ST. CHARLES, Mo. — A statue of explorers Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea recently removed in a Virginia city could soon find a new home along the Missouri River if the mayor of St. Charles has his way.
In Charlottesville, Virginia, statues featuring Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee have been removed from public spaces, as well as a statue of the principal characters in the Corps of Discovery Expedition.
Family descendants of Sacajawea (also spelled Sakagawea or Sacagawea) claimed the Charlottesville statue, erected in 1919, depicts Sacajawea in a subservient role.
St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer would like to bring the Sacajawea statue to his city. He believes the statues can help serve as talking points for tourists.
“The fact of the matter is we’re a very historic city and people should know that history,” Borgmeyer said. “I hate to see an objection from three or four people in one part of the country at a city council meeting negate the story of Sacajawea that we could tell people and elevate her across the country. And she fits very appropriately in our city.”
The Lewis and Clark expedition launched from St. Charles, Missouri, on May 21, 1804. The party met Sacajawea in April the following year in what’s now North Dakota.
Mayor Borgmeyer said 15 cities and individuals have submitted plans to relocate the statue. No public funds would be spent on the relocation. Instead, he said a GoFundMe account would be set up to pay the cost of the relocation.
Charlottesville is accepting bids until Aug. 27.