Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.


CSU professor to discuss new book on famed explorer

February 26, 2014
By Emily Cubbage

Jared Orsi, an associate professor of history at CSU, will present on his new book, 'Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike' at a campus presentation.

Orsi’s talk, set for 3:30 p.m. March 6 in the Grey Rock Room at Lory Student Center, will focus on the man for whom Colorado’s iconic Pike’s Peak is named. Orsi's book will be on sale in the CSU Bookstore.

The citizen explorer

Born in 1779, Zebulon Montgomery Pike grew up in the first generation after the American Revolution. He joined the army at age 15.

Pike is best remembered for exploring the Mississippi River and for his Western expedition to the southwestern reaches of the Louisiana Territory. On one such journey he discovered Pike’s Peak, which was named for him.

He died in battle as a brigadier general at the Battle of York during the War of 1812. He immediately became a hero in the cause of American sovereignty.

New findings

Orsi’s book is the first scholarly biography of Pike produce since 1949, and employs new methodologies from environmental and cultural history to discover new insights into Pike’s character.

According to Orsi, Pike was “a staunch nationalist who believed that if he sacrificed physically for the nation, it would reward him with gratitude, honor, and opportunity for financial gain.”

More about Orsi

Each summer, Orsi leads a group of students on a weeklong field course to study of the route Pike took through Colorado in 1806-07. He previously authored of the award-winning “Hazardous Metropolis: Flooding and Urban Ecology in Los Angeles” and serves as on the faculty council of CSU’s Public Lands History Center.