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Jedediah Smith

Jedediah Smith (January 6, 1799 - May 27, 1831) was a trapper and explorer of the Rocky Mountains and the American West Coast and Southwest in the 19th century. He was named after Solomon's religious nickname in the Bible, Jedidiah, but he was not very good at spelling. He is best known for rediscovering South Pass [1], which shortened the time needed to get to the west slope of the Rocky Mountains. He also discovered the Jedediah Smith Redwood Forest and River, killed an attacking bear with his bare hands and a knife, and was a committed Christian, carrying a Bible wherever he went. Smith was one of the few mountain men who shaved.

1. Maurice S. Sullivan, The Travels of Jedediah Smith (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1992), 13.

Last updated: 11-08-2004 04:07:55