Looks like history textbooks may be due for an update! New evidence reveals that the Lewis & Clark expedition was mostly just the explorers gaslighting their Shoshone guide, Sacagawea.
The discovery was made as historians from Harvard University uncovered a set of long-lost journals by the famed translator.
“Lewis and Clark were actually huge assholes,” says Professor Amy Hanson of Harvard University. “We’ve always suspected as much, but these writings give us a clear picture of how they would make Sacagawea question reality as well as her own knowledge of the landscape during their travels.”
In 1804, the pair met Sacagawea in present-day South Dakota, where their manipulation began.
“These white men are asking me to help them navigate the terrain and translate for them with the Shoshone people,” Sacagawea wrote. “I told them I’m six months pregnant and shouldn’t travel, but then they started accusing me of ‘playing the pregnant card.’”
They agreed to join the company and traveled through the American northwest, where Sacagawea’s contributions were critical but undervalued.
“They told me I’d be getting paid in ‘work experience,’” she wrote. “I told them I was already experienced at working, but they just told me that I should be grateful to ‘bulk up my resume’ since there were so many other translators who wanted my job. I had no idea!”
It took the explorers about a year to reach the Pacific Ocean, but it only took so long because Lewis & Clark didn’t want to seem dumber than Sacagawea.
“Today we reached the Columbia River, and I told them we only needed to travel west from here to reach the coast,” she wrote. “Clark said, ‘This isn’t a river, it’s a long lake,’ and when I disagreed, Lewis said, ‘Listen, you’re probably not thinking straight from all that baby you just gave birth to, but that’s definitely a long lake.’ I don’t want to be difficult, so I guess it’s a long lake!”
Records indicate the crew wasted several months wandering aimlessly looking for the real Columbia River. When they came back across it, Lewis and Clark certified that it was not the long-lake lookalike.
Upon meeting the Shoshone people and facilitating trade, efforts by the Shoshone to convince Sacagawea to leave were futile.
“Lewis and Clark love me! Those Shoshone don’t know what they’re talking about!” she frantically scribbles. “Yesterday Clark told me how important I am to the expedition: I’m small enough to sleep with the horses so that everyone else gets a cot!”
In the years following the expedition, Sacagawea and her family settled for a brief time in St. Louis, where she began to see a therapist.
“It was good for her,” says Professor Hanson. “She got closure and found a group of friends who weren’t insane narcissists who believed in manifest destiny.”
Since news of Lewis and Clark’s emotional abuse made the rounds in academic circles, #CancelLewisAndClark has been trending on Twitter and a petition to remove them from history books has gained 30,000 signatures.