Sacajawea—heroine of my childhood. Every Idaho schoolchild, at least in my day, knew about her. Born in southeast Idaho, into the western Shoshone tribe, she was kidnapped at a young age by the Hidatsu and taken to North Dakota. She married the French trader Toussant Charbonneau who was hired as a guide by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. At age 16 Sacajawea went along, with her infant son, Baptiste, on her back and proved invaluable as a translator and negotiator with the native people they encountered. The part of the story that always made us cheer in elementary school was when the expedition arrived in Idaho and she was reunited with her surviving family members. I remember carefully coloring a mimeographed picture of Sacajawea and her baby and marveling at her courage and strength and importance to the success of the mission.
Here is where we found her.
Sacajawea Cemetary, Fort Washakie, Wyoming
This charmingly decorated little Cemetary is still active, with many nice, new monuments, but mostly the graves are very humble and very old.
Here were a section of Grants—one proper stone, the rest simple and handmade.
At the back of the Cemetary there is a lovely bronze statue, depicting Sacajawea holding a sand dollar and standing in the water of the Pacific Ocean.
What a lovely thing it was on this beautiful sunny, cold day, to stand on this hillside and look out over the graves and beyond to the fields and the horses and the mountains. She is still a hero to me, who might have merited a grand burial monument in a place of great honor, but this place seemed right. It seemed perfect. I imagine she is at peace here.