Sacagawea, Lewis and Clark Statue

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Photo of statue on West Main Street

The Sacagawea, Lewis and Clark Statue is an historic statue that commemorates the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Paul Goodloe McIntire gave the statue to the City of Charlottesville as a gift.[1] It was sculpted by Charles Keck The pedestal is made of Balfour Pink Granite and is fourteen feet tall.[1] The bronze statues are eight feet, four inches tall.[1]

The original reliefs on the pedestal depict the Pacific slope, the American Eagle, and the seals of the United States and Virginia.[1] There are also bronze bas-reliefs at the base of the statue.

Controversy arose because of its depiction of Sacagawea behind Lewis and Clark.[2] Protestors objected that her bowed head looking down suggested subservience.[3] However, the historian speaking at the statue's unveiling in 1919 said she was the expedition's dauntless guide across the Rockies, the pathfinder.[4] The protests led to the addition of a plaque clarifying Sacagawea's contribution to the expedition.[3]

Local Voices, Local History

VIDEO CREDITS: Narrated by Jennifer Tidwell;
Graphic design: Jen Fleischer; Project Manager: Kristin Rourke.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Armistead Churchill Gordon, The Unveiling of the Lewis-Clark Statue: At Midway Park in the City of Charlottesville, Virginia, November Twenty-one, Nineteen Hundred Nineteen ... Being a Record of the Exercises Attending the Unveiling, Published by City of Charlottesville (1919)
  2. Web. Sacajawea Acknowledged on Lewis & Clark Statue, Waldo Jaquith,, 19 June 2009, retrieved 16 Feb 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Web. Loo-loo cry: Sacajawea gets a plaque, David McNair, The Hook, June 25, 2009, retrieved November 10, 2015.
  4. Armistead Churchill Gordon, The Unveiling of the Lewis-Clark Statue, page 27: "when they returned to Fort Mandan the dauntless Indian woman, Sacajawea, who had been their guide across the Rockies [departed] with her French-Canadian husband, Chaboneau . . . "

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