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The Lewis and Clark Expedition


Part 2: Two Guides for the Price of One

While in the Dakota Territory, they met a French man named Toussaint Charbonneau, who offered to guide them on their journey. Charbonneau also offered his Shoshone wife, Sacagawea, as a guide. Lewis and Clark accepted, and the expedition resumed in the spring. While samples of the local wildlife and plantlife made their way back to Thomas Jefferson in Washington, D.C., Lewis and Clark and their team--called the Corps of Discovery--set out west.

They followed the Missouri River west until they reached the Great Falls. Here, the water was too rough and they had to carry their canoes around the falls. Despite this back-breaking one-month delay, they pressed on.

Soon, they were in Shoshone territory. Sacagawea's communication skills came in handy. Communication between Lewis and Clark and the Shoshone proved difficult but not impossible. Sacagawea would listen to what her fellow Shoshone were saying, then tell her husband what they said in Hidatsa, another Native American language. Charbonneau, who also spoke Hidatsa, would translate into French and tell expedition member Francois Labiche, who would translate into English for the team leaders. 

Next page > There and Back Again > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Graphics courtesy of ArtToday


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