Charlottesville's Commemoration of Sacajawea

Charlottesville has many ties to the Lewis and Clark expedition: Meriwether Lewis was born in Albemarle County, William Clark’s family lived here for a time, Thomas Jefferson is the President who sent them on their mission to “… explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as, by it’s course and communication with the waters of the Pacific ocean, … may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce” (1803 instructions), Albemarle is now home to the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center, and, of course, we have the Lewis and Clark Statue at the intersection of McIntire, Ridge, and Main Streets.

This Friday (19th June) you have an opportunity to recognize another member of the Lewis and Clark expedition: a Lemhi Shoshone woman named Sacajawea (born 1788). She was the only woman on the mission and an invaluable guide, translator, and diplomat (smoothing relations between the anglos and Native Americans). The City of Charlottesville’s Historic Resource Committee will be hosting a dedication of an historic plaque in honor of Sacajawea at 1pm at the “Lewis and Clark” statue. This will be followed by a discussion of “The Role of Art in Interpreting History” at 2pm at the Charlottesville Design Center (at 100 5th St NE).