakota. On December 20, 1812 it was recorded in the daily journal of events at the fort that Sakakawea died of a putrid fever. There is no further record of her but it is safe to assume that this remarkable woman's grave is somewhere near the site of old Fort Manuel. Sakakawea is beyond question the most illustrious feminine representative of the Indian race.
Sakakawea Monument image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, September 18, 2015
2. Sakakawea Monument
45° 30.957′ N, 100° 29.276′ W. Marker is near Mobridge, South Dakota, in Walworth County. Marker can be reached from South Dakota Route 1806 4 miles south of U.S. 12. Click for map. The Hwy 1806 is pavement to this monument and past it is a gravel road. Marker is in this post office area: Mobridge SD 57601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. Sitting Bull (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line).
More about this marker. There is a Monument located nearby for Sakakawea.
Also see . . .  Burial Sites. The National Park Service's page for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in Missouri has a section on the burial sites for each member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Sacajawea (alt. spelling of Sakakawea) has two burial sites, with a different post-expedition life story supporting each. The NPS provides both stories in brief, presented here: Unlike so many expedition members who have no marked gravesites, Sacagawea has two! According to one version of the Sacagawea story, she died at about 25 years of age in 1812 at Fort Manuel (a fur trading post named for Manuel Lisa), along the Missouri River near the border of modern-day South and North Dakota (Corson County, South Dakota). A gravesite for her has not as yet been identified there. Many years later, an elderly Indian woman on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming was said to be Sacagawea of the Lewis and Clark expedition. She died April 9, 1884 at nearly 100 years of age. Both graves are marked as the real graves of Sacagawea. At Fort Manuel, the area of the burial ground for the fort is marked. Much of the area has been inundated by Lake Oahe. The Fort Manuel site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 8, 1978 as the final resting place of Sacagawea. Most historians continue to support the written historical evidence of the Luttig Journal and William Clark's notes, and believe that Sacagawea died in 1812 at Fort Manuel. They discount the oral history and work of Dr. Charles Eastman and Dr. Grace Hebard in the 1920s and 30s. However, the grave of Sacagawea is also marked on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. (Submitted on November 13, 2015.) 
Additional keywords. Sacagawea Sacajawea
Categories. ExplorationNative Americans
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 150 times since then and 89 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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