People Finder

Father De Smet (Courtesy Glenbow Archives, NA-1391-1)

Pierre-Jean De Smet

(1801-1873)

Father de Smet was a Catholic missionary who travelled through much of the Canadian Rockies in 1845 and 1846. He regularly wrote long and interesting letters to his "Superior" which are delightful descriptions of the landscape and the natives which he was working with. His writings, entitled "Oregon Missions and Travels over the Rocky Mountains" were published in book form in 1847.

Much of the book is concerned with his work as a priest but it also contains some interesting references to the mountains. The map which accompanied the book covers a vast area from 44 degrees to 54 degrees latitude and from the Pacific Ocean to well east of the front ranges of the mountains. Although it is primarily concerned with rivers, it does note the locations of several mountains which must have been considered to be particularly noteworthy at that time. One of these is the legendary Mount BrownDevil's HeadMount AssiniboineGeorge Dawson's 1886 map shows a Mount De SmetRoche De Smet]

[Additional Information: de Smet, Father Pierre. "Oregon Missions and Travels over the Rocky Mountains in 1845-1846". New York: Edward Dunigan, 1847]

[See Roche de Smet]