Josiah Gregg - New Franklin, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 00.744 W 092° 44.274
15S E 522691 N 4318185
Quick Description: 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.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 2/10/2020 7:58:43 AM
Waymark Code: WM122KE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 2

Long Description:

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.

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