Pike, Zebulon Montgomery

Pike, Zebulon Montgomery (1779-1813) Explorer: Zebulon Montgomery Pike was born on January 5, 1779, in Lamberton, New Jersey. When he was a child, his family moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania; then to Eaton. There, Young Pike was educated. Appointed an ensign in his father's regiment in 1799, he rose to the rank of captain by 1806. He studied Latin, French and mathematics, in order to make up for the deficiencies in his education. After the Louisiana Purchase, Lieutenant Pike conducted an expedition to trace the Mississippi to its source. He left in 1805, returning after almost nine months. In 1806 to 1807, he was involved in geographical explorations of the Louisiana Territory; during which he discovered what became known as "Pike's Peak" in the Rocky Mountains. Pike reached the Rio Grande River, but was found on Spanish territory and was briefly taken to Santa Fé. After being examined, they were released. In 1810, Pike published his account of his two expeditions. By 1813, he had become a brigadier-general, and was assigned to the principal army as adjutant-general and inspector-general. He commanded an expedition against York (now Toronto), Canada, in 1813. General Pike was killed there, when the magazine of a fort exploded, and masses of stone fell on him, fatally injuring him. He died several hours later, on April 27, 1813.