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How much truth is there to the Shoshoni version of Sacajawea's life, most of which has come to us through oral history and legend? Several later scholars have tried to argue that the Shoshoni version is correct. Some of these scholars have been Native Americans themselves, and others have been novelists, seeking to make Sacajawea's story longer and more interesting. This story suggests that Sacajawea left Charbonneau after he continued acquiring more and more wives, all younger than Sacajawea. After leaving Charbonneau, the story says, Sacajawea went to live among the Comanche Indians, where she gave birth to more children, later returning to the Shoshoni. Those who argue for the Shoshoni story have some evidence: several visitors to the Shoshoni at this time speak of an Indian woman who spoke fluent French. None of these accounts mention Sacajawea directly, however, and these journal accounts provide only a tenuous basis for suggesting that Sacajawea lived on for so many years. There were many French-Canadian traders who might come into contact with the Shoshoni, and it is not inconceivable that some other Shoshhoni woman could have learned French. The story also claims a later reunion with both Charbonneau and Jean Baptiste. The reunion with long-lost family members near the end of her life seems too melodramatically perfect to be true. (Furthermore, it doesn't mesh with the better-documented lives of Jean Baptiste and Toussaint Charbonneau.) The Shoshonis' date for Sacajawea's death comes only from an old reverend's recollection that he buried a French-speaking Shoshoni woman that year. Thus although some people prefer the Shoshoni version of Sacajawea's post-Expedition years, and although this version certainly makes the better story, its claims seem unlikely.

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