Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West


Jedediah Smith is an authentic American hero, a man who packed a staggering amount of achievement into the time between his twenty-third and thirty-third years, yet his story with a strange aftermath, for Jedediah Smith dead has had to fight for survival in the American memory with the same tenacity he brought  to the struggle for physical survival during the years he ranged the West.


In the exploration of the American West, Jedediah Strong Smith is overshadowed only by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. During his eight years in the West Jedidiah Smith made the effective discovery of South Pass; he was the first man to reach California overland from the American frontier, the first to cross the Sierra Nevada, the first to travel the length and width of the Great Basin, the first to reach Oregon by a journey up the California coast. He saw more of the West than any man of his time, and was familiar with it from the Missouri River to the Pacific, from Mexico to Canada.

ISBN – 978-0-8032-5138-0

458 Pages

University of Nebraska Press, 1964