Jedediah Smith Society

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A California non-profit organization founded January, 1957, with these objectives:

To acquire, preserve, and make available for scholarly research and public display the original journals, letters, records and personal belongings of Jedediah Strong Smith, 1799-1831, early American explorer, cartographer, and mountain man;

To encourage scholarly research and writing, with particular emphasis on the accomplishments of Jedediah S. Smith and other early fur traders and explorers, by offering appropriate awards, scholarships and grants for meritorious study and research;

To foster, through public meetings, publications, or other events or activities, appropriate and effective educational programs to promote public awareness and understanding of the career and accomplishments of Jedediah S. Smith and other early fur traders and explorers

To foster, through public meetings, publications, or other events or activities, appropriate and effective educational programs to promote public awareness and understanding of the career and accomplishments of Jedediah S. Smith and other early fur traders and explorers.

The Society holds two regular membership meetings per year, one in April at the time of the California History Institute at UOP, and a fall “rendezvous” in late September, early October or November at a historic location on or near one of Jed Smith’s known campsites. In addition, the Board of Directors meets on call.

The business office of the Society is:
Jedediah Smith Society
1681 Visalia Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94707

The Society is headed by a president and other officers elected annually, by a board of directors elected every three years.

twotraders2017 Officers

President:  Jim Smith
Vice President:  Joe Molter
Secretary:  Wayne Knauf
Treasurer: Milton von Damm

Board of Directors

Eric Jung
Wayne Knauf
Paige Mair
Steve Mair
Joe Molter
Ed Sieckert
Bob Shannon
Jim Smith
Darrell Thomas
Milton von Damm

Executive Committee

Jim Smith
Joe Molter
Wayne Knauf
Ed Sieckert
Paige Mair
Steve Mair
Bob Shannon
Darrell Thomas

Click here to see photos of our Green River Rendezvous and Upcoming Events 

9 thoughts on “Jedediah Smith Society”

  1. Thank you Jed. I have rifles from all three of those makers. I am currently particularly interested in Phillip Creamer, who apparently had a shop in St. Louis and made plain rifles for the frontier during the time traders and trappers were going West. Let me know if you would like information about my book, ” The Fur Trade, A History of Arms and Trade Goods”.

    1. Hello Milton! How fortunate you are to own such pieces of history! Yes, I would be extremely interested in learning more about your book. Thanks for the info on Phillip Creamer.
      Your most humble &c, Jed Fox.

  2. Phillip Creamer worked close to St. Louis and Jim Bridger was apparently served as an apprentice before Joining General Ashley.
    Do you have any evidence that Ashley or any of his men bought any of Creamer’s plain rifles?

    1. Hi Milt,

      I know of one other that bought a Creamer rifle and that was Robert Campbell. In a Document called: Expenses attending the Mountain Equipment of R. Campbell, 1832, is the item “in part price of Rifle for Self, to P Creamer…..$17.00.

      Joe Molter

  3. I came across your site trying to find a poster or figurine of Jedediah Smith for my 16-yr-old son who won his high school’s award for the best piece of historical writing in his grade of 114 students for his paper “Bluffs, Beavers, and Bullets: The Explorations of Jedediah Smith and his Contributions toward the Realization of Manifest Destiny.”

    1. Great! Would you son be willing to share his paper with our organization either in person or as a paper for our archives? We also have a regular publication and might be interested in sharing his award winning paper with our members…speaking of which..we would love to have you and/or your son join! Membership information in available on the website. We look forward to further communication.

  4. The only extant weapon specifically attributed to Jed, is a .50 cal, percussion pistol. This was used at the end of his career, quite literally. The rifles that Ashley and other traders brought to the mountains for the use of the trappers are very well documented by ledgers and receipts from the period as well as existing Guns.

    In general, they were plain, simply decorated, sturdy Pennsylvania style rifles, often made in Philadelphia, specifically for trade to Native Americans, trappers and state militias. They were manufactured in early factories with many individuals building specific parts under the eye of the gunsmith. Men such as JJ Henry, Jacob Dickert and Henry Deringer.

    They were generally 8-9 lbs in weight, 42-44″ octagon barrels with a slight ‘swamp’ (narrower in the middle portion) to help them balance well when aiming. Maple stocks, brass hardware. Calibers, referred to by gauge at that time, were roughly 45-54 caliber. ALL WOULD HAVE BEEN FLINTLOCK in Jedidiahs days in the mountains.

    When J S SMITH was was carrying his existing percussion pistol on the Sante Fe trail it would have been rare. By then Smith was a wealthy man and his percussion pistols, and probably half stock percussion rifle, would have been the newest firearms technology and sighns of his affluence . Hope this helps some!

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An organization dedicated to learning about and sharing the history of Jedediah Smith and other explorers and mountain men.