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Old Santa Fe Trail

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 19, 2008 6:59:03 PM PDT
D. Brittain says:
Is anyone out there intrested in discussing the Old Santa Fe Trail that ran from Independence to Santa Fe and Chihuahua between 1800 and 1860? When I say 1800, I am including several preceding years.

Don Brittain

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2008 5:49:19 PM PDT
Christopher says:
Don't know much about it. I live in the Los Angeles area, and I've seen that the city of El Monte (in Los Angeles county) claims to be the end of the Santa Fe trail. I noticed on your Amazon profile that you live in El Paso, TX. Was there a different segment that extended to California? What do you know about the Santa Fe trail? Was it a part of the Spanish Empire or put in use during Mexican rule?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2008 7:24:11 PM PDT
D. Brittain says:
That shows how old my Amazon profile is. I haven't lived in El Paso since I retired 14 years ago.

Anyway, The Santa Fe Trail ran from Missouri, through Kansas, across the Oklahoma panhandle, into New Mexico and on to Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe Trail then contiinued on to Chihuahua, as there were not enough customers in Santa Fe to buy all the stuff (SF was hard scrabble poor). There were several cases of New Mexican Traders, and a few Missourian, who headed west by way of the Gila River route, west to California. But these trips were never documented or written about, so we know very little -- actually less than that -- about the Santa Fe to California branch of the Trail.

The Santa Fe Trail was not used during Spanish Times. Spain did not allow her colonies, and that included New Mexico, to trade with foreigners -- the Mercantile System and all that.

So, the Santa Fe Trail began when Mexico won her independence from Spain (1821) and continued until the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848.

I hope that this helps. If not, please read my book, West by Southwest.

Don Brittain

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2008 9:12:23 AM PDT
Christopher says:
Wow, that's interesting. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2008 2:29:56 PM PST
Rodney says:
On an American Airlines flight from St. Louis to Orange County CA the pilot started giving us the history of geographic landmarks starting with the Mississippi River and over New Mexico he gave us the history of the wagon trains West from Independence and then he explained it was a myth that they were not passengers but mostly hauling freight and gave us a lot of detail about how important it was to our commerce at that time. What a great history lesson at 30,000 feet. Maybe he read your book. Is your book on Kindle?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2008 4:21:43 PM PST
D. Brittain says:

Thank you for connecting your flight with my book, Eagle Across the Sun. No, it is not on Kindle -- actually, I have no idea how to get on to Kindle. But it is a thought. Yes, a number of those who traveled the Santa Fe Trail were passengers. A number of famous names come to mind in addition to those I named in my book. But they were more than mere sight-seers. They travel there on business or as spies for our government. Once in Santa Fe or El Paso or Chuhuahua, many became notable figures in those communities, and as a result, men (and women) of historical notoriety.

Without the Santa Fe Trail linking St. Louis and Santa Fe (and El Paso and Chihuahua), America might have not been able to acquire the Greater Southwest and California. We would be a far poorer nation without that region.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2008 7:28:50 AM PST
Edd Voss says:
Don don't forget that the Santa Fe Trail also went through southern Colorado and over Raton Pass. Which was why the Bent brothers opened their trading post near modern day La Junta Colorado. It was also while guiding a wagon train over Raton that Hickok was injured and sent back to Nebraska where he was recuperating when he got into his first big gunfight. Your assessment of the importance of the Trail is undeniable. Just remember Colorado was part of it too.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2008 1:54:03 PM PST
D. Brittain says:
How could I ever forget! Bent's Fort on the Arkansas was a major player, so to speak, on the Trail. David Lavender's 1954 classic, Bent's Fort, is the authority on the subject. It is one good read.

Also, I wrote a history of the Santa Fe Trail entitled Eagle Across the Sun a few years back. I go into the Bent's Fort story in great detail.

Raton Pass is in itself a great story. Remember that John McKnight was killed there in '22 or '23 by a Comanche war party (his brother, Robert) had been in a Spanish prison in Mexico City for several years, a wild yarn I discuss in my book.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 12:16:30 PM PST
Lynn Sparks says:
I grew up on the Santa Fe Trail in Raytown, Missouri. Two blocks from my house was a slave cabin in the yard of an old mansion. We used to tour there in elementary school.

Posted on Jul 7, 2012 12:50:59 PM PDT
Thank you for researching this important event in our history.
To the point. As an el Monte native for fifty years I have lived with the end of trail myth and realise that it is just a marketing gimmick. The lie however is still being perpetuated through the local museum and historical society.
My homage to this myth of course was to collect welcome to el Monte signs from the fifths.
Please take them off my hands and put them to good use.

Thank you
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Discussion in:  Biography forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Sep 19, 2008
Latest post:  Jul 7, 2012

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