Statue photo courtesy
of the artist, Agnes Vincen Talbot.
Meet the model for the
Our parents and grandparents learned all about her. Our children
know about her, too, as today her story is taught in classrooms
across our nation.
Sacagawea was the Shoshone Indian who assisted the historic
Lewis and Clark expedition. Between 1804-1806, while still
a teenager, she guided the adventurers from the Northern Great
Plains to the Pacific Ocean and back. Her husband, Toussaint
Charbonneau, and their son who was born during the trip, Jean
Baptiste, also accompanied the group.
Without Sacagawea's navigational, diplomatic, and translating
skills, the famous Lewis and Clark expedition would have perished.
For one, she helped Lewis and Clark obtain the horses they
needed to continue their journey.
Now, almost 200 years later, the resourceful Native American
steps back into the limelight. Sacagawea replaces suffragette
Susan B. Anthony as the image on the dollar coin. Soon everyone
who handles the Golden Dollar will remember the brave 15-year-old
who, carrying her child on her back, guided an unprecedented
More statues, streams, lakes, landmarks, parks, songs, ballads,
and poems honor this young woman than any other woman in American
history. Yet, no portraits created during her lifetime exist.
Even Lewis and Clark's journals don't include sketches or
other clues as to what she really looked like.
This appealed to the Dollar Coin Design Advisory Committee
(DCDAC) torn between recommending a real person or an allegorical
image for the new coin. Because no factual representations
of Sacagawea exist, her image has been left largely to imagination,
much like an allegorical figure.
Read more about her life and remarkable contributions to
the Lewis and Clark expedition, the debate over the spelling and pronunciation of her name,
or the model who inspired the image on the
new Golden Dollar.