of Her Name
Various historians disagree over the pronunciation,
meaning- either "Boat Launcher" or "Bird
Woman", and spelling of her name - listed as either
Sacagawea or Sacajawea, as well as a few other spellings,
but all agree that her bravery and fortitude were instrumental
to the success of Lewis & Clark's "Corps of Discovery."
We have decided to use the spelling "SACAGAWEA"
for our new dollar coin, based on several contemporary works
on this topic.
To quote from a recent publication:
"Translated, her name means 'Bird Woman,'
and in their attempts to spell the Indians words, Lewis
and Clark used variations of 'Sah-ca-gah-we-ah' and 'Sah-kah-gar-we-a.'
(In 1814, when a version of the journals appeared, an editor
changed the spelling to Sacajawea, which was the preferred
spelling until recently, when most historians and official
publications reverted back to Sacagawea.)
Lewis & Clark. The Journey of the Corps
of Discovery. An Illustrated History by Dayton Duncan and
Ken Burns. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997. Page 92.
Additional references to the Sacagawea spelling
can be found in Stephen E. Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage(Simon
& Schuster, 1996) and on PBS's Web site for its critically
acclaimed series on the Lewis
and Clark expedition.