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Mojave River Valley Museum
Books, Journals, Diaries & Misc.:
The Journal of Jedediah Smith
"I wanted to be the first to view a country on which the
eyes of a white man had never gazed and to follow the course of rivers that run
through a new land."
~ Jedediah Smith
Smith made two trips across the Mojave Desert both from near the Virgin River south to the Mohave villages near Needles,
then west to the Mojave River, southwest to the hills and valleys of Southern California, then west to the Mission San Gabriel.
First Expedition to California - 1826
From San Gabriel he was sent to San Diego to be questioned by the Govenor of Mexican California. Returning to San Gabriel,
gathering his men and equipment he proceded to leave California by the same way he entered, but with the exception of he went
west at the top of the Cajon Pass rather than east, traveled up through the San Joaquin Valley and into Nevada from there.
Second Expedition to California - 1827
On his second expedition Jedediah was not so fortunate. The Mohave Indians helped him and his men load everything on to
their rafts and attacked them as they were crossing the Colorado River killing ten of his men and capturing two women.