An interpretative observation of Lizette Traveling with Lewis and Clark (AKA Ariana R.)

Lizette and Pomp Travel with Lewis and Clark

The Journey Begins - December, 1804

Hello, journal. I am Lizette and I am a cousin of Sacagawea. I am also a Shoshoni Indian. Our slave owner is Charbonneau. Charbonneau has offered to let some really nice white men use Sacagawea and me to help communicate with the Shoshoni Indians for five hundred dollars.

We shortly leave to follow the Missouri River from a camp near St. Louis. We plan to reach the Pacific Coast while mapping the route and drawing pictures of wildlife for President Jefferson.

February 11, 1805

We spent the winter in Fort Mandan. It has been a surprising and wonderful day for Clark and me. We have just finished giving birth to Sacagawea's new baby boy. Sacagawea is resting now with her new baby boy. Charbonneau is the father of Sacagawea's baby. Charbonneau gave the baby the French name, Jaun Baptiste, but Sacagawea and I gave him a Shoshoni name. We named him Pomp, the Shoshoni word meaning "Leader."

April 7, 1805

We finally are going to get moving. Sacagawea strapped Pomp to her back and we headed off. Sacagawea was probably the most eager of us all. Well, I was a little eager because I wanted to see my family again too.

May 7, 1805

Today along the Missouri River near the Yellowstone River something very shocking and scary happened, but Sacagawea and I saved the day. A wind gust tipped over the pirogue which caused it to fill with water. Suddenly Sacagawea and I calmly plucked the items out of the water. Then Charbonneau, about forty-five years old, began crying that he could not swim. Luckily Lewis and Clark and the other men bailed out the vessel with cooking kettles. A few minutes later Sacagawea and I had saved all the goods. Lewis and Clark praised Sacagawea and me for our "fortitude and resolution" during the crisis.

May 20, 1805

I am glad we are leaving here tomorrow because a rattlesnake nearly bit Clark, Sacagawea, and me. During an incident, I grabbed it by the neck and by the tail and tossed it in the river. We then knew to be careful.

We continued along the Missouri River.

June 15, 1805

Sacagawea is sick with cholera. She did not want to stay until she recovered, but yet we stayed because of Clark. He begged her to stay until she recovered. When Charbonneau tried to take care of Pomp, Sacagawea requested that I take care of Pomp until she recovered. She said that if she died that I would become his mother so that he was not left without one.

We are at the Great Falls of the Missouri River where the Missouri splits. We plan to take the southern route.

June 22, 1805

Sacagawea has recovered over a week. Everyone is happy. Now we can get moving. Sacagawea, as normal, strapped Pomp on her back and we were on our way. I believe Sacagawea was happy to be able to hold Pomp again.

August 13, 1805

We finally reached our people near Rattlesnake Mountain. Sacagawea's brother was the chief. Lewis convinced the chief to come see the rest of the expedition. When they came, we rejoiced and ran to our family, throwing our covers over them. That was a sign of love.

Sacagawea and I helped guide Clark and his men around the familiar lands. We even showed him where we had gotten captured. Still we had a job to do so after our reunion, they would give us a person to guide us over the mountains, horses to ride, and food and other goods to eat. We had to be leaving very shortly.

September 4, 1805

There was a huge sleet storm. We will approach the Bitterroot Mountains at Traveler's Rest.

October 15, 1805

The mountain crossing was extremely difficult. Snow fell and was soon knee deep. Food was so scarce that we had to kill and eat some of our horses. Walking through the cold and the snow was an ordeal for the men. It was much harder for Sacagawea, who had to carry Pomp on her back and protect him too.

The rapids along the Clearwater River were a challenge. We continued onward to Oregon following the Snake River to the Columbia River.

November 19, 1805

We met up with more natives. They had a camp and let us stay there until a blizzard was over. The blizzard nearly lasted a month non-stop. The snow had stopped and we were leaving now. We had reached the Pacific Ocean!

November 30, 1805

Having finally reached our goal, we built Fort Clatsop for our winter quarters. Sacagawea, Pomp, and I will have traveled about 2,500 miles from Fort Mandan to the Pacific Coast.


They spent the winter at Fort Clatsop. On March 23, 1806 they started their journey back to Fort Mandan using a different route.

Fictionalized daily life with Pomp
December 7, 1805

Winter here is worse than a winter at home with our people. Sacagawea and Pomp were doing okay, but Sacagawea was very careful about leaving Fort Clatsop to go in the woods to get some herbs for the sick because little Pomp would often try to crawl out the door, and Sacagawea, Clark, or me would have to chase after him. We made sure that the door was secured and little Pomp couldn't get out.

January 31, 1806

We made clothing for Pomp because his birthday was soon. I also helped my cousin Sacagawea make a little waist belt to go with his little outfit. I made Sacagawea a necklace just like the one she traded for Lewis and Clark's gift for President Jefferson. Because that waist belt meant a lot to Sacagawea, he in return had given her the coat that has been in our family for years. My aunt gave her that waist belt when she was a very little girl.

February 7, 1806

Pomp began to receive little outfits for his birthday which is in four days.

February 11, 1806

The day has come where little Pomp celebrated his first birthday. He wore his best outfit that his uncle gave him. When he received the gift from his uncle he immediately went to his mother to put it on. By this time little Pomp was beginning to walk and talk a little. Pomp tried to sing and dance and sing and dance until he couldn't sing and dance any more. She gave him his other presents and then the special present which was the head band of the head chief which was her fathers, then passed down to her brother, then to her, and now to Pomp.

February 12, 1806

As I wrote these incidents in this journal, I hoped that Pomp would read it when he was old enough to want to know about his first year of life.

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