MEN AGAINST THE MOUNTAINS: Jedediah Smith and the Great Southwest Expedition by Alson J. Smith

MEN AGAINST THE MOUNTAINS: Jedediah Smith and the Great Southwest Expedition

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It was the fur trappers, this author emphasizes, who first pushed into the American frontier and blazed the original trails. Jedediah Smith is a case in point; here he is ranked with Lewis and Clark. He was a laconic person and in his journals he generally omitted the descriptive details about the scenery and about his frequent desperate situations which would have given his achievements wider recognition. But the Expedition across the continent that he led from 1826-1829 was in itself a tremendous monument to his own fortitude. His travels were mainly in the Southwest and he was probably the first American to go all the way to California (rather an unpleasant shock to the Spanish missions that had settled in from the South). But on the eastward trek he went North as far as Oregon, and another of his firsts was the crossing of the Great Salt Desert. The books available about Smith include his journals and a few scholarly works. This one, while it is limited in explanations of the effects and contributions of the journey, is a very readable account of every known step of Smith's marathon explorations.

Pub Date: April 29th, 1965
Publisher: John Day