Zebulon Pike (1779-1813) was an American Lieutenant and explorer who was sent by Gen. James Wilkinson in 1806 to explore the southwestern portions of the Louisiana Purchase for intelligence purposes regarding Spanish activity. He discovered Pikes Peak, which was later named for him, in what is now Colorado, although he was unable to climb to its summit. During his expedition, Pike was captured by the Spanish and detained for several months. In the War of 1812, Pike served as a brigadier general, and commanded 1,700 men on the United States' attack on York (now Toronto) in Canada in April, 1813. Although the assault was successful, Pike was killed when powder magazines exploded killing himself and 320 of his men. He was buried at Sackets Harbor in New York.
Historian Donald Jackson said, "Nothing that Zebulon Montgomery Pike ever tried to do was easy, and most of his luck was bad."
- Encyclopedia of Military History, Dupuy & Dupuy, 1979