David E. Jackson

c. 1790 - December 24, 1837

Jackson, David E., Fur trader (c. 1790-Dec. 24, 1837). It has been said that Jackson participated in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. In 1822 he joined Ashley to trap the upper Rockies. He took part in the Arikara fight June 2, 1823, and probably in the Leavenworth action in August. He participated in fur trade operations in the Rockies until 1826 when he joined Jedediah Smith and William Sublette in acquiring Ashley's interests. Thereafter he managed part of the firm's trapping undertakings and made a trip or two to Missouri. In 1828-1829 he wintered among the Flatheads; Jackson Hole was named for him, as were Jackson Lake and Jackson, Wyoming. The firm sold out in 1830 to the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, the partners reaching Missouri by October. Jackson, with Smith and Sublette, entered the Santa Fe trade, reaching the New Mexico city with a wagon caravan July 4, 1831, after Smith had been killed by Comanches. Jackson went on to California, reaching San Diego in November, and journeying north almost to San Francisco. He bought California mules and some horses, returned with them to New Mexico, and went on to Missouri. His health poor, Jackson remained in the Mississippi valley until he died of fever at Paris, Tennessee. Although never to achieve great personal fame, he was a more positive influence on the opening of the West than history records.