Who Was Sacagawea?

Sacagawea (sah-KA-gah-WEE-ah) was an Indian girl. Her name means Bird Woman. She lived a long time ago. She is on the U.S. dollar gold coin. She is part of our history.

In 1803, the U.S. bought land from France. This piece of land was very big. Thomas Jefferson was president then. He wanted men to explore this new land. He chose Lewis and Clark. They took about forty other men with them. They set off to explore the West. They needed to see if the Indians were friendly. They needed to find the best way to travel there. They hoped to find a river that could take them to the Pacific.

The journey was long. It took two years. It covered eight thousand miles. It was hard, too. They were out in all kinds of weather. They traveled in boats along the rivers. Sometimes they had to walk. To cross the mountains, they needed horses.

In the fall of 1804, Lewis and Clark came to a large Indian village. Winter was coming. They needed a place to stay. The Indians there were friendly to the white men. They let them spend the winter. It was where the state of North Dakota is today.

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