Zebulon Pike- Biography
Zebu Pike Pike’s Peak, a well-known location in America. Located in Colorado, it’s the first of many mountains called the Rocky Mountains. Mountains that created a giant wall of rock to early Americans as they traveled west. Imagine for a second you were one of the first humans to ever explore this area. This is how Zebu Pike and his group of 22 men felt when they first approached this mountain, named after the great explorer himself. He was most well-known for his promotion of peace with Indians and is considered the force that drove Americans the west and beyond.
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Zebu Pike was not the first Pike, his full name is Zebu Montgomery Pike Jar.. He was born in January 5, 1779 in a time of revolution. He grew up in a brand new country and his father was an army commander. He was raised thought various states because his father moved with the army. At age 20 he Joined the military. He was a soldier in a time of peace so very little happened. But he did gain favor with his commander, General James Wilkinson, by marrying Classics Brown a family friend of Wilkinson. But then in 1805 a very important event happened in our country’s history,
The Louisiana Purchase. And with it became Zebu’s chance at fame. He had two expeditions into the unknown West. His first was to explore to the North of the Mississippi River and to find its head waters. It was a fairly simple mission to explore a part of the land that the Lewis and Clark expedition would have missed. On his travels he met with various tribes and groups. Each one he meet with he promoted peace with. For example the Alaska Indians, from which he bought 1,000 acres of land. For many years the U. S. Had friendly relations with this group.
When e returned his expedition was considered a success. He was then commissioned to another expedition this one to the Southwest. This expedition had many purposes, but one of the more important tasks was to escort a group of Usage Indians that were prisoners of war. The whole part of the return of the prisoners was to enact a peace treaty with the very powerful Comanche Indians. As he traveled he tried to gain an audience with the Comanche chiefs, but failed. He later did convince another powerful group, the Pawned, to change their allegiance from supporting the Spanish o supporting America.
As other Americans came across to the West, Pike’s treaties were very valuable. But what inspired Americans to travel to the West in search gold and riches? Well, that was actually considered one of Pike’s most notable achievements. While his second expedition he was captured by the Spanish for illegal entry. He was eventually returned to America and wrote his report on his adventure. In 1810 he wrote An Account of Expeditions to the Source of the Mississippi. Although the report is considered hastily made and inaccurate, it showed people this mysterious land to he West is full of potential.
He stated about how weak the Spanish were with their control of their borders. This allowed for expansion into their regions in or near their territories. This fact eventually causes the Mexican- American War. Also the potential of trade with the Spanish is a way to gain valuable and needed resources. This would later become a large source of income for settlers. Wilkinson and Vice President were major cogs in a plan to take Spanish territory and turn them into a new republic in the Southwest. Pike was later dismissed of the hares, but was still disgraced.
Even today people questions Pike involvement. Pike later looked for honor in battle and found it April 27, 1813 when he died leading an attack on York in Canada. Zebu Pike was an exceptional soldier, cartographer, and peace keeper. He died a man less famous than he probably should have. He was an excellent promoter of peace between Indian nations that lasted decades. He inspired the American people to travel into the unknown West and grow the nation. In the end he was merely a man who wanted to explore the unknown.