Jackson Brigade, Inc.

Information on the Oregon Trail

Since the next Jackson Brigade Reunion is in North Plains, Oregon on Sunday August 6, 2000, we have decided to feature the Oregon Trail on the Jackson Web Site.

The lives of Jacksons, especially the Henry Jackson Line, are intertwined with the history of the Oregon Trail. Henry Jackson was the eighth child of John Jackson and Elizabeth Cummins. For more on this line read a "Short History of the Jacksons in Oregon" by John C. Jackson.

The first of the Jacksons to be intertwined with the Oregon Trail was David Edward Jackson, son of Colonel Edward Jackson and Mary Haddan, famous fur trader of Jackson Hole, Wyoming fame. (See John C. Jackson's book Children of the Fur Trade, Mountain Press Publishing Company, Montana, 1995 or his book Shadow on the Tetons: David E. Jackson and the Claiming of the American West.) David Jackson was one of the leaders of the first wagon trail on the Oregon Trail.

The following two quotes are from "The Oregon Trail 1792-1830" by Patricia Lohnen.

Listed under 1826:

"After working in small parties in the Salt Lake region, the trappers gathered for RENDEZVOUS at nearby Cache (Willow) Valley with Louis VASQUEZ, James CLYMAN, Henry G. FRAEB, Daniel T. POTTS, and many others. After Rendezvous, Jedediah Smith, David JACKSON, and William Sublette bought out Ashley's interest in their partnership and formed a new partnership."

Listed under 1830:

"The SMITH-JACKSON-SUBLETTE partnership caravan from St. Louis to Wind River region for summer Rendezvous in 1830 was the first train of wagons to travel up the Platte River trail. The caravan included 10 wagons, two dearborns, and 81 men. Some historical narratives call this expedition THE OPENING OF THE OREGON TRAIL."

For more on David Edward Jackson see "Sources of the History of the Fur Trade in the Rocky Mountain West" web site. Enter "David Jackson" in the site's search engine for references to David Jackson, the fur trader.

More on David Edward Jackson from Jackson Hole Visitors' Guide -- Jackson Hole, Wyoming

"In the spring of 1822, David E. Jackson responded to an ad in the St. Louis Enquirer which read:"

Wanted 100 enterprising young men to ascend the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains, there to be employed as hunters. As compensation to each man fit for such business, $200 per annum to be given for his services.

"Jackson signed on with William Ashley's fur company and was truly enterprising. In 1826, he and two other fur trappers, Jedediah Smith and William Sublette, bought out Ashley. In 1830, having made a sizable profit in only four years, these partners sold the company."

"To mountain men, a low-lying valley surrounded by mountains was called a "hole." Because mountain rivers and streams that ran through holes created good habitat for beaver and other fur-bearing animals, trappers worked in these areas. Often a trapper assumed unwritten rights to trapping areas, and many places were named for the men who worked there most frequently. Sublette named the valley "Jackson's Hole" for his partner in 1829."

"Eventually the possessive was dropped because it was the, errr, butt of too many jokes."

Later many Jacksons traveled the Oregon Trail to their homes in Oregon.

Oregon Trail Web Sites

Page maintained by Dan Hyde, hyde at bucknell.edu Last update January 4, 2000

No guarantee on the accuracy of the data found on this web site is given or implied by the site owner. As with all family research, the researcher should strive to obtain primary documents for necessary proofs. Furthermore, permission must be obtained from the original submitter of information on this site before publishing any information found here.
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