David Edward Jackson was an American pioneer, fur trader, trapper and explorer. According to thishe was born in the year 1788 and died on 24th December 1837. He served as a clerk for the William Ashley and Andrew Henry partnership and later became a partner in the same company upon leaving the clerical position. His legacy lives on through the town of Jackson, Wyoming, Jackson Lake, Jackson Hole, and Wyoming which are all named after him.
Birth and Early Life
Jackson was born and brought up in Randolph County which is currently part of what is known as West Virginia. He was the second son among eight siblings of three boys and three girls. In the year 1801, at the age of 13, the Jacksons family relocated to Weston in the Allegheny plateau (Carter 290). Jackson was the grandson of Elizabeth Cummins and John Jackson who moved to settle in West Virginia near the Blue Ridge Mountains. They moved a lot from one place to another including settling in Tygart Valley. The family amassed large pieces of untiled farmlands in the town of Buckhannon.
Jackson together with his wife and four kids relocated to Missouri at the beginning of 1820 with the aim of engaging in farming. Rather than getting into farming as he had planned, he opted to try his luck by responding to a call for employment of men at Ashley Andrew’s newly established fur trade business. He was hired by the company as a clerk alongside his friend Smith and taken up the Missouri River.
Business and Exploration
Jackson was an adventurous man and it is for his adventures with his friends that the present-day Jackson Hole was named after him. Initially, he trapped fur together with his friends and made the otherwise less prime area a prime area that is today the town of Jackson, Wyoming. He loved to spend a good time in natural areas with good scenes including the riversides and lakeshores. He named the place Jackson after having good relaxing moments around the shores of the lake. Jackson was one of the fur trappers that arrived in the current Jackson Hole Valley in America in the early 1800s.
Jackson, as a fur trapper and explorer was one among others, discovered the valley. William Sublette, Jedediah Smith, and David Edward Jackson are credited with settling in the area, though they are not the first inhabitants (A Guide to Jackson Hole). Jackson Hole valley was named after David Jackson in 1829 by his friend Sublette. Initially, the name Jackson’s Hole created too much humor and therefore the name changed to Jackson Hole. The men were behind most of the names in the valley. Later, David Jackson named the valley after himself in 1894 after he enjoyed winter time on the shores of Jackson Lake (A Guide to Jackson Hole).
Jackson assumed the role of a field manager upon their return since he had past experience performing a similar role while working for Ashley. Jackson and his friends Robert and Sublette and traveled to upper Missouri where they spent the rest of the winter season. Jackson moved back to the fur country in the year to spend the winter period before they moved to the Flatbed river to spend the spring. Jackson traveled a lot between the upper Snake River and the Wind River attending the rendezvous. At the meeting, Jackson together with Smith and Sublette traded their interest in the fur business to a group of men who renamed the venture Rocky Mountain Fur Company.
Jackson was a businessman and traveled a lot to meet up with his business partners on trade matters include g meeting them in Santa Fe. During his short stay I Santa Fe, Jackson formed a partnership with David Waldo and traveled to California to trade the merchants he had carried from Missouri. Later Jackson moved to Taos where he met up with Ewing Young and convinced him that he needed to engage in the mule business since he was much knowledgeable about the area. He traveled through the area of California alongside other men buying mules before he returned to Santa Fe.
Jackson loved business and exploration and in 1831 he and his group left Santa Fe for Arizona then proceeded to the Gila River which they traveled along till they got to Colorado River. They then ended up in San Diego in early November. When Jackson met up with Young in Los Angeles, he had a total of 100 horses and 600 mules which was below their target of more than 1000 (Carter 294). After Jackson and Young went separate ways Jackson took the skins they had gathered at the time while Young went ahead buying more mules. The unfavorable heat of the summer made them lose most of the animals leading to Jackson selling part of the animals that remained in Santa Fe. He later moved to St. Louis with the remaining animals.
Sickness and Demise
After moving back to Missouri, Jackson aged 44 years at the time started experiencing poor health due to what was believed to be typhoid and fever. He then spent the rest of his life struggling to have his financial matters in order. His health deteriorated so much that he could not travel to collect some of the payments he was owed. Finally, he died on December 24th, 1837 leaving his property with Young after his poor health could not let him recover (Carter 299).