Jedediah Smith

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For the United States Representative from New Hampshire, see Jedediah K. Smith.
Jedediah Strong Smith
Jedediah Smith.jpg
Jedediah Smith
Born January 6, 1799 (1799-01-06)
Bainbridge, New York, U.S.
Died May 27, 1831 (1831-05-28) (aged 32)
south of Ulysses, Kansas, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Diah
Jedidiah Strong Smith
Ethnicity English, Basque
Occupation Explorer, hunter, trapper, fur trader
Known for Exploration of Rocky Mountains, American West Coast, American Southwest, crossing of Nevada and naming of Cache Valley, Utah

Jedediah Strong Smith (January 6, 1799 – May 27, 1831), the son of a Bainbridge, New York general store owner, was a hunter, trapper, fur trader, trailblazer, author, cartographer and explorer of the Rocky Mountains, the American West Coast and the Southwest during the 19th century. Nearly forgotten by historians almost a century after his death, Smith has been rediscovered as an American icon who was the first white man to travel over land from the Salt Lake frontier, the Colorado River, the Mojave Desert, and finally into California. Smith was the first United States citizen to explore and eastwardly cross the Sierra Nevada and the treacherous Great Basin. Smith also was the first American to travel up the California coast to reach the Oregon Country. Not only was he the first to do this, but he and Robert Stuart discovered the South Pass.[a] This path became the main route used by pioneers to travel to the Oregon Country. Surviving three massacres and one bear mauling, Jedediah Smith's explorations and documented discoveries were highly significant in opening the American West to expansion by settlers and cattlemen. In 1831, while searching for water off the Santa Fe Trail in present-day southwest Kansas, Smith was mortally wounded by Comanche warriors.

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in Jericho, now Bainbridge, New York on January 6, 1799.[2][3][b] His early New England ancestors included Thomas Bascom, constable of Northampton, Massachusetts, who came to America in the 1630s. Thomas Bascom came from England but was of Huguenot and French Basque ancestry. Smith came from two devoutly religious New England families and was personally taught by Methodist circuit preachers. Around 1810, Smith's father, who owned a general store, was caught using allegedly counterfeit currency. To protect his family's reputation, the elder Smith moved his family West to Erie County, Pennsylvania. While growing up, Smith's love of nature and adventure came from his mentor, Dr. Titus G. V. Simons, a pioneer physician who was on close terms with the Smith family. Simons gave the young Smith a copy of Lewis and Clark's 1814 journal to the Pacific. According to legend, Smith is claimed to have carried this journal on all of his travels throughout the American West.[citation needed] The Smith family moved westward again to Ohio and settled in Green Township, or what is now called Ashland County, in 1817.[4]

Smith joins Ashley's company[edit]

Further information: Mountain man

While in the Green Township the Smith family was running low on income. In 1821, Jedediah began writing his journal and traveled to Illinois in an effort to find employment. By 1822, Jedediah traveled to St. Louis and responded to an advertisement in the Missouri Gazette placed by Gen. William H. Ashley. Gen. Ashley and Maj. Andrew Henry were partner-owners of the American Fur Company. According to the ad, Gen. Ashley was looking for "Enterprising Young Men" to explore the Missouri River and engage in the fur trade business in the Rocky Mountains. Jedediah, now a 6-foot-tall, blue-eyed 23-year-old with a commanding presence, impressed Gen. Ashley to hire him. Ashley initially led the expedition and Jedediah got his first glimpse of the western frontier, coming into contact with Sioux and Arikaras tribes. Jedediah finally reached Fort Arikaras, under the control of Major Andrew Henry at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on the Yellowstone River. On his first expedition up the Missouri, Jedediah learned to trap beaver and hunt buffalo.[5]

Arikara warrior
Bodmer (1840–1843)

Arikaras massacre[edit]

In 1822, Gen. Ashley ordered Smith to come back down the Missouri to Grand River. When Jedediah returned, the Arikaras natives, who were becoming increasingly hostile, attacked and massacred 13 of Ashley's men. Jedediah fought bravely, and the surviving men, including Gen. Ashley, took note of Jedediah's conduct during the battle. Ashley appointed Smith as Captain of his men.[6]

South Pass[edit]

In 1823, as a leader of Ashley's men, Jedediah took a beaver trapping party and explored the Rocky Mountains south of the Yellowstone River. The party spent the rest of 1823 wintering in the Wind River Valley. In 1824 Smith launched an exploratory expedition to find an expedient route through the Rocky Mountains. Smith was able to retrieve information from Crow natives. When communicating with the Crows, one of Smith's men made a unique map (buffalo hide and sand), and the Crows were able to show Jedediah and his men the direction to the South Pass. Jedediah and his men crossed through this pass in the Rocky Mountains and were able to reach the Green River in what is now Utah. From 1824 to 1825 Jedediah and his men explored the Rocky Mountains and trapped the Green, Bear, Snake, and Clark's Fork Rivers. On July 1, 1825 Smith became partners with William H. Ashley. Ashley's other partner Andrew Henry had retired from the fur trade. The rediscovery of the South Pass from the Crow Indians was very important since this was the fastest and most direct route to get to the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains and into California.[7]

Smith was often recognized by significant facial scarring due to a grizzly bear attack along the Cheyenne River. In 1824, while looking for the Crow tribe to obtain fresh horses and get westward directions, Jedediah was stalked and attacked by a large grizzly bear. The huge bear tackled Jedediah to the ground. Jedediah's ribs were broken and members of his party witnessed Smith fighting the bear, which ripped open his side with its claws and took his head in its mouth. The bear suddenly retreated and the men ran to help Smith. They found his scalp and ear nearly ripped off, but he convinced a friend, Jim Clyman, to sew it loosely back on, giving him directions. The trappers fetched water, bound up his broken ribs, and cleaned his wounds. After recuperating from his bloody wounds and broken ribs, Jedediah wore his hair long to cover the large scar from his eyebrow to his ear.

First trip to California, 1826–1827[edit]

Jedediah Smith's party crossing the burning Mojave Desert during the 1826 trek to California by Frederic Remington

In 1826, William H. Ashley retired from the fur trade, and in a complicated business arrangement sold his share to the newly created firm of Jedediah Smith, David E. Jackson, and William L. Sublette.[8] Jedediah Smith led part of the company on an exploratory expedition to California in 1826 and 1827,[c] which landed him in trouble with the Mexican authorities. As with the Zebulon Pike expedition two decades earlier, the authorities saw Smith's party as a harbinger of future trouble with the United States. Unlike Pike's expedition, which was commissioned by the United States Army, the Smith party was a private commercial venture. Although five members of the 1826 party carried United States passports, the excursion deep into Mexican territory was unauthorized by the United States government and without permission from the Mexican government.

The primary purpose of the trip was exploration, with the search for new beaver hunting grounds as a secondary goal. The party left the Bear Lake area (on the border between present day Utah and Idaho) in August 1826, heading south through present day Utah and Nevada to the Colorado River, finding increasingly harsh conditions and difficult travel.

Finding shelter in a friendly Mohave village, the men recuperated and met two Tongva men, who offered to guide them to San Gabriel Mission. After leaving the river and heading west into the Mojave Desert, the guides led them through the desert via what would become the western portion of the Old Spanish Trail, a path which more or less follows the route of today's Interstate 15. From Soda Lake, they followed the intermittent Mojave River into the San Bernardino Mountains, which they crossed somewhat to the east of today's Cajon Pass, emerging into a vastly different environment - the paradisal California that sailors and newspapers talked about on the East Coast. Rather than head to the nearby mission ranch, they quickly made their way west (following the path of the future Route 66), arriving at the Mission on November 27, 1826.

Father Sánchez gave Jedediah and his men a lavish dinner at Mission San Gabriel.

They were received warmly by the President of the mission, José Bernardo Sánchez (Several of the Smith party remembered Sánchez fondly in their journals). Sánchez advised Smith to communicate with Governor José María Echeandía, who was at San Diego, about his party's status in the country. On December 8, Echeandía ordered Smith to San Diego, apparently under arrest (there was one symbolic soldier accompanying the party of mission priests and a British merchant sea captain escorting Smith). The rest of the party remained at the mission. Badly needing supplies, they quickly found work to do around the mission under the supervision of Joseph "José" Chapman, a former impressed sailor in the crew of Hippolyte de Bouchard, who had become a naturalized citizen of Mexico.

In San Diego, Smith was interviewed several times by Echeandía, who never became convinced that Smith was only looking for food and shelter. Smith asked for permission to travel north to the Columbia River, where known paths could take his party back to United States territory. Smith even handed over his journals in an attempt to prove his intentions. Echeandía delayed a quick resolution, however, forwarding the issue for the authorities in Sonora to review, much to Smith's displeasure. After being hounded by Smith for a month, Echeandía released Smith and his men on the promise that they leave California by the same path they had entered and never return. Smith kept the promise until after re-crossing the San Bernardino Mountains, but then turned north and entered the San Joaquín Valley by way of Old Tejon Pass, and explored northward as far as what would later be called the American River.[10]

By early May 1827, Smith and his party had accumulated over 1500 pounds of beaver pelts; getting these furs to the mountain man rendezvous near Great Salt Lake was clearly a problem. He had traveled 350 miles north, looking for the mythical Buenaventura River, but found no break in the wall of the Sierra Nevada range. He turned up the rugged canyon of the American River, but had to return because the snow was too deep. Had he completed his crossing this far north, it is possible he could have found Lake Tahoe and the Humboldt River in Nevada, the vital route across the Great Basin later used by California immigrants. But the heavy snow forced him into a decision: he would save his horses, and his men, by heading back west to the central valley and the Stanislaus River and re-establishing camp there. Peter Skene Ogden, a year and a half later in 1828, discovered the Humboldt River basin's natural route.[11] Jedediah, taking only two men and some extra horses, began his epic crossing of the Sierra Nevada somewhat farther south, over Ebbets Pass. His plan was to get to rendezvous as quickly as he could and return to his California trapping party with more men later in the year.

The exploration of the West by Jedediah Smith

After crossing the Sierra Nevada, Smith likely saw Walker Lake and continued east across central Nevada. His route was straight through some of the most difficult desert in North America, known as the Great Basin. One man, Robert Evans, collapsed and could go no farther. Jed and Silas Gobel briefly left Evans and pressed on to the foot of a mountain. Finding some water, Jed went back and rescued Evans. The three eventually reached Great Salt Lake, a beautiful sight to Smith as he called it "my home of the wilderness". Local Indians told him the whites were gathered farther north at "the Little Lake" (Bear Lake). The three reached the rendezvous on July 3. The mountain men celebrated Jed's arrival with a cannon salute (the first wheeled vehicle ever brought this far west) for they had given up Jed and his party for lost.

Second trip to California, 1827–1828[edit]

Smith's return to California threatened Mexican authority at Mission San José.

Despite Echeandía's warning, Smith returned to California almost immediately after the rendezvous, with eighteen men and two French-Canadian women, following much of the same route as the previous year. While crossing the Colorado River, the party was attacked by the Mojave, killing ten men including Silas Gobel and taking the two women.[12] Jedediah and the eight surviving men, one badly wounded from the fighting, made a desperate stand on the banks of the Colorado, having made a makeshift breast work out of trees.[13] Surrounded by hundreds of hostile Mojave Indians, Jedediah and his men made lances by attaching butcher knives to light poles.[14] As the Indians began to approach, Jedediah ordered his men to fire on the Indians within range.[14] Two Mohaves were shot and killed while one Mojave was wounded. The remaining Mojaves ran off and Jedediah and his men were saved from being massacred.[14] Jedediah and his men continued on into California arriving at the San Bernardino Valley.[15]

Smith and the other survivors were again well received in San Gabriel. The party moved north to meet with the group that had been left in the San Joaquin Valley, reuniting with them on September 19, 1827. Unlike in San Gabriel, they were coolly received by the priests at Mission San José, who had already received warning of Smith's renewed presence in the area. Smith's party also visited the settlements at Monterey and Yerba Buena (San Francisco).

Governor Echeandía, who was at the time in Monterey (capital of Alta California), once again arrested Smith, this time along with his men. Yet despite the breach of trust, the governor once again released Smith on the same promise to leave the province immediately and not to return, and as before, Smith and his party remained in California hunting in Sacramento Valley for several months, before heading north along the Pacific Coast to use the Columbia River to return to their headquarters. Jedediah became the first explorer to reach the Oregon Country overland by traveling up the California coast.[16]

Trip to the Oregon Country[edit]

In the Oregon Country, Smith' s party fell into conflict over a stolen ax with the Umpqua people. Smith's party had threatened to execute the man they accused of stealing the ax. On July 14, 1828, while Smith and two other men were scouting a trail north, his group was attacked in its camp on the Umpqua River. [17] At about eight o'clock on the night of August 8, 1828, Arthur Black arrived at the gate of Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) post at Fort Vancouver, badly wounded and almost destitute of clothing. He believed himself to be the only survivor of the party,[18] but Smith and the two others, having been alerted to the attack and instead of returning to the camp climbed a hill above it and witnessed the massacre, arrived at the fort two days later.[17] John McLoughlin sent Alexander McLeod south with Smith to rescue any survivor's of Smith's party and their goods. They confirmed the remaining 15 men had died,[18] and returned to Fort Vancouver with 700 beaver skins and 39 horses, all in bad condition. Governor Simpson paid Smith $2,600 for the goods.[19] In return, Smith assured that his American fur trade company would confine its operations to the region east of the Great Divide.[20] Smith remained at Fort Vancouver until the spring of 1829, when he traveled back east and met back up with his partners. Smith sent a description of Fort Vancouver in a letter to Washington D.C. and described how the British were in the process of making a new fort at the time of Smith's visit in 1829. Smith believed the British were attempting to establish a permanent settlement in the Oregon Country.[18]

Blackfeet expedition, 1829–1830[edit]

In 1829, Captain Smith personally organized a fur trade expedition into the Blackfeet territory. Smith was able to capture a good cache of beaver before being repulsed by hostile Blackfeet Native Americans. Jim Bridger served as a riverboat pilot on the Powder River during the profitable mountain man expedition. In the four years of western fur trapping the firm of Smith, Jackson, and Sublette was able to make a substantial profit. At an 1830 rendezvous on the Wild River Smith, Jackson, and Sublette sold their fur trading company to Tom Fitzpatrick, Milton Sublette, Jim Bridger, Henry Fraeb, and John Baptiste Gervais. These five men formed what would become known as the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. In 1830, Smith retired from the fur trading business and on October 11, returned to St. Louis with a profitable bounty.[21]

Return to St. Louis[edit]

After Smith's return to St. Louis in 1830, he and his partners wrote a letter on October 29 to Sec. of War John H. Eaton and informed Eaton of the "military implications" in terms of the British allegedly alienating the Native population towards any American trappers in the Pacific Northwest. According to biographer, Dale L. Morgan, Smith's letter was "a clear sighted statement of the national interest".[22]

Smith had not forgotten the financial struggles of his family in Ohio. After making a sizable profit from the sale of furs, over $17,000 (approx. $4 million in 2011),[23] Jedediah sent $1,500 to his family in Green Township; whereupon his brother Ralph bought a farm. Smith also bought a house on First Avenue in St. Louis to be shared with his brothers. Smith bought two African slaves to take care of the property in St. Louis.[24]

Smith's busy schedule in St. Louis also found him and Samuel Parkman making a map of Smith's cartographic discoveries in the West.[25] Jedediah, in order to make his map complete, needed first hand information on the Southwest, an area he had not extensively explored. In 1831, Smith and his partners formed a supply company of 74 men, twenty-two wagons, and a "six-pounder" artillery cannon for protection. At the request of William H. Ashley, Smith received a passport from Senator Thomas Hart Benton on March 3, 1831. Smith and company left St. Louis to trade in Santa Fe on April 10, 1831.[26]


In 1831, Smith became involved in the supply trade known as the "commerce of the prairies". Smith was leading supply wagons for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company on the Santa Fe Trail in May, 1831 when he left the group to scout for water near the Lower Spring on the Cimmaron River in present-day southwest Kansas.[27][28] He never returned to the group. The remainder of the party proceeded on to Santa Fe hoping Smith would meet them there, but he never arrived. A short time later, members of the trading party discovered a Mexican merchant at the Santa Fe market offering several of Smith's personal belongings for sale. When questioned about the items, the merchant indicated that he had acquired them from a band of Comanche hunters.[27]

Comanches as depicted in the 1830s. Jedediah Smith was killed in 1831 when he was overpowered by Comanche warriors on horseback, who charged at him with their lances.
Painting by Lino Sánchez y Tapia (1830s)

According to biographer Dale L. Morgan, Smith was looking for water for the 1831 expedition when he came upon an estimated 15–20 Comanches. There was a brief face-to-face stand off until the Comanches scared his horse and shot him in the left shoulder. After gasping from the injury, Smith wheeled his horse around and with one rifle shot was able to kill their chief. The Comanches then rushed Smith, who did not have time to use his pistols, and stabbed him to death with lances. Austin Smith, Jedediah's brother, was able to retrieve Smith's rifle and pistols that the Indians had taken and traded to the Mexicans.[29][d][e]

Personal characteristics[edit]

Jedediah Smith was "no ordinary mountain man." Following Methodist practices, Smith was known to be a reserved pious man who often read the Bible, meditated, and prayed. Smith never boasted and having a stern personality only rarely was known to have any sense of humor. Smith was known to be physically strong, cool under pressure, and extremely skilled at surviving in the wild; learning from the Native American cultures he encountered on his western explorations. Unlike contemporary mountain men, Smith never used tobacco, got drunk, or used profanity. Smith did not have sexual relations with Native American women. Smith was known for his many systematic recorded observations on nature and topography.[32]

Views on American Indians[edit]

While travelling overland throughout the American West, Jedediah's policy with the Native Americans was to maintain friendly relations with gifts and exchanges. However, if Jedediah felt Indians were being hostile to his party, he would make a demonstration by having one or two Natives killed with a rifle. This was done to discourage any further tribal aggression against him and his party. Smith punished his men for indiscriminately shooting Indians without any perceived threat to his party. Smith's reluctance to kill American Indians was due to his Methodist faith and training. Smith held contemporary beliefs that Native Americans were for the most part intellectually inferior to whites and considered untrustworthy. Smith stated that Indians were "children of nature"; a link between animals and humans.[33][34]


According to Maurice S. Sullivan[f] Smith was "the first white man to cross the future state of Nevada, the first to conquer the High Sierra of California, and the first to explore the entire Pacific Slope from Lower California to the banks of the Columbia River".[35] His expeditions also raised doubts about the legendary Buenaventura River from maps.[36] Jedediah Smith's explorations were the main basis for accurate Pacific-West maps. He produced a map that, in a eulogy for Smith printed in the Illinois Magazine for June 1832, the unknown author claimed "This map is now probably the best extant, of the Rocky Mountains, and the country on both sides, from the States to the Pacific."[37] This map has been called "a landmark in mapping of the American West".[38] The original map is lost, its content was superimposed by George Gibbs on a base map by John C. Frémont, which is on file at the American Geographical Society Library, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.[39][g]

Smith's exploration of northwestern California and southern Oregon resulted in two rivers, the Smith River (California) and Smith River (Oregon)[40] being named for him.[h] "Smith's Fork" of the Bear River in southwest Wyoming is also named for him.[41]

Smith for the most part was forgotten by his countrymen as a historical figure for over 75 years after his death.[42] In 1853, Peter Skene Ogden[i] had written about the Umpqua massacre in Traits of American Indian Life and Character by a Fur Trader, and Hubert Howe Bancroft wrote a version of it in 1886. There are mentions of him in memoirs by other fur trappers, and mentions by Gibbs and F. V. Hayden in their reports, but the first known publication solely about Smith was in the 1896 Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California.[43] In 1902, Hiram M. Chittenden wrote of him extensively in The American Fur Trade of the West[44] The same year Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh wrote about Smith's exploits with the Mojave Indians in his book The Romance of the Colorado River: The Story of Its Discovery in 1540 with an Account of Later Explorations.[45][j] But, it wasn't until 1908, when John G. Neihardt and Doane Robinson lamented the obscurity of Smith, that more extensive efforts to publicize his accomplishments were initiated.[47]

In 1912, an article about Smith written by a grand-nephew, Ezra Delos Smith of Meade, Kansas, was published by the Kansas Historical Society.[48] Five years later, Smith's status as a historical figure was further revived by H.C. Dale's book, The Ashley-Smith Explorations and the Discovery of a Central Route to the Pacific, 1822–1829, published in 1918. (See "Further Reading") During the 1920s, Sullivan traced descendants of Smith's siblings, and found two portions of the narrative of Smith's travels, written in the hand of Samuel Parkman,[49][k] who had been hired to assist in compiling the document[25] after Smith's return to St. Louis in 1830. The narrative's impending publication had been announced in a St. Louis newspaper as late as 1840,[l] but never happened.[51] In 1934, Sullivan published the remnants, documenting Smith's travels in 1821 and 1822 and from June 1827 until the Umpqua massacre a year later, in The Travels of Jedediah Smith, giving a new documented perspective of Smith's explorations.[m] Along with the narrative, Sullivan published the portion of Alexander McLeod's journal documenting the search for any surviving members of Smith's party and the recovery of his property after the Umpquah massacre. The Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, edited by Dumas Malone, published in 1935 contains an article on Smith.[citation needed] The next year, the first comprehensive biography of Smith: Jedediah Smith: Trader and Trail Breaker by Sullivan was posthumously published (See "Further Reading"), but it was Dale Morgan's book, Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, published in 1953, that established Smith as an authentic American hero whose explorations were overshadowed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.[42]

Another important piece of the Jedediah Smith legacy was discovered in 1967, when another portion of the 1830-31 narrative (again in Parkman's hand)[49] was found amongst other historical papers in an attic in St. Louis.[52] This portion documented Smith's first California trip (1826–27), and immediately preceded the portion of the narrative found by Sullivan 35 years earlier. George R. Brooks edited and introduced the narrative portion, along with the first "journal" of Smith companion Harrison Rogers,[n] in 1977.

Later Honorariums[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Stuart crossed from the west through the South Pass in October, 1812. This was done in order to escape hostile Crow Indians. However, no significant mention or report was made of this discovery to the public in St. Louis. Effective knowledge of the South Pass was not gained by Stuart's discovery. The pass itself was 20 miles in width;[1]
  2. ^ According to Dale, p. 175, Smith was born on June 24, 1798.
  3. ^ This account of his California trips is based on;[9]
  4. ^ His pistol was stolen in 1961. See [30]
  5. ^ A further account in Give Your Heart to the Hawks: A Tribute to the Mountain Men by Winifred Blevins, cites details of Smith's encounter with the Comanches in a box canyon. By their account, four braves trapped Smith in the canyon.[31]
  6. ^ Sullivan, 1893-1935, was a New Jersey newspaperman who moved to California in the early 1920's and developed an interest in Smith.
  7. ^ The "Fremont-Gibbs-Smith" map was "found" in 1954 by Carl I Wheat at the library's former location in New York City.
  8. ^ Smith originally named what he thought to be an unnamed river after himself, but due to a mistake in geography (later corrected by George Gibbs), it turned out the river was actually the Klamath. His name was therefore attached to a smaller river to the north just south of California's border with Oregon, and also to a branch of the Umpqua River, where it was rumored to be his place of death.
  9. ^ Ogden probably got a first hand account of the massacre from Smith during his stay at Fort Vancouver
  10. ^ Dellenbaugh wrote extensively about Smith in 1905[46] and again mentioned Smith in his 1914 book Fremont and '49.
  11. ^ Sullivan's notes on Smith are archived in the University of the Pacific Library[50] They apparently had been acquired by Dale Morgan, and after Morgan's death were donated to the library.
  12. ^ The announcement had stated that the "work" would "take in" nine years of Smith's travels, presumably from 1821 until his 1830 return to St. Louis.
  13. ^ The narrative was based in part on journals Smith kept, and many of the activities described have specific dates. Smith's journal from the time he left the rendezvous on July 13, 1827 until the Mohave massacre was lost during that tragedy, and that time period was reconstructed in general terms, as was the 1821 and 1822 time period. The daily entries did not recommence until November 7, 1827.
  14. ^ Roger's first surviving journal was in two segments; an accounting ledger with a narrative that began abruptly on November 27, 1826, and ended as abruptly on December 20, 1826, and then a second segment that starts again on January 1, 1827, and ends on January 28. Brooks only published this first journal and stated that Smith likely used it as a reference in preparing the 1830-31 narrative. Some of the missing pages are probably "the journal" Smith gave to the Spanish officials to try to convince them of his party's innocent intentions, since the detail in the Parkman narrative indicates Smith and Parkman had access to Smith's notes of the group's travels from the time it left in August, 1826 until reaching California. Rogers second journal starts on May 10, 1928, and continued documenting the excursion until he was killed in the Umpqua massacre. The lapse of entries from January 1827 until May 1828 may have been due to a lack of paper or there may have been other journals that were lost in the massacre. Harrison Dale published both recovered journals in 1918.
  15. ^ A photo of the trail marker commemorating Smith can be seen here.


  1. ^ Morgan (1964), Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, pp. 388-389.
  2. ^ Barbour, Barton H. (2011). Jedediah Smith: No Ordinary Mountain Man. Norman: U of Oklahoma Press,. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-8061-4196-1. 
  3. ^ Morgan, Dale L. (1964) [1953]. Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the American West. Lincoln, London: Bison Book University of Nebraska Books. p. 7. ISBN 0-8032-5138-6. 
  4. ^ Morgan (1953, 1964), Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, pp. 25, 39.
  5. ^ Morgan (1953, 1964), Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, pp. 27–46; Bassett, Renner, and White (1998), Jedediah Smith Route 1828.
  6. ^ Bassett, Renner, and White (1998), Jedediah Smith Route 1828
  7. ^ Morgan (1953, 1964), Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, p. 90; Ultley and Dana (2004), After Lewis and Clark: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific, p. 83.
  8. ^ Utley and Dana (2004), After Lewis and Clark: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific, p.85.
  9. ^ Gilbert, pages= 96–100, 107
  10. ^ Smith, Expedition
  11. ^ Morgan (1964), Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, p. 211
  12. ^ Morgan, p. 240
  13. ^ Morgan, pp. 240, 241
  14. ^ a b c Morgan, p. 241
  15. ^ Morgan, p. 243
  16. ^ James Auld (ed.). "Biography". Discovering the Lost Legacy of Jedediah Smith. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Eddins
  18. ^ a b c Old Fort Vancouver, 1824-1829 National Park Service
  19. ^ Mackie, Richard Somerset (1997). Trading Beyond the Mountains: The British Fur Trade on the Pacific 1793–1843. Vancouver: University of British Columbia (UBC) Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-7748-0613-3.  online at Google Books
  20. ^
  21. ^ Ultley and Dana (2004), After Lewis and Clark: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific, pp. 98, 99
  22. ^ Morgan, Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, p.323
  23. ^ "Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount - 1774 to Present". Retrieved 2011-02-24.  Consumer Price Index
  24. ^ Morgan, Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, pp. 323-324
  25. ^ a b Lyman, Betsy Converse (1880). Pioneer and General History of Geauga County: With Sketches of Some of the Pioneers and Prominent Men. The Historical Society of Geauga County. p. 705. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  26. ^ Morgan, Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, pp. 325-327
  27. ^ a b "Jedediah Smith Route 1828". Historic Oregon City. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  28. ^ Utley and Dana (2004), "After Lewis and Clark: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific, p. 99
  29. ^ Dale L. Morgan, Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, pg 330, Appendix pgs 362–366, Bison Book, 1953|Letter from Austin Smith to Jedediah Smith, Senior, September 24, 1831|Letter from Austin Smith to Ira G. Smith, September 24, 1831|Austin Smith got the information from Spanish traders in the nearby area.
  30. ^ "More Images of Jedediah Strong Smith". Jedediah Smith Society. 
  31. ^ Blevins, Win (2005). Give Your Heart to the Hawks: A Tribute to the Mountain Men. Macmillan. p. 211. 
  32. ^ Utley, Robert M. (2004). After Lewis and Clark: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific. U of Nebraska Press,. p. 42. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  33. ^ Smith (1826, 1827) The Southwest Expedition of Jedediah S. Smith, pp. 64, 185.
  34. ^ Morgan (1953, 1964), Jedediah and the Opening of the West, p. 261
  35. ^ Sullivan, Maurice S. (1936). Jedediah Smith, Trader and Trail Breaker. New York Press of the Pioneers. p. 2. 
  36. ^ C. Gregory Crampton: The San Buenaventura – Mythical River of the West. In: Pacific Historical Review. Berkeley Cal 25.1956,2 (May), p.163–171
  37. ^ Captain Jedediah Strong Smith, A Eulogy, in Illinois Magazine, June 1832, as reprinted in Edwin L. Sabin: Kit Carson Days, New York, 1935 edition, p. 823 (cited after Carl Hays: David E. Jackson, in: LeRoy R. Hafen (Ed.), The Mountain men and the fur trade of the Far West, Clark Co., Glendale, California, 1956–72, Vol. 9, p. 225)
  38. ^ Carl Hays: David E. Jackson, in: LeRoy R. Hafen (Ed.), The Mountain men and the fur trade of the Far West, Clark Co., Glendale, California, 1956–72, Vol. 9, p. 224
  39. ^ "Map of an Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842, Oregon and North California in the Years 1843–44". World Digital Library. 1844. Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  40. ^ McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (7 ed.). Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press. pp. 889–90. ISBN 0-87595-277-1. 
  41. ^ "Lincoln County Photos". From Wyoming Tales and Trails. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  42. ^ a b Morgan (1953), Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West, page 7
  43. ^ J. M. Guinn, Captain Jedediah Smith. The Pathfinder of the Sierras Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California, Los Angeles Vol. 3, No. 4 (1896), pp. 45-53, 78
  44. ^ Chittenden, Hiram M. (1901). American Fur Trade of the West. A History of the Pioneer Trading Posts and Early Fur Companies of the Missouri Valley and the Rocky Mountains and of the Overland Commerce with Santa Fe. New York: Francis P. Harper. 
  45. ^ Dellenbaugh, Frederick S. (1909) [1902]. The Romance of the Colorado River: The Story of Its Discovery in 1540, with an Account of the Later Explorations, and with Special Reference to the Voyages of Powell Through the Line of the Great Canyons. pp. 120–122. 
  46. ^ Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel (1905). Breaking the Wilderness:The Story of the Conquest of the Far West, from the Wanderings of Cabeza De Vaca, to the First Descent of the Colorado by Powell, and the Completion of the Union Pacific Railway, with Particular Account of the Exploits of Trappers. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 
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  48. ^ page 252
  49. ^ a b Barbour, Barton H. (2011). Jedediah Smith: No Ordinary Mountain Man. U of Oklahoma Press,. p. 11. 
  50. ^
  51. ^ Smith, Expedition, p. 15
  52. ^ Smith, Expedition, p. 12–13
  53. ^ "Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park". California Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved October 1, 2015. 
  54. ^ "American River Parkway map" (PDF) (Map). American River Parkway Foundation (American River Parkway Foundation). 2009. 
  55. ^ "Jedediah Smith Wilderness". 
  56. ^ "Inductees". Dodge City Trail of Fame. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
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  • Barbour, Barton H. (2011). Jedediah Smith: No Ordinary Mountain Man. Norman: U of Oklahoma Press,. ISBN 978-0-8061-4196-1. 
  • Gilbert, Bil (1973). The Trailblazers. The Old West. Alexandria: Time-Life Books, Inc.  96–100, 107
  • Morgan, Dale L. (1964) [1953]. Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the American West. Lincoln, London: Bison Book University of Nebraska Books. ISBN 0-8032-5138-6. 
  • Smith, Jedediah S.; McLeod, Alexander R. (1992) [1934]. Maurice S. Sullivan, ed. The Travels of Jedediah Smith; A Documentary Outline, Including his Journal. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-9206-6. 
  • Smith, Jedediah S.; Rogers, Harrison G. (1989) [1977]. 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. ISBN 978-0-8032-9197-3. 

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Further reading[edit]