Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West

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Overview

In 1822, before Jedediah Smith entered the West, it was largely an unknown land, “a wilderness,” he wrote, “of two thousand miles diameter.” During his nine years as a trapper for Ashley and Henry and later for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, “the mild and Christian young man” blazed the trail westward through South Pass; he was the first to go from the Missouri overland to California, the first to cross the length of Utah and the width of Nevada, first to travel by land up through California and Oregon, first to cross the Sierra Nevada. Before his death on the Santa Fe Trail at the hands of the Comanches, Jed Smith and his partners had drawn the map of the west on a beaver skin.

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Editorial Reviews

American History Review - A. P. Nasatir
“A scholarly and well written volume of Jedediah Smith, which may well serve as a base for a complete history of the fur trade of the West. Few have attempted and one has achieved such a task.”—A. P. Nasatir, American History Review
New York Times - J. Frank Dobie
“The chapters are alive with characters. . . . Dale Morgan is a scholar who knows how to write.”—J. Frank Dobie, New York Times
New York Herald Tribune - H. N. Smith
“A distinguished work of historical scholarship, based on an absolute command of the sources (including much unpublished material that has recently become accessible), well written, and notable for its analytical depth.”—H. N. Smith, New York Herald Tribune
New Yorker
“Mr. Morgan has tracked down every scrap of information about Smith . . . and has done a full-scale reconstruction of a commanding figure and a period of great ferment and vitiality.”—New Yorker
San Francisco Chronicle - J. H. Jackson
“This is the book on one of the true great men of his era.”—J. H. Jackson, San Francisco Chronicle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803251380
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1964
  • Pages: 468
  • Sales rank: 544,425
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 1.03 (d)

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