Rus Articles Journal

Who such Dzhedidaya Smith?

From such big country as Russia, the world map seem slightly distorted. When from Moscow to Vladivostok even 9 hours, such rather big European states as France or Spain to go by plane, seem not really - that and big. M. Zhvanetsky`s joke that Krasnoyarsk Krai covers them as a bull a sheep is remembered. About Ukraine, the country of almost equal France, do not remember at all. As - Ukraine.

However, the extent of the USA causes respect even if to compare it to the Russian open spaces. From Canadian to the Mexican border - as from Baltic to the Black Sea. From New - York to San - Frantsisko, from the ocean to the ocean - 3900 km, as from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk.

Americans began to open the country much later, than Russians. In 1804 - 1806 M. Lewis and U. Clark`s expedition made a trip from Saint - Luisa to riverheads of Missouri, and from there - to the Pacific Ocean. This first travel as if would become a guiding thread. To the West from Mississippi the whole flow of hunters - trappers rushed.

Trappers left for good on the territories occupied not by friendly Indians not to make great geographical discoveries. Both Russians on the East, and Americans on the West were attracted by valuable furs which cost not less gold.

However, in 1848 on the Pacific coast, in California, only - only selected at Mexico, found also gold. By this moment on the Western coast there were already enough Americans that to keep this territory. And through prairies, deserts and mountains ways for caravans of future gold diggers were already reconnoitered. Thanks to brave hunters!

First of all among them it is necessary to mention Dzhedidayyu Smith`s (Jedediah Strong Smith) (1799-1831) . The fact that there was it from a Protestant family, the combination of absolutely simple surname to rather rare bible name known in the Russian transcription as Yedidiya demonstrates. “Yedidiya“, “friend Boga“ - one of names of the tsar Solomon (2 CAR. 12:25).

Winter of 1822 in newspapers of the city of Saint - Luisa the announcement that two businessmen, William Ashley (William Ashley) and Andrew Henry`s (Andrew Henry) , look for courageous young people who would wish to rise to river Missouri sources to be engaged there in production of bellows was printed. Smith became one of “Ashley`s people“ and proved as the courageous and clever leader soon. Having headed group of hunters, Dzhedidaya is eight years old, from 1822 to 1830, carried out in upper courses of Missouri.

In 1824 Dzhedidaya Smith truly visited embraces of death. It with companions moved along the river Cheyenne. Here the trapper was attacked by a huge grizzly bear. The animal brought down earth hunter, at once having broken several ribs and having scalped the right part of the face. Dzhedidayi`s head was almost in a bear mouth. But companions could - frighten off an animal. Having run up to Smith lying on the earth, they saw that face skin and an ear at him are torn almost off. However Dzhedidaya was living. He ordered to the friend to sew skin to the person, in hope that it will grow. Trappers brought water, cleared Smith`s wounds and tied up the broken ribs. Dzhedidaya recovered, but now on his face from eyebrows to an ear there was a big scar. To cover this scar, the hunter released long hair.

Dzhedidayi Smith`s group rediscovered so-called Southern pass. This pass - the wide valley which is at the height about 2300 meters. Lewis and Clark did not know about this pass. Therefore their expedition had to overcome almost impassable mountain passes.

In 1826 Dzhedidayi Smith`s hunters became the first Americans who got to Mexico by land. In August Dzhedidaya with group of fourteen people began the campaign on Hugo - the West and in October reached the river Colorado. In November by means of Indians from the tribe to a mokhava they overcame the desert and mountain passes Sierra - Nevada. Having gone down to California, Smith`s expedition lodged in Saint Gabriel`s mission. This Catholic mission was near the small settlement Los - Angeles (completely: El Pueblo de Nuestra Se ñ ora la Reina de los Á ngeles sobre El R í o Porci ú ncula - isp. Virgin Mary`s Settlement, Queens Angelov, on Porsyyunkul`s river). Now on the place of this sleepy town there is a megalopolis Los - Andzheles.

California at that time belonged to Mexico. The local governor suspected that group of the armed people - at all not hunters, and American “special troops“, and demanded that they cleaned up back in the same way to what send. In the territory entrusted to it he did not wish foreign presence. It had enough problems with the Russians who located here in fortress the Fort - Ross. In January, 1827 Dzhedidayi Smith`s group went to a way back.

However, the territory of California was so poorly inhabited that nobody traced a way of trappers. Having risen to mountains, Smith and his companions turned on the North and went along slopes Sierra - Nevada. By April, 1827 expedition came to coast of the American river. In 20 years the first Californian gold exactly here will be revealed. Exactly from here “gold-rush“ will begin.

But so far hunters found other treasure here. On coast of the American river the incalculable quantity of beavers was found. The fur of beavers was especially appreciated as was not only warm, but also waterproof. Beaver skins went both on fur coats, and on wide-brimmed hats which so pleased hunters, and later - to gold diggers and cowboys. For a month of hunting 1500 pounds (680 kilograms) of beaver skins were got. It is a lot of or a little? You judge. Approximately in half a year, on November 15, 1827, hunters cheap sold in San - Frantsisko part of the got fur, having bought on the gained money supplies for further travel on the North along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, and also several hundreds of horses and mules.

On December 30, 1827 Smith`s group acted at way. For half a year travelers passed more than 500 kilometers. On June 20, 1828 they crossed the small river which on modern cards is designated as Smith`s river. This river was on border between the Mexican California and belonging to Americans (or rather J. J. Astor`s companies) territories Oregon.

Here, near the river Umpkua, there was an accident. In July, 1828 Indians rushed on the parking of expedition, killed all who were there, plundered property and took away all horses. Only a few people who in camp were not at this time survived. Among them and Dzhedidaya Smith. At the beginning of August the handful of escaped reached, at last, the Fort Vancouver. It is rather far from all of the known city of Vancouver in Canada though they are called by name one person, the English captain George Vankuver (George Vancouver) (1757-1798) who erased the last white spots from the map of the Pacific coast of North America. Nearly four months negotiations with Indians on return of part of property and horses were conducted. 1828 - 1829 Smith wintered in the Fort Vancouver.

In March, 1829 Dzhedidaya Smith left up the river Colombia. On the way laid still by Lewis and Clark it returned to Saint - Luis. The trapper used short time of rest in order that together with Semuel Parkmen to begin to make the map of the western territories. On this card the Southern pass was for the first time designated and ways for future immigrants are actually planned for the West.

People, similar to Dzhedidaye Smith, seldom live up to an old age and seldom die in the bed. In April, 1831 he with group of 74 hunters on 22 vans acted in a campaign to the city Santa - Fe (in the present state New - Meksiko) to base there trading stations and to start development of prairies. In May, 1831 Dzhedidaya Smith on a horse left a column to find a water source, and did not return back. After its satellites found out that probably he was killed by Indians from the tribe of komanchy.