Josiah Gregg - New Franklin, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 00.744 W 092° 44.274
15S E 522691 N 4318185
He was a merchant, explorer, naturalist, and author of Commerce of the Prairies about the American Southwest and Northern Mexico regions. He reportedly died of a fall from his mount due to starvation near Clear Lake, California, on 25 February 1850.
Waymark Code: WMQRM5
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 03/24/2016
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member MountainWoods
Views: 2

County of memorial: Howard County
Location of memorial: MO-5 & Katy Trail, S. limits of New Franklin
Artist: Harry Weber
Dedicated: 31 August 2013
Granite Etchings artist: Kevin Hale
Engineer: Crockett Engineering
Contractor: Bill Sullivan Excavations

Plaque Text:

Josiah Gregg
July 19, 1806 to Feb. 25, 1850
Josiah Greg was born in Overton County, Tennessee -- the youngest son of Harmon and Susannah (Smelser) Greggs' seven children. In 1812 his family settled at Cooper's Fort in Howard County, and later moved to Jackson County. Sickly, shy, and studious, he taught school near Liberty, Missouri, in 1824, then moved with his family to Independence to study law and surveying. By 1830 he was seriously ill with consumption (tuberculosis) and chronic dyspepsia (a painful digestive disorder). After several bedridden months and unable to sit on a horse, Gregg took his doctors' advice and made his first Santa Fe trip in the spring on 1831 with a merchant caravan. His health quickly improved, and Gregg was hired as a bookkeeper by Jesse Sutton, one of the merchants with whom he later formed a partnership. He returned to Missouri in the fall of 1833 and set out again as caravan wagon master. By the end of the decade he had traveled the plains eight times, drawing maps and keeping detailed notes. He learned Spanish and by 1840 was a successful merchant. In 1844 his two-volume Commerce of the Prairies was published and became an immediate success. Five editions were printed within a decade. It remains the cornerstone for all studies of the Santa Fe Trail. Gregg enrolled at the University of Louisville medical school in 1845 and was granted a medical degree. After the outbreak of the Mexican-American War he served as an interpreter, guide, mapmaker and war correspondent for the Arkansas volunteers. He practiced medicine in Saltillo, Mexico, until the spring of 1848. Having a lifelong interest in botany, he joined a botanical expedition to western Mexico and California, corresponding and sending specimens to the eminent botanist George Engelman in St. Louis. The American Botanical Society added the Latin name greggi in his honor to twenty-three species of plants. In 1849 Gregg sailed for San Francisco to join in the gold rush. In October of that year he led an exploring party through uncharted redwood forests to Humbolt Bay in northern California. Exhausted from vigorous travel near-starvation and continuous exposure to severe weather, Gregg died as a result of a fall from his horse. He is buried near Clear Lake, California. It is unknown if he married or had children.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:

Josiah Gregg was born in Overton County, Tennessee, on 19th July, 1806. His family moved to Missouri when he was six years old. He taught for a while before training as a doctor. Poor health forced him to give up his studies.

In May 1831 Gregg joined a caravan for Santa Fe. He settled in New Mexico where he became a bookkepper. Gregg travelling throughout Mexico and became involved in selling goods. He also created a new trail from Van Buren, Arkansas, to Santa Fe. He later published his book, Commerce of the Prairies (1844).

Gregg made a tour of Indian Territories in Oklahoma. He took part in the Mexican War where he worked as a guide and interpreter and served under Brigadier General John Wool and Colonel Alexander Doniphan. He also took part in the 1849 Californian Gold Rush.

Additional point: Not Listed

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