- from Sacagawea
The expedition reached the Pacific Ocean on November 8, 1805, and began scouting for a place to set up their winter quarters. Should they stay near the coast or should they move back up the Columbia River? Which side of the river should they camp on?
Sacagawea, ever the provider, wanted to settle where there was plenty of wapatoo, an edible root. At one point, the captains took a vote. Sacagawea participated in the vote, as did York, Clark’s slave. It was the first time in American history that an enslaved person and a woman had voted. It would be a long time before that happened again. Eventually, the Corps built Fort Clatsop on a small tributary of the Columbia River, which is where the group stayed until March 23, 1806.