Dale, Harrison Clifford. The Ashley-Smith Explorations and the discovery of a Central Route to the Pacific, 1822-1829. Glendale, California: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1941. Revised Edition. 
Green publisher's cloth, gilt spine titles, 9 1/2 inches, top edge gilt. 360 clean pp., complete with maps & plates, tight. Very good. Hardcover.
Howes D21; Rader 1040; Wagner-Camp 35.
No. 55 in Clark & Brunet, The Arthur C. Clark Company, A Bibliography and History, 1902-1992. "This first publication of these accounts served in large part to rescue Jedediah Smith from obscurity. Later treatments by Sullivan, Morgan and others have lifted his reputation to equal status with the other major fur traders of the early nineteenth century. This book is one of the basic works in fur trade history."
The first edition was published in 1918; this is the revised edition, incorporating materials discovered since the first was published.
William Henry Ashley (c. 1778-1838), b. Powhatan, VA; d. Cooper Co., Missouri. Ashley was a fur trader who revolutionized the trade by introducing the annual Rendezvous in 1825 as a substitute for traditional trading posts. He arrived in Missouri sometime after 1802 and became a prosperous merchant, surveyor, and land speculator. He rose to the rank of general in the territorial militia, and was the state's first lieutenant governor in 1820. In 1822 he organized the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, establishing a trading post at the mouth of the Yellowstone River. He became wealthy, and from 1830 on he was a US Congressman who championed the interests of the American of the West.
"'Few individuals...exercised a greater influence on the course of the fur trade in the Far West.' He organized the rendezvous system, pioneered with employment of free trappers rather than hired trappers of Indian tribes, established durable routes to the fur country, and conducted an important exploration or two. He appears to have been honest as well as able." - Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography.
Jedediah Strong Smith (1799-1831), b. Bainbridge, NY; d. near present-day Ulysses, Kansas. Smith was raised in western Pennsylvania and Ohio, and was a fervent Methodist. He was determined to become a trapper in the Oregon Territory, and became a legendary scout and Indian fighter. He died fighting Comanches who had laid in wait for him at a watering hole.
"Smith was perhaps the greatest of the mountain men, and one of the strongest characters among them. He was abstemious, did not smoke, was clean shaven, ever carried a Bible and read from it, was habituated to command and was referred to as Mister Smith or Captain Smith by others. He figures in the three most disastrous battles mountain men engaged in, although he was not to blame for any of them; his contributions to the geographical knowledge of the west, and his pioneering expeditions were of great value; his journals and records suggest that he intended at some time to publish his findings, but his early and lamented death aborted that plan, if he held it." - Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography.