Jedediah Strong Smith (January 6, 1799 – May 27, 1831), the son of a Bainbridge, New York general store owner, was a hunter, trapper, fur trader, trailblazer, author, cartographer and explorer of the Rocky Mountains, the American West Coast and the Southwest during the 19th century. Nearly forgotten by historians almost a century after his death, Smith has been rediscovered as an American icon who was the first white man to travel over land from the Salt Lake frontier, the Colorado River, the Mojave Desert, and finally into California. Smith was the first United States citizen to explore and eastwardly cross the Sierra Nevada and the treacherous Great Basin. Smith also was the first American to travel up the California coast to reach the Oregon Country. Not only was he the first to do this, but he and Robert Stuart discovered the South Pass. This path became the main route used by pioneers to travel to the Oregon Country. Surviving three massacres and one bear mauling, Jedediah Smith's explorations and documented discoveries were highly significant in opening the American West to expansion by white settlers and cattlemen. In 1831, while searching for water off the Santa Fe Trail, Smith was mortally wounded by Comanche warriors.