Jedediah S. Smith (1799-1831). "I wanted to be the first to view a country on which the eye of a white man had never gazed and to follow the course of rivers that run through a new land."
Jedediah S. Smith was a trailblazer, brigade leader and partner in two fur-trading companies whose travels took him through Utah and the West.
After answering a newspaper ad in St. Louis (the Anglo-American gateway into the west) for enterprising young men interested in going to the Rocky Mountains in the summer of 1822, he quickly transformed from an absolutely uninitiated New York farmboy into a leader of fur trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company centered in the intermountain west.
Although no American historian is ever known to have so stated, the generally historically-minded citizens of modern Carbon and Emery counties will be most interested to learn that the first European-American explorers to pass through their area were led by arguably the greatest of all American explorers, Jedediah Strong Smith, in 1826.
Emery County Historical Society invites everyone to come and learn more about this important accomplishment on Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. at the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale. This presentation will be given by E. Leo Lyman, historian, author, lecturer and educator.