Essie's Story: The Life and Legacy of a Shoshone Teacher

By Esther Burnett Horne; Sally McBeth | Go to book overview

APPENDIX C

Memories of Sacajawea
by Esther Burnett Horne

This information (excerpted from Horne 1980) has been compiled and preserved by my sister Bernice Twitchell, Gladys Roberts Graham (Rev. John Roberts's daughter), and myself.


MAGGIE (BAZIL) LARGE

Our grandmother, Maggie (Bazil) Large, who was the daughter of Sacajawea's son, Bazil, told this story to her children and it has been handed down from generation to generation.

William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, had grown fond of Baptiste while on their journey and had asked Charbonneau and Sacajawea to bring the boy to St. Louis to be educated. They promised they would. After the expedition returned from their journey to the Pacific Ocean and arrived back to the Mandan Village, Charbonneau, Sacajawea, and Baptiste left the party and traveled over the territory, working at different jobs with the fur traders. When Baptiste became of school age, Sacajawea took him to St. Louis to be educated under the supervision of William Clark. While Sacajawea was in St. Louis, her older sister, Otter Woman, died at Mandan with a fever, leaving two children, Toussaint Jr., and a daughter, Lizette. A fellow by the name of John Luttig became their legal guardian, and as he was unable to take care of the children, he turned them over to Clark. At this time, Sacajawea adopted Toussaint Jr. for a companion for Baptiste and named him Bazil. Clark kept the girl Lizette. He supervised their education along with Baptiste. Sacajawea stayed with Bazil and Baptiste in St. Louis for a few years. Charbonneau came to visit them and wanted Sacajawea to return with him to work for the fur traders. She refused and he was abusive to her and whipped her. She left and traveled for a time, finally coming to the Comanche village. The tribe named her Porivo "Chief" as she carried a small bag with papers in it to show who she was and what she had done. She also wore a medal around her neck with President Thomas Jefferson's

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