History Jedediah Strong SmithAlex DeeJedediah Strong Smith was a trapper, explorer and cartographer of West America. Jedediah Smith was born in Jericho, New York, on the 24th of June 1798 and died on the 27th May 1831.Achievements:Jedediah Smith was a great explorer of the western states of America and the Rocky Mountains. In 1824 Smith crossed the South Pass which is the most important gap through the Rocky Mountains. This pass is important because it linked eastern America to new lands of the west. This trail could be accessed by wagons which aided the immigration of the western states including California and Oregon. Even though he was not the first to explore this pass his report that wagons could cross the pass finally linked them together for trade with Native Americans and exploration. This information would allow settlers and traders to carry more supplies with them. He was also the first recorded American to enter California and if it were not for him California may have been colonised later.Jedediah Smith was a great explorer because he crossed three deserts in the same year. In 1822 he crossed the Mojave Desert during his voyage to California. On his return journey he led his crew through the Sierra Nevada and the Great Basin desert. These deserts were particularly hard to cross since there was no food or water and there were hostile Indian tribes. He later drew maps of these places which helped with the navigation. This was rare for a trapper because usually they were illiterate. Jedediah drew maps of his travels. While most of these maps are lost, historians credit Smith for the beginnings of later maps paving the way for further explorations and travel in the west.Setbacks:Jedediah survived three Indian massacres and a bear attack. In 1823 Jedediah was ordered to go to the Grand River in Missouri to buy horses from the Arikaras tribe. He negotiated a trade for horses and 200 buffalo furs but before he could depart his crew were delayed by bad weather. Suddenly an incident provoked the Arikaras to attack. 12 of Jedediahs men were killed.While looking for fresh horses on his first expedition Jedediah was attacked by a grizzly bear. The bear tore his side open and put his head in its mouth which ripped off his scalp and ear. He was stitched up by a friend Jim Clyman but still bore a long scar from the bottom of his cheek to his eyebrow. Despite these incidents, he continued to explore.Usually Jedediah’s journeys throughout America had some sort of setback. For example when he tried to use the canyon of a pass called the South Fork to cross the Sierra Nevada but was unable to because the snow was too deep and his group were faced with hostile indigenous tribes. Another example is when in 1827 while crossing the Colorado river his crew were attacked by Mojave Indians, 10 of his men were killed and two of the women were taken captive. The remaining men managed to fight and the 8 surviving men retreated on foot across the Mojave Desert. I agree strongly that Jedediah was a great explorer because he discovered the South Pass through the Rocky Mountains which was the single gap, at its time, through the Rocky Mountains. He also crossed both the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin in one year which was a great achievement as it was incredibly difficult.Jedediah also suffered crippling setbacks such as a bear attack and multiple massacres.I think that Jedediah Smith is a great explorer due to his perseverance. Even when faced with adversity and an unforgiving landscape, he managed to explore and map large areas of West America which allowed for further exploration and colonization of the West.