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Jedediah Smith

The Journals 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.
Revised

Revisions to the grammar and punctuation in these early 19th-century journals allow Smith to tell his story in modern language. These changes make it easier for the reader to understand without altering the intent.

Revised First Expedition

Revised Second Expedition



Remington painting of Jedediah Smith crossing the desert



Kelso Wash, Mojave Preserve, Trail of Jedediah Smith


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