The Travels of Jedediah Smith: A Documentary Outline Including the Journal of the Great American Pathfinder

The Travels of Jedediah Smith: A Documentary Outline Including the Journal of the Great American Pathfinder

The Travels of Jedediah Smith: A Documentary Outline Including the Journal of the Great American Pathfinder

The Travels of Jedediah Smith: A Documentary Outline Including the Journal of the Great American Pathfinder

Synopsis

Maurice Sullivan's pioneering work in the 1930s on Jedediah Smith contributed to the rediscovery of the mountain man who was the first American citizen to travel overland to California, to turn eastward and cross the Great Basin, and later to proceed by land from southern California to northern Oregon. Sullivan's discovery of portions of Smith's journals was important in piecing together those historical explorations.

The Travels of Jedediah Smith begins with Smith's own sketch of his entry into the fur trade in 1822, when he left St. Louis with an expedition headed by William H. Ashley and Andrew Henry. The book continues with Smith's daily record from June 23,1827, to July 3,1828, dealing with his remarkable journey on foot over the Utah desert, his second visit to California and his trip to Oregon. Those who enjoyed The Southwest Expedition of Jedediah S. Smith, also a Bison Book, will want to read about his further adventures in The Travels of Jedediah Smith. Sullivan has supplied continuity that fills out Smith's career. Included is the diary of the fur trader Alex R. McLeod, describing events during the Hudson's Bay Company expedition in 1828 to recover Jedediah Smith's property after the massacre of some in his party on the Umpqua River in Oregon.

Excerpt

Fifteen years ago, if the average university student or the average educated man had been asked what he knew about Jedediah Smith, this average person would have been obliged to admit that he had never heard even the name of the great American pathfinder.

He could have told something of Frémont, the official explorer, who was a child when Jedediah Smith, trapping and trading, already had examined Western America from Mexico to Canada, and from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean.

He could have told something of Kit Carson, the worthily celebrated scout, who, though he appeared in the Far West after it was familiar to Jedediah Smith, was fortunate enough to find a biographer, and thus to become famous. A few educated Americans were aware of Bonneville, basking in the reflected glory of Washington Irving.

The inquirer might have searched encyclopedia and school book without learning the name of the discoverer of the central route from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean; the . . .

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