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152 Western American Literature I am intrigued by Wallace’s omnipotence in this book. As a life long player-in-the-woods and an amateur naturalist, I know how difficult it is to see all the comings and goings of the animals that Wallace writes about. I wish he would step into his pages on occasion and explain his interaction with the residents of Chestnut Ridge. My desire to learn more about Wallace extends to his philosophical character as well. His reflections on the interaction of human culture and wildness are brief, but poignant. A person who is as keen an observer and talented a writer as Wallace has much to teach us about nature. I hope that Wallace will be able to provide us with another book in the future where he combines his descriptive talent and his personal reflections to produce a work as charming, but more stimulating, than this book. SABINE KREMP, Smithfield, Utah Sacagawea of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Ella E. Clark and Margot Edmonds. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1979. 171 pages, $10.95.) Ella E. Clark is Professor Emeritus of English at Washington State Uni­ versity and a writer of previous works on Indian legends. Margot Edmonds is a writer and editor whose contributions to Sacagawea justify her listing as co-author. The first section of the book is a “standard” recital of the record of the 17-year-old Shoshone Indian woman’s activities as, with papoose on her back, she accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific and back in 1804-06. Drawn from journals kept by the two captains, it presents vividly the details of life on the long trail. Turning then to the first of two areas of controversy, the authors seek to explode the “legend” that the Indian girl was the principal guide and pathfinder of the party throughout the long trip, well documenting their contention that this legend was deliberately created “out of a few dry bones . . . in old tales of the trip,” to promote the cause of woman suffrage early in this century. It received presumably scholarly support from Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard of the University of Wyoming who, in an article, “Pilot of the First White Men to Cross the American Continent,” in the Journal of American History in 1907, “faked” a quotation from Captain Clark in which he is made to ascribe to Sacagawea a role she never held. She was useful in many ways, as finder of edible plants when food was short, as interpreter, and as a symbol to the Indian tribes that the Expedition came in peace. True, in three limited geographical areas she aided in finding the way, but principal “pilot” of the party, Clark-Edmonds insist, she wasn’t. And they prove it. Reviews 153 They are less successful, this reviewer feels, in supporting the “Wind River” theory of Sacagawea’s later life. Their view, based wholly on the oral tradition of several Indian tribes and testimony of a number of white people, all of great age, is that Sacagawea, separating from her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, wandered about the western plains for several decades and died in her nineties among her Shoshone people on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, in 1884. The woman who did so, it is reported, often spoke of her experiences with Lewis and Clark, carried papers which she said “showed she was worth something,” and a medal a great grandson said had an image of President Jefferson. Other scholars reject the Wind River theory, insisting that documentary evidence of Sacagawea’s contemporaries establishes her death “of a putrid fever,” at Ft. Manuel, a fur trading post in South Dakota, when she would have been in her early twenties. Clark, by then Governor of the Territory, who always exercised concern for the Indian woman and her family, and educated their son, wrote “Se car ja we uh — dead” in his journal for 1825-28. Professor Clark and Edmonds, basing upon Indian tradition, argue that Charbonneau, coming to St. Louis at Captain Clark’s invitation in, perhaps, 1809, brought two Indian wives, and that the one that died was...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 152-153
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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