The Jed Smith Society Collection contains two types of materials: Series
1 consisting of items pertaining to the life of Smith; and, series 2 containing
items describing activities of the Society. In the first category are:
manuscripts of writings on Jed Smith; biographical and genealogical materials;
articles on Smith's explorations; and, correspondence between Society members
regarding various aspects of Smith's life. In the second category are: Society
minutes; programs; speeches; publications; and, business correspondence.
Jedediah Strong Smith (1799-1831) was the first American citizen to
enter California by an overland route. His travels (1821-1831) demonstrated
feasible routes across the West to California. Smith trapped first along the
Missouri River under William Ashley and Andrew Henry. He rediscovered South
Pass, Wyo. (1824), a passageway from the High Plains into the Pacific
Northwest. After forming a partnership to trap in the Pacific Coast region with
David Jackson and William Sublette, Smith trapped and explored in Central
California and Oregon (1827-1828). The partners sold out to the Rocky Mountain
Fur Company in 1830 and turned to the Santa Fe trade. Smith was killed by
Indians on the Southern Plains the following year.
Collection is open for research.