Jedediah Smith: No Ordinary Mountain Man takes a hard look at Smith’s views of American Indians, Mexicans in California, and Hudson’s Bay Company competitors, evaluating his fur-trade dealing and exploring the character and remarkable achievements of one of the West’s most complex characters.
Mountain man and fur trader Jedediah Smith casts a heroic shadow. The first Anglo-American to travel overland to California via the Southwest, Smith roamed through more of the West than anyone of his era, and his adventures quickly became the stuff of legend. In this biography, Barton H. Barbour includes recently discovered documents and sifts fact from legend to offer new insights on the life and adventures of this dynamic frontiersman.
Young Jedediah Smith was influenced by notable men who were his family’s neighbors, including a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. At twenty-three, hard times and wanderlust set him on the road west. Barbour delves into Smith’s journals and correspondence to offer compelling insights into the trader’s itineraries, personality, and passion for geographic discovery.