Jedehiah Smith, Umpqua River

Jedediah Smith was a frontiersman and explorer of the Rocky Mountains and the American West during the early 19th century. On an expedition to the west coast to explore new fur trading opportunities, Smith's party left Mexican Alta California and entered the Oregon Country in the summer of 1828. The party, then numbering 19 and over 250 horses, came into contact with the Umpqua people. One of them stole an ax, and Smith's party treated the Umpqua very harshly in order to force the thief to return it. On July 14, 1828, while Smith and two others were scouting a trail north, the main group was attacked at their encampment on the Umpqua River. Smith, having been alerted to the attack climbed a hill and witnessed the ensuing massacre. He ultimately confirmed that all 15 of the men had died. The exact location of the massacre was recently determined to be on the banks of the Umpqua River near Reedsport. Read more about the Umpqua River here and Jedehiah Smith here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of the Umpqua River.