"Imagine Sacagawea at the ocean" Fort Clatsop National Memorial Off The Beaten Path Tip by Segolily

  At the Netul landing
by Segolily
 
 

Lewis recorded in his journal : "Capt Clark set out after an early breakfast with the party in two canoes as had been concerted the last evening; Charbono and his Indian woman were also of the party; the Indian woman was very impotunate to be permited to go, and was therefore indulged; she observed that she had traveled a long way with us to see the great waters, and that now that monstrous fish was also to be seen, she thought it very hard she could not be permitted to see either (she had never yet been to the Ocean)."
Clark recorded almost the same thing.

This strong and courageous woman had suffered all the trials of the men, had worked as hard, and though trained to always be obedient had invested enough in the exhibition that she felt strongly her right to see that for which the whole journey had been searching. She wanted to see the "great waters". She persuaded the leaders she "should be indulged".

They left from Fort Clatsop and went to the area around Tillamock in search of blubber from a whale which had landed there. There is a painting of her facing the great waters and I wonder at her thoughts and emotions at seeing this sight which she had never imagined.

Photo courtesy of Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

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  • Updated Mar 29, 2009
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