Jedediah Smith: Greatest Mountain Man In The Old West?

Was Jedediah Smith the greatest of the early Mountain Men of the Old West? Probably. I was reminded again of this enigmatic fur trader/businessman/explorer when I ran onto one of my greatest Western history treasures, a small, aging paperback titled “Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West,” by Dale L. Morgan. Originally published in … Continue reading “Jedediah Smith: Greatest Mountain Man In The Old West?”

Was Jedediah Smith the greatest of the early Mountain Men of the Old West? Probably.

I was reminded again of this enigmatic fur trader/businessman/explorer when I ran onto one of my greatest Western history treasures, a small, aging paperback titled “Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West,” by Dale L. Morgan.

Originally published in 1953, my paperback copy is a 1964 printing. Both the book and the man it’s about have stood the test of time quite well and I would recommend this excellent volume to everyone who want’s to learn more about Smith and the other Mountain Men who ventured into the “untamed” wilderness of the Old West during the early 1800s.

Jedediah Strong Smith (1799-1831) was a self-effacing, unassuming man who did nothing short of spectacular when it comes to survival and exploration throughout the early years of the Old West. He was hired on by Gen. William H. Ashley in response to a St. Louis newspaper ad seeking 100 men to journey to the headwaters of the Missouri River. They were going to be exploring and primarily doing fur trading. At that point in the history of the nation, fur trading was a major source of commerce and wealth–and particularly served to boost the growth and economy of St. Louis as the main jumping off spot via the Mississippi-Missouri River system for that lucrative trade.

As Morgan explains it, Jedediah Smith was “… one of the rawest of the green hands recruited” for that 1822 venture. But within 2 years, according to Morgan, Smith had become Ashley’s business partner and in one year more had become the senior partner of a trading firm that dominated fur trade in the Rockies.

Morgan suggests that Smith was second only to Lewis and Clark in terms of his remarkable exploration of the West. In 8 years time, Jedediah Smith did all this: He discovered a major trail through the Rocky Mountains (South Pass); he was the first white man to reach California overland from the American frontier regions along the Mississippi-Missouri Rivers; he was the first white man to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains; the first to travel the length and width of the Great Basin region; and he was the first to reach Oregon by traveling up the California coast.

Smith accomplished all this and more from the time he was 22 years old until his death at the point of Comanche lances along the Santa Fe Trail when he was 32. He did it all with a stoic calm that endured the usual cold winters, baking summers, and all around deprivation known to all the Mountain Men–and he did it with considerably less “coarse” behavior. Smith was renowned as a man of genuine spirituality and good nature when others were cursing and carousing their way away from and then back into the “civilization” of the times. Again, Morgan speaks of Smith’s love of the Bible and his general character in contrast to many of the tall-tales told about the better known Mountain Men of Smith’s day: According to Morgan’s account, Smith “entered the West owning his rifle, his Bible, the clothes on his back and very little else.”

Was Smith counted among the hardiest or “toughest” of the Mountain Men? There was no doubt about his ability to survive the hard life in the Rockies. Early in his fur trading days on the Yellowstone River, Smith and his party were attached by a Grizzly bear. Smith himself bore the brunt of the huge animal’s mauling–and gave his companions detailed instructions for cleansing and reattaching his scalp with scissors, needle, and thread.

Details of Jedediah’s death are sketchy and somewhat contradictory. No one was present to record his actual slaying by a Comanche hunting party along the Santa Fe Trial in 1831. Smith left the trading party he was with to scout for water. As close as can be known, piecing together letters from Smith’s family members, the Mountain Man ran onto a party of probably between five and 20 Comanches. He was unable to communicate to them his peaceful intentions. Or perhaps they simply wanted his horse and rifle. Whatever the circumstances, Jedediah’s remains were never recovered, although his brother, Austin, eventually got his rifle and pistols back from the Mexican merchant who acquired them from the Comanche hunters.

Jedediah Smith remains one of the least known and perhaps most courageous of the Mountain Men who explored and pioneered the way for generations of settlers to make their way into the Old West, across the plains and mountains, and make America the continent wide nation it is today.

Business Not As Usual

God created His world and invested His resources there for the purpose of profiting and benefiting his creation.

An inadequate knowledge, understanding or ignorance of this purpose is the tap root of all the woes mankind is wading through today. The long gap between the wealthy and the peasant, between the rich and the poor. Even the reason for the certainly of some of those who are rich today but will become poor tomorrow. It is this same reason. Ignorance of God purpose for blessing mankind with His resources. Which is for growth multiplication and expansion, benefiting others in the process.

Nigeria my own country remains the most gifted and bestowed of God resources, but with pain and grief, I would rather avoid repeating what we all know is happening now. Ignorance on the part of the leaders to understand that the resources are meant to be traded with to benefit those they are governing. So they help themselves with it. Line their pockets and wallets in Swiss, and other coded accounts in Europe with it. Misplaced priorities and spending on vain frivolities and irrelevant white elephant projects etc.

The effect? Epileptic function of infrastructural facilities, high crime rate, unemployment, poverty, dysfunctional health care system, corruption, name it.

During the oil boom Iraq was making heavy money, so was Nigeria. I got informed by reading a write up in Readers Digest of what the then Iraq leader was doing with the oil money earned. What was he doing with it? He was investing it both at home and abroad. What of Nigeria? Our then Head of State made those who care to listen to understand that money was not Nigeria’s problem but how to spend it……. Notice the word spend again!

While one was investing another was “spending…… and even having problems with spending it. If the head is sick what happens to the body? One leader was investing and another was spending.

‘There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise: but a foolish man “SPENDETH” it up’ proverbs 20:21.

So also was ignorance on the part of the governed. The citizens. My own countrymen. The only language they understanding is “Spend” Some men even made a proverb out of it that what is written on money is “Spend”. So at parties they spend and “Sprayed” it on musicians who in turn squander and spend it on women liquor, drugs, and other vanities such as jewelries. And today 80% percent of the naira sprayers and 80% of the musicians sprayed are historical dustbins. Except some few smart ones among those musicians maybe about 20% who believe you don’t spend and squander everything you are ‘sprayed’ with. The rest 80% of then are in the limbo today.

What other things did Nigerians not spend the oil money on? More wives, and more children and of course more naming ceremonies with opportunity to squander and spray money again. More chieftaincy titles with funny and obnoxious sounding appellations.

The fashion trends did not help matters either. Today its high heeled shoes and baggy trousers, tomorrow it is ‘selecto’ shoes and ‘pencil’ mouthed trousers. So the spending continues. A life insurance marketer that sells an investment/pension scheme or retirement plan policy to an average worker or business man in Nigeria in seventies and eighties is simply speaking Greek or Latin.

Until finally Lucifer ‘solved’ the problem of how to spend the money for our leaders in the mid seventies by helping them to organise FESTAC (festival of African arts and culture). Then did the hammer began to descend in quick successions early in the eighties. First it was austerity measures followed later by SAP. The rest is history.

Wealth is meant to be created, distributed and invested. Not just for consumption only. Otherwise it grow wings and flies through the window the book of proverbs warned and advised in the bible.

Jesus said a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things which he possesses NOT in the abundance of things which he invests. He is saying in essence that wealth is not a question of abundance of possessions but in abundance of investments. That was why in the parable of the talents The Lord put the records straight that He is not against investments but against covetousness, which is not only idolatry but an offspring of selfishness and greed.

You create and distribute it with what is available, are it with the 5 talents, 3 or 2 or even with just 1, which the wicked and slothful servant would rather bury than invest. Then you gain more profit and invest the profit again and multiplication follows and the wealth keep increasing. Jesus understood what God His Father meant when He said ‘Be fruitful, and multiply……’ God’s purpose for everything He created was growth, expansion, and increase. That the entire creation itself was an investment. And the returns and dividends all of us can see today. Just from a modest garden in Eden surrounded by vast jungles unto massive skyscrapers in Dubai, Tokyo, Paris, London, Abuja, Arkansas, Djakarta, etc.etc.

When God invests what He expected is expansion not just mere consumption of the returns on the investment, but re-investment and the end result multiplications. It is a principle that works on it’s own accord. The law of multiplying effect.

Consumption of the returns is the habit of many uninformed men all over the world. Just a little return from an investment or a bonus, the next thing is to go ashopping, holidays and spending sprees. God’s principles say NO. You invest it again so that more comes, and you keep on with the circle until you have a large investment portfolios or businesses. And the end result is what is called wealth and riches. This was how God started the entire creation. All men on the face of the earth today began with a male and the female. Adam and Eve. And they kept multiplying.

Investments grow of their own accord it expands and fulfill God original purpose for all things and benefit others. Others feed and get blessed by your investments. That is why there is no where in the bible that Jesus condemned investments. But rather supported it with parables upon parables. For instance the parable the talents, the parable of the husband man that leased his vineyard expecting a dividend at the end of the year etc etc.

Jesus invested just 12 disciples and 120 others and see the returns. 5,000 another 4,000 then churches began to spring and blossom in Cappadocia, Antioch, Galatia, Corinth etc. And see what is happening today, yet you aren’t seeing anything yet. What we are seeing is just a tip of the iceberg.

God invested a seed of 12 men through Abraham, Issac and Jacob to start a whole nation called Israel today. A nation that has lasted all histories and empires.

God and Jesus His son are role models of investors. Be an investor today with whatever come into your hands and don’t be a spendrift and a waster. Invest and stop coveting greedily. Practice what is called ‘delayed gratification’. Learn to deny and discipline yourself. That is Jesus standard for whosoever wants to follow His principles. What you are accumulating today will afterwards come into your hands tomorrow even with more if only you could deny yourself and invest with the little you have today.

Dr John F Demartini said: don’t spend your life working for money, save money and hire it to work for you.

If our leaders in Nigeria had hired our oil money to work for us, we won’t be where we are today. Iraq leaders did. And twice the country was leveled to near rubbles both in 1990 and 2001, yet the cities were rebuilt again without asking for aid or support from any western nation (who will even oblige them anyway?).

All because the country have more than enough in her reserves which her leaders invested during the oil boom era; but which our own leaders spent and even had problem with spending.

List Building Secrets – Is It Ok to Add People After Giving Them Your Business Card?

The most challenging part is to attract customers to the business. Internet marketing discovered the money spent on advertising wasn’t attracting customers. Over a period of time, the trust between the business man and the customer was built. The right List Building Tools makes a difference between success and failure. List building secrets have been the most effective in promoting the products and services. One can also add people to whom they have given their business card as it can help both the parties when doing long term business.

There are various ways of promoting a business man’s products and also adding someone who already possesses your business card is absolutely fine especially when using tools like social networking, pod casting and article marketing. Let us understand how it can help in list building.

Social Networking

Social networking has become very trendy in today’s generation. Business men use their accounts to check out different social network sites for their products. Many of these sites are used for personal use as well. Most sites allocate people to search by traffic, dexterity set, forte, business, and site. It makes it easier for the customers to find us. Adding people to your social networking list especially the ones with your business card can create a rapport between you and the client and also promote the product.

Article Marketing

Article marketing is the main authoritative tool. It generates mammoth amounts of interchange that leads to the website. It offers superior content that arouses the curiosity in the readers and encourages them to procure the products. It makes work easier for the business people even though a lot of time and effort is spent one can be satisfied as it gives information about your produce especially to those who have your b-card.

Pod casting

It requires creativity and imagination. Things are made simpler by making videos and posting them online for people to see what the company and the product is all about. It seems like a TV commercial that requires being beguiling, striking, pithy, and effective.

In attendance a lot more tools can use to build the list. Most of them are newsletters, forums and video marketing. It doesn’t really matter which list building secret tool is used. Effective use and consistency is what matters. The results of the efforts put in are seen in due time. It is a good idea to give people your business card after you have begun your production; in fact it is a good idea to add people to your list once you have given them your business card as it builds a relationship between you and the consumer and moreover, help you promote your business especially when one uses the above to promote them.