The Purpose of the Jedediah Smith Society

Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, George Caleb Bingham
Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, George Caleb Bingham, c. 1845, Image in the public domain

Founded in January 1957, the Jedediah Smith Society is a California non-profit organization. According to our bylaws, “The purpose of the Society shall be to foster, through public meetings, publications, and 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 fur traders and explorers active in the Trans-Mississippi West.”

To fulfill this important educational purpose, the society encourages preservation, acquisition, and public display ofthe original journals, letters, records and personal belongings of Jedediah Strong Smith, 1799-1831, an early American explorer, cartographer, and mountain man. The society also promotes research and writing by offering awards, scholarships, and grants for meritorious study and research, and by publishing a quarterly newsletter and a semiannual journal, Castor Canadensis.