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Charbonneau´s other wife was glad to have someone to help with the work. The women expected Charbonneau to provide food, and he expected them to do the domestic chores.
When he brought game, they cleaned and butchered it, made stews and other meals and dried the rest of the meat to be eaten later. They planted and tended gardens, harvested crops and prepared meals using fresh vegetables - skills learned from the Hidatsas and the Mandans. They made Charbonneau´s pants, shirts, moccasins, hats and coats. They cared for him when he was sick. They kept their home clean, comfortable and stocked with the necessities of daily life.
Sacajawea was pleased to be living with a woman who understood her native language, but her happiness was tempered by her husband´s linguistic limitations and domineering behavior. Charbonneau spoke only French and Hidatsa and late in his life admitted that his Hidatsa was far from perfect. He had no desire to learn another language and didn´t want his wives saying things he couldn´t understand, particularly about the man of the house. Only Hidatsa was to be spoken in their home. He forbade the women from speaking the Shoshoni language.
Photo: Summer Baldwin Photo: Lemhi Speak Text "How would I feel about being married to an old white guy? I'd probably be horrified."  Summer Baldwin That didn´t always stop them. Charbonneau was often gone. And although he was fond of laying down the law and known to have beaten Sacajawea, she didn´t allow him to control her. Smart and resourceful, she found ways around his decrees that she found intolerable. Occasionally she even made fun of him. She was dedicated to making the marriage work, but not at any price.
By the summer of 1804, Sacajawea was pregnant. She was grateful for the lessons her mother and the other women in her tribe had taught her about childbirth. Unlike Agaidika husbands, who sometimes helped in childbirth, Charbonneau would be of little or no use when the baby came.
In October of that year, more white men came to the village.
These men were different from the traders and fur trappers Sacajawea was accustomed to encountering. Some of them wore uniforms. They had strange-looking boats, heavily laden with wonders she had never seen. They had mysterious tools, fearsome weapons, exotic scientific instruments. Disciplined and well-organized, they set about building a winter camp, which they called Fort Mandan.
The newcomers answered to two men who clearly were in command. One day Sacajawea saw the men talking to her husband. Charbonneau later told her they were planning a long journey that would take them through her homeland.
They would need horses from her tribe.
They would need interpreters.
Charbonneau´s fluent French and passable Hidatsa would be useful to them, but he spoke no Shoshoni. Either of his wives could prove to be more valuable when the expedition entered Shoshoni territory.
Fearing he wouldn´t take her if she seemed too eager to return to her people, Sacajawea hid her enthusiasm.

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The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho -
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