Talk:Jedediah Smith

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Alternative Dates of Birth[edit]

I have seen the following alternative dates of birth:

  • 24 Jan 1798
  • 24 Jun 1798
  • 6 Jan 1799
  • 16 Jan 1799.

Does anybody know for certain which (if any) of these is correct? Cheers JackofOz 06:13, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

The exact date of birth is January 6th 1799, in Bainbrige New York (Jericho) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.196.51.7 (talk) 00:51, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

The DOB is disputed, there is no such thing as an exact date:

Harrison Clifford Dale: The explorations of William H. Ashley and Jedediah Smith – 1822–1829. Arthur H. Clark Company, Glendale 1941, reprinted by University of Nebraska Press, 1991, ISBN 0-8032-6591-3, p 175 claims June 24 1798, while the American National Biography, Vol. 20, 1999, Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford, ISBN 0-19-520635-5 along others claim January 6 1799. --h-stt !? 08:39, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

I half agree with you. Yes, the DOB is disputed, which was what I stated back in 2005 (!). But he must have been born, like every other human being, on an exact date. If we could get to the bottom of where all these conflicting dates came from, we might get to the truth. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 08:44, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Not likely. If biographers over decades and centuries are not able to confirm a date, we won't be either. He himself did not know his DOB. --h-stt !? 10:13, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
It is best to choose one date of birth for the article. Any discrepancies can be put in a reference footnote. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:25, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
But how do we know which one to choose, and why should one be chosen over others anyway, if there's roughly equal support for them all in sources? Choosing one and relegating the others to a footnote is tantamount to saying the one we've chosen is the right date and any sources that disagree with us are wrong. What authority do we have to do that? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 09:04, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Editors can make decisions. One date is good in terms of narration of the article. The footnote can have all or any of the arguments for or against. There may not be a correct birthdate for Jedediah Smith. I do not know how good records were kept in the 18th century in terms of new births. Unless there is an actual birth certificate that has an actual date, I do not know when Jedediah Smith was born. Also the calender may have changed sometime that could have changed the date of births. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:05, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
The calander changed in 1752. Since Smith was born after this change his dob is not affected.The 1752 Calendar Change Cmguy777 (talk) 03:21, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Are you arguing with yourself again? LOL. BTW, I agree with everything you said. Cheers.--Jojhutton (talk) 03:25, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, the Socratic method. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:31, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

My dad always said he had to talk to himself because its the only intelligent conversation he ever got.--Jojhutton (talk) 03:33, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Spelling[edit]

The point about spelling seems silly. Was spelling regularized/standardized at this time? (65.80.50.227 07:39, 13 December 2005)

Spelling, not to mention literacy, was pretty haphazard. Even still, Jedediah is not only an accepted spelling, it is the most common spelling. It's not terribly relevant, however, since: a. the Hebrew Bible was written in Biblical Hebrew, with scant use of vowels (and no e's or i's to be found); b. Smith wasn't "named after Solomon's religious nickname" anyway — he was named after his father, Jedediah Smith, Sr.[1]; and c. who cares? I'll take it out. Squib 22:56, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Major problem[edit]

Under early life, it says "Cows are sweet" and later says "Girls Girls Girls"—Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.50.221.230 (talkcontribs)

Good looking out, ese. I took it out, and if these were real sections, they were removed a long time ago. So if somebody finds them, please put them back.--Rockero 08:17, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

The page is pure nonsense[edit]

75% of the info is a joke please fix! The article talks about wizards and hot pockets, I think it should be erased and restarted but some dont. Needs alot of fixing. 68.207.117.147 04:27, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

don't know who wrote this, but it's not very good[edit]

there is a lot wrong with this article. it's messy, it's vague, and it doesn't appear to be 100% accurate. I agree we should scrap this article and commission an expert to write a new one. Dia duit 19:44, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Needs info about Oregon[edit]

Though it shows on the map, there is no discussion about Smith's exploration of Oregon. http://www.endoftheoregontrail.org/oregontrails/jedsmith.html Katr67 05:06, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Where Jedediah Smith died[edit]

All the online referenced links/bios indicate as per the article that Smith was killed either enroute to Santa Fe, NM or along the Santa Fe Trail. All agree that his death happened along the Cimarron River. None mention Kansas.

The Cimarron River originates in New Mexico. The Santa Fe Trail travels from St. Louis to New Mexico.

The main reference states that on May 27, 1831 left his party to find water The Mountain Man Jedediah Strong Smith. If he was following the Santa Fe Trail from St. Louis, he would have probably been in the states of Colorado, Oklahoma or New Mexico at the time of his attack (Kansas is ruled out by logic because it is not mentioned in the two online articles and would be in the wrong direction of travel if his goods were sold in Santa Fe, NM).

More than likely as per the article's description of his party finding some of Smith's article for sale in Santa Fe, NM places his death closer to either Santa Fe or the headwaters of the Cinnamon River.

Upon this basis, I will revert back to the original place of death listed before tonight's unsourced edit. Ronbo76 04:38, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm not certain where you get your information. The Santa Fe Trail did not follow along the Cimarron River in New Mexico. It left the Cimarron shortly after the trail from Kansas entered what is now the Oklahoma Panhandle and it entered New Mexico close to Clayton.[2][3] Also, Jedediah Smith left the wagon train he was leading westward somewhere on the Jornada de Muerte[4], which was the arid part of the Cimarron Cutoff in Kansas between the Arkansas River and the Cimarron. The Kansas State Historical Society has a marker at Wagon Bed Spring (Kansas) stating that "Near here in 1831 the noted western explorer and fur trader Jedediah Smith, lost four days without water, was killed by Comanches just as he reached the river [Cimarron River]."[5] Most off-line sources say much the same. BlackMesaMan 05:25, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I would highly discount your first two sources as they come from the same person who wrote it in the first person and speaks about "Then it was the Ed Towler Ranch, who was my Granddad." Sounds like he was trying to make a claim for fame. The last reference is a little better but conflicts with the original two in the article before your edit.
There also is the issue of how his goods ended up ahead of Smiths party in Santa Fe which was their intended destination. By even the last account, Smith was west of the party which would place him closer to Santa Fe.
This leads me to believe firmly that the original person who wrote that article portion got it correctly. Ronbo76 05:34, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
  • The first source was written by the National Park Service's Santa Fe National Historic Trail site [6] and the second source was written by the Cimarron Heritage Center in Boise City.[7]. The third source, as you say, is written in the first person; however, it is an analysis of David Lavender's book, Bent's Fort (University of Nebraska Press, 1972, ISBN 0803257538 ) which states that Smith was killed after leaving his wagon train on the Journada in Kansas. And the last source is the Kansas State Historical Society.[8] If there is indeed a souce which states that Smith was killed in New Mexico, please list it. BlackMesaMan 06:24, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
My sources all came from the article and are listed out in the first paragraph of this section. They do not appear just as a number and arrow like yours do. Ronbo76 06:31, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Comment There's nothing wrong with a "number and arrow" embedded citation, especially on a talk page. If they are reliable sources, they can be referenced in the article. And just because a citation is already listed in the article does not mean it's reliable. Now, may I suggest a compromise that says something like "Some sources say Smith was killed in Kansas (list sources) while others say that he was killed in New Mexico (list sources). Katr67 17:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Reliable Source?[edit]

The Klesinger site seems to be a random businessman's site and doesn't list its references and thus probably can't be considered a reliable source. Katr67 12:56, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Not so as it reflects the other source referenced. please see Wikipedia:Attribution#Reliable sources. Ronbo76 13:13, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, so we've both linked to the reliable sources section of WP:ATT... To which part of it are you referring? "Reflecting" the the other source doesn't make it reliable--anybody can gather information off the internet or books and put it on the Internet. Klesinger's info seems to be a self-published source. Without references, it can't be counted as reliable. Is Klesinger an academic or other authority or simply a history buff? Smith's history is fraught with much misinformation, so we should be trying to reference primary and secondary sources as much as possible. Now, if you mean the site Klesinger links to: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/HNS/Mtmen/jedesmith.html , that one appears to have some academic backing and lists its sources. Katr67 16:54, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Sounds great to me. Knowing my luck, he died in OK. Ronbo76 17:46, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Trivia for comment[edit]

The following trivia is moved from the article for comment. I do not know that the Jedediah in the film was this J.Smith. WBardwin 06:04, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

  • The 2006 film "Night At The Museum" features and un-credited Owen Wilson portraying Jedediah.

Are there any reliable sources to confirm that Jedediah Smith is the same as the Jedediah in the film? IMDB is not specific, and I could find no other reference. Jfmajo (talk) 02:59, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

The link on the IMDB goes to Jedediah Smith. Yes. According to the IMDB site, Owen Wilson is portraying Jedediah Smith. Whether the portrayal is historically accurate, I don't know. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:05, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
After watching the trailers to both movies I and II, the Jedediah Smith character seems to be taken out of context and is only represented by name. The movie centers on fictional actions of "Jedediah" in two Museums. Since these are fictional actions, rather then historical or considered historically relavent, I do not believe the movie belongs in the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:16, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Picture Removal[edit]

Someone included a picture of Soda Lake, alright, but the WRONG Soda Lake in San Luis Obispo County, not the one Smith visited in San Bernardino County. FYI, my car stalled at the (deleted image) Painted Rocks, so I recognized it. The California Valley, in which Soda Lake and the Painted Rocks lie, is semi-arid and not desert. Sorry to delete such a pretty picture, but the facts have to win out! Tapered (talk) 23:03, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Jedediah Springfield[edit]

I always thought Jedediah Springfield, of The Simpsons fame, was named and loosley named after Jedediah Smith. Is it worth adding something along the lines that this is the case? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blairtummock (talkcontribs) 19:36, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

The character is Jebediah Springfield (though, to be fair his full name is Jebediah Obadiah Zachariah Jedediah Springfield). There are no reliable sources indicating that Jedediah Smith was the direct inspiration for the naming of the character. CosmicPenguin (talkWP:WYOHelp!) 03:15, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

bear attack[edit]

I remember learing that Jedediah suffered a terrible attack from a Grizzly Bear, I checked this article for more info on the attack, but I'm not finding it anywhere on this page. Would someone mind checking and possibly add it to the article?

Yes, he had an encounter with a grizzly near Powder River, quite early in his career. But do you think it is important given the sad state of the article? There are so many more important facts missing ... :-( --h-stt !? 06:28, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Jedidiah's friend Sullivan was also attacked by a grizzly. Morgan states that mountain men were often attacked by grizzly bears. The interesting thing is that today grizzlies are missing from the American West for the most part. These grizzlies were not afraid of humans at all and apparently stalked their victims. They just attacked. Grizzlies roamed freely in the Sierra Nevada, something modern Californians have missed out on or forgotten. That is why California is the grizzly or Bear Flag state. More should be put in the article on grizzlies. They are pretty much as rare as the American Buffalo. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:19, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I believe the Grizzly Bear attack is important because it left a signifigant scar on Jedediah and presents the dangers of traveling into the West; including arrest by Mexicans; attack by American Indians; bear attacks; starvation; heat and cold exposure. There were no highways, railroads, or telegraph services. While traveling there were no doctors to mend wounds or hospitals. The JSS article needs to capture the essence of the wild west. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:57, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Restructure article[edit]

I plan to restructure the article to fit with other Wikipedia biographical articles. Instead of "Birth and Accomplishments" the title should be "Early Life". There also needs to be a segment on Jedidiah joining Ashley's company in St. Louis. Emphasis should be on the fur trade. Jedidiah was a businessman and he wanted to make money, just like other mountain men. More information is needed on early life. How did Jedidiah get to St. Louis? Was he actually an American spy? What were his views on Native Americans? Were their any controversies? What was his legacy? More emphasis should be on the Native Americans he met both hostile and friendly. This article has a potential to be a good or feature article. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:22, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Lede Sullivan Quote with sentence[edit]

Moved Sullivan quote with "Old Jed" sentence to talk page. 21:38, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

According to Maurice S. Sullivan:

Smith was the first white man to cross the future state of Nevada, the first to traverse Utah from north to south and from west to east; the first American to enter California by the overland route, and so herald its change of masters; the first white man to scale the High Sierras, and the first to explore the Pacific hinterland from San Diego to the banks of the Columbia River.

Prospectors and settlers later poured in to the areas that "Old Jed" Smith had trail-blazed as a trapper and fur trader, during the subsequent Gold Rush.

Alleged death in Kansas[edit]

Moved to talk page. There is no reference for this alleged Kansas death. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:55, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

The Comanches told the merchant they had taken the items from a white man they had killed near the Cimarron River, south of present day Ulysses, Kansas.[citation needed] Smith's body was never found.

Removed 2008 Refimprove cite[edit]

I removed May 2008 Refimprove cite from the article. Morgan (1953, 1964) references have been given to improve the article. I added information on Jedediah's early life and joining Ashley's fur company. More work needs to be done on the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:04, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Article class and importance ratings[edit]

I changed the article to class C and gave the article high importance. The accomplishments of Jedediah Smith deserve to be recognized and is highly important to the history of Native Americans, the Mexican government, the United States, and Britain. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:12, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Increase article views[edit]

The article is generating around 100 views per month. Signifigant changes have been made. I am concerned why the viewing has not gone up. I believe making this a feature article could help get more views. Does anyone have any reasons why the articles viewing is low? Cmguy777 (talk) 18:35, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Try adding links from other articles to this one. That may increase potential readers. Otherwise perhaps the subject just isn't that interesting to readers, despite your effort to overhaul the article. There are over 3 million articles to read, and it would seem that some articles just get more views than others, depending on the subject matter. Thats the nature of the beast sometimes.--Jojhutton (talk) 20:16, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
That sounds good. I have never heard of Jedediah Smith until I went to college. I have not looked at modern U.S. History books and am not sure he gets much writing time compared to Lewis and Clark. Jedediah Smith and the mountain men, in a sense, fill in the gap between the California Gold Rush and Lewis and Clark. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:46, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I have been adding links. It seems Jedediah is not mentioned on the Mission cites or Fort Vancouver. I am attempting to link Smith's names with the people he had met or was associated with and the places he traveled or explored. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:42, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
It looks like the links are causing more hits to the article. Good suggestion Jojhutton. Thanks! Cmguy777 (talk) 06:19, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I was looking at the view counter and it seems that this article was getting 300-400 and sometime more, hits a day anyway. What were you using as a source for the number of page views?--Jojhutton (talk) 18:29, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I used stats.grok.se. However, I typed in Jedediah Strong Smith rather then Jedediah Smith. On Janurary 7, 2011 Jedediah Smith got 1600 hits! I have put his link in the Great Basin and the Peter Skene Ogden articles. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:32, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Ya, you gotta watch how you type in the name with that site. Its very literal. So it appears that the page was getting a whole heck of a lot more views than you thought. Good.--Jojhutton (talk) 22:40, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

You Tube Video[edit]

You Tube cannot be used as a source about itself. This information needs a secondary reliable source, or it cannot be re-added. If this was allowed then wikipedia would be overrun with massive amount of useless trivia.--Jojhutton (talk) 15:15, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:29, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

should we honor slaveholders and indian killer?[edit]

Let's quit naming parks and lakes and sites after these crooked persons---this practice is insulting to American citizens of Native and African descent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.69.64.114 (talk) 19:43, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Smith is mainly known as a hero for his explorations and opening of the American West. He held off on killing Indians and punished his men who killed Indians indiscriminately. American Indians were not pacifists. Their tribes had warriors. Please understand that Indians killed whites and sometimes other Indians. Whites killed Indians. The West was violent. In fact, Smith was killed by Indians when he was looking for water. Smith had no desire to kill American Indians, only for self protection. Yes. Smith owned two slaves. The article does not say Smith was perfect. Without sidestepping the horribleness of the slavery issue, Smith did not own a plantation with hundreds of slaves, and his livelihood did not rely heavily on slavery. Cmguy777 (talk) 01:46, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Ya Ya Ya, We're all bastard children of Satin. Time to move on.--JOJ Hutton 01:52, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

No one is accusing anyone of being "bastard children of Satin". This discussion is meant to discuss the article, however, I respect alternative opinions. What took place in the past can't be altered. Nothing in this article is meant in anyway to condone or condemn Jedediah Smith, African Americans, American Indians, or Mexican Americans. Jedediah Smith's biographer Dale Morgan refered to Smith as a forgotten American hero. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:44, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Mission San José photo[edit]

Moved from article: Mission San José.jpg Added earlier photo to article. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:37, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Readded photo. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:20, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Article protection[edit]

I recommend article semi-protection since there has been an ample number of vandilism incidents. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:15, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

While there has been a recent upsurge in vandalism, nominal history is tame. Considering the number of editors watching the page, it is a reasonable balance. If the situation changes, I will protect accordingly. —EncMstr (talk) 18:45, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

This page is a joke.[edit]

What a joke of an article. It is the most white-centric page I've come across on Wikipedia. The views on Native American's is crazy. In one sentence it states he would shoot a few for demonstration purposes but would chastise his men for randomly shooting them all while staying in a positive reference. Imagine if we did this to Hitler's page: "Hitler only killed Jews to rid Germany of them, but would chastise his men when they inefficiently killed Jews." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.206.42.61 (talk) 03:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top.
The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). Valfontis (talk) 03:47, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

This article is not a joke. Jedediah traded with Indians and for the most part had friendly intentions with the Indians. Jedediah was only violent if he felt this would protect his party. Please remember this is 1827, there are no modern technologies, communication services, hospitals, or convienent stores. Jedediah died a violent death by Indians. So, were the Indians justified in killing Jedediah because he was a white man? That is racism. Can we judge him if we were under similar circumstances. Articles, I suppose, on any white person would be "white-centric". Cmguy777 (talk) 02:16, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Jedediah Smith was not Hitler. Jedediah did not hate Indians. There were no Indian extermination camps. There is nothing in his writing that he hated Indians. I am not sure if there was a count, but he may have killed under 50 Indians, that is just an estimate. Hitler killed millions of Jews and Gypsies. Jedediah was an explorer. His purpose was not to kill Indians. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:16, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
I made changes to the disputed paragraph. This article is not defending or condoning any action done by Smith or his men. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:16, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
The articles fine. You've done a good job maintaining it, or didn't you think anyone noticed? I wouldn't get too worried by, what I like to call, "Drive By Comments". People who leave a single disparaging message on a talk page, then never seen to ever come back and help with the problem that they "think" is wrong with the article. Just keep up the good work.--JOJ Hutton 19:53, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. I wouldn't waste time arguing with an anon comment such as this, which is why I "templated" him/her with {{sofixit}}, which I did only partly sarcastically. And I didn't see anything wrong with the way the passage was written when I checked at that time. Valfontis (talk) 15:01, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Jojhutton and Valfontis for your valued support of this article. I believe this article is as fair as can be and does not attempt to justify any of Jedediah's actions or beliefs. Jedediah was a man of 18th and 19th centuries and in many respects he transended his times. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:28, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Smith Map[edit]

The superimposed Smith-Gibbs-Frémont map was created by Frémont in 1844 CE. Here is the web source: Map of an Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842, Oregon and North California in the Years 1843-44 Cmguy777 (talk) 19:44, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

The original map was created in 1844 by Fremont. But only Gibbs superimposed the findings by Smith onto the Fremont map many years after its publication. rgds --h-stt !? 09:40, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Regarding sources[edit]

Editors should be aware that pre-1967 accounts of Smith's first (1826-27) expedition to California contain a number of factual errors on details of the route traveled. Smith's own journal for that part of the journey was believed lost and those early authors, having no other first-hand accounts, were forced to speculate on many details. Those early writings include otherwise fine and scholarly histories by Sullivan, Morgan, A. Smith and others.

The "lost" journal (covering the period from August 7, 1826 to June 22, 1827) was found in 1967, and was published in 1977 as:

Smith, Jedediah S., [Harrison G. Rogers], and George R. Brooks (ed.). The Southwest Expedition of Jedediah S. Smith: His Personal Account of the Journey to California, 1826–1827. Lincoln and London, University of Nebraska Press, [1977] 1989. ISBN 978-0-8032-9197-3

Brooks' edition also contains the "daybook" of Smith's clerk Harrison Rogers, covering most of the same time period and supplying further clarifying detail. WCCasey (talk) 05:50, 2 February 2014 (UTC)