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The Splendid Wayfaring: The Story of the Exploits and Adventures of Jedediah Smith and his Comrades, the Ashley-Henry Men, Discoverers and Explorers of the Great Central Rout Paperback – December 4, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This is the exciting story of the fur traders and trappers who explored and opened up the American West in the first decades of the nineteenth century. As told by the acclaimed poet and writer John G. Neihardt, the era of the mountain men unfolds through the legendary exploits of Jedediah Smith, who ascended the Missouri River in 1822 and was killed by Comanche Indians nine years later. As Neihardt tells so well, Smith's accomplishments were many: the first white man to cross the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin from west to east; the first to travel by land to California and travel northward to the Columbia River; and the first to see that South Pass was the key travel route to the Far West. The Splendid Wayfaring also reveals the triumphs and challenges of other fur traders, many in the employ of William H. Ashley and Andrew Henry.

"An American prose epic; an absorbing tale of courage and endurance." -- New York Evening Post

"One of the most truly dramatic themes in American history." -- Review of Reviews

About the Author

Other works by John G. Neihardt, poet and chronicler of the American West, available in Bison Book editions include Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of the Oglala Sioux, The Mountain Men, and When the Tree Flowered.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Excelsior Editions/State University of New Yo (December 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143842566X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438425665
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,155,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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With several editions of this book available, this review refers to the original 1920 publication. The book is an enjoyable and delightful account of Jedediah Smith and the men in his immediate circle who, over a period of eight years, explored and trapped the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific during the years 1823-1831. Although I did come across a few historical inaccuracies, this can be attributed to the fact that some documentation, letters, journals, etc. did not surface till later dates. For instance, James Clyman was with Smith during many of these exploits, and his "Journal of a Mountain Man" wasn't published until 1928. Dale Morgan's "Jedediah Smith And The Opening Of The West" which was published in 1953, gives the reader a more in depth study (with more historical documentation available at the time) into the character, achievements and defeats of this remarkable man. Neihardt's writing style is to be commended though, as he is very descriptive and expressive.
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Format: Paperback
What a great book - there are lots of editions available on Amazon, including this brand new, crisply illustrated edition for slightly less: The Splendid Wayfaring: The story of the exploits and adventures of Jedediah Smith and his comrades, the Ashley-Henry men, discoverers and explorers of ... River to the Pacific Ocean, 1822-1831
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