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Across the Plains
in '44

This webpage reproduces a section of
Adventures in the Santa Fé Trade, 1844‑1847

James Josiah Webb

Arthur H. Clark Company,
Glendale, California, 1931
As republished by Bison Books

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Second Journey
Across the Plains
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p91  A Venture in the Santa Fé Trade

My first arrival in Santa Fé124 was in October​125 after a journey of seventy days, which at that time was not considered a specially long trip. My first impressions I can but imperfectly describe after the lapse of so long a time — forty years — but I well remember that there was nothing to induce me to entertain a desire to become a resident or to continue in the trade except as an adventurer and the possible advantages the trade might afford of bettering my fortune. The people were nearly all in extreme poverty, and there were absolutely none who could be classed as wealthy except by comparison. The Pinos and Ortizes were considered the ricos, and those most respected as leaders in society and political influence; but idleness, gambling, and the Indians had made such inroads upon their means and influence that there was but little left except the reputation  p92 of honorable descent from a wealthy and distinguished ancestry. The houses were nearly all old and dilapidated, the streets narrow and filthy, and the people, when in best attire, not half dressed.​126 And even those who could occasionally afford a new and expensive dress, would make it up in such a way that it would appear extravagantly ridiculous.

There were but a very few houses north of the Palace on the street now called Palace avenue. Don Agustín Durán, Don Félix García, Don Antonio Sena y Baca, and James Conklin​127 and one or two others lived not far from where the Presbyterian church now stands and had quite grand houses for the time; and some of them [had] two or three acres cultivated in corn, beans, and red peppers, and a few apricot trees, the only fruit then raised in the town. There were three residences on Palace avenue, extending from the corner of Washington street towards the ciénaga,​128 in one of which we quartered for a few days when we first arrived, and where I afterwards lived a year with my family, owned by Don Juan Sena. The northeast corner of the plaza was the government storehouse, or lóndiga,​129 devoted in ancient times to the storage of corn by [the] government to sell to the poor and improvident in time of necessity, but this year used as a government warehouse  p93 to store our goods while being examined by the custom-house officers. From thence south was nearly all government offices, except the southeast corner, which was a store occupied by Don Juan Sena as agent of Don José Chávez. This was the second best store in town (Mr. John Scolly having the best), and floored with plank — the only plank floor in New Mexico, except a store in Taos built by Mr. ––––––––– Branch, and, I think, perhaps Mr. [Simeon] Turley, at Turley's Mill, had one or two rooms floored with plank. On the southeast corner was the residence of one of the Pinos and only one or two stores, or tendajones,​130 till you came to the corner of the street leading to Río Chiquito,​131 where [there] was a store about fifteen feet square which was rented and occupied by Messrs. Leitensdorfer and Company, with several back rooms for storage and housekeeping.

Here I spent my first winter in New Mexico (messing with them), having a French-canadian cook, with a dry goods box for a table, brown domestic tucked over for a tablecloth, and our prairie camp kettles, tin cups, iron spoons, and butcher knives for cooking and table furniture. We had one glass tumbler which was used to mix our drinks in — which was usually eggnog compounded of one egg, a little sugar, and water, [and] an allowance of aguardiente132 compatible to the taste of the drinker — and a Spanish grammar placed on the top of the tumbler and held firmly by the thumbs and fingers and shaken till the egg was well beaten and the beverage thoroughly mixed, when we would drink to  p94 the health of our associates or far‑away friends and pass the tumbler to the next claimant.

There was an old church​133 about the center of the block on the south side of the plaza which had not been occupied as a place of worship for many years; and after the organization of the Territorial government, [it] was opened by the authorities and fitted up as a courthouse. When [it was] nearly finished and ready for occupancy, the claim was set up that it was Church property, and it was a sacrilege to devote it to such a purpose.

"How can we come into these sacred precincts as litigants or witnesses and try our cases or give testimony, standing upon the graves of our fathers?" said the Mexicans.

And with due regard for the delicacy of their feelings, and in obedience to the demands of Bishop Lamy,​134 the plan was abandoned, and the property turned over to the Church.​135 It was shortly after​136 sold to Don Simon Delgado and fitted up for a store, where he kept an assorted stock of dry goods, groceries, and  p95 liquors, and disposed of them for cash, as he found customers among the poor or needy. I presume the bones rest in peace and quiet, as the transfer was made by the Church for a valuable consideration instead of being appropriated by the government and devoted to secular uses.

The west side of the plaza was nearly all residences. Near the center was the post-office, where a mail sometimes arrived from the south, and also the estanquillo,​137 where the government sold a limited amount of cigars and tobacco. There were but few houses on the loma south of the river. The principal one was owned and occupied by "Old Taosenian"; and he used to give a fandango once or more a week, according to the number of strangers visiting the city and the demand for amusement.

A Mexican fandango138 in those days was a curiosity. The sala, or dancing hall, [was] from twenty to thirty  p96 feet long, and fifteen to eighteen feet wide, with sometimes benches on the sides (but frequently without seats of any kind) and packed full, only leaving sufficient space through the center for the couples to waltz through, up and down. When the dance began, the men would place themselves in line on one side, and when the line was complete, the women would begin to rise and take their positions opposite the men, almost always in regular order without manifesting any choice of partners; and when the numbers were equal, the music would strike up and the dance proceed.

I have witnessed some most ludicrous scenes at these fandangos. It was not anything uncommon or surprising to see the most elaborately dressed and aristocratic woman at the ball dancing with a peon dressed only in his shirt and trousers open from the hip down, with very wide and full drawers underneath, and frequently barefoot, but usually with moccasins. And such disparity of ages! On one occasion I saw at a ball given by Governor Armijo an old man of eighty or over dancing with a child not over eight or ten. I could not help the reflection that it was a dance of the cradle and the grave. They do literally dance from the cradle to the grave. And I have never seen anything lascivious or [any] want of decorum and self-respect in any woman in a  p97 fandango, whatever might be her reputation for virtue outside. I have known of disorders and serious brawls in fandangos, but it was almost invariably where Americans and whisky were found in profusion.

The only Americans then residing permanently in Santa Fé were James Conklin, James M. Giddings,​139 and another whose name I don't recollect — these were married and settled. James L. Collins, Anthony Thomas, and Ennis J. Vaughn​140 were there most of the time, but did not consider that their residence. John Scolly​141 an Irishman, Don Manuel Álvarez​142 a Spaniard, and an old French doctor living with Scolly, and W. T.  p98 Smith​143 a clerk for him [Scolly] are the only foreigners I now remember of finding in the city on my arrival.

The Frenchman was very poor and living upon the bounty of Mr. Scolly. Several years before, the Mexicans broke into his store and robbed him of what little he had, beat him severely, and left him for dead. When found, he was much maimed and had his jaw broken at the point of the chin, which never got well. The fracture was so loose that he always wore a piece of sheet tied over his lower incisors there is keep the jaw in place to masticate his food or even to talk intelligibly.

I forgot to say, while speaking of the Pinos and the Ortizes, that Don [Pedro Bautista] Pino,​144 the father  p99 of Don Miguel and Don Facundo Pino, was much beloved and honored by the early traders, having proved a true and trusted friend to them in all their business and social relations, and one on whom they could rely for counsel and assistance in all dealings with the authorities. Mr. Vaughn often spoke of him with the highest respect and admiration, and to illustrate the esteem in which he was held by the Americans, delighted in relating a dream of an old trader who was quite a wag and related by him the day after the funeral of his old friend. It was the habit to close the stores from twelve till two every day for dinner and siesta, and the Americans would meet at one of their places of business to talk over various matters and have a social chat. This wag came in one day, and Mr. Pino's death coming up as the subject of conversation, he said he had a very peculiar dream the night before, and it had made such an impression on his mind [that] he must be excused for relating it.

"I dreamed," said he, "that I died, and was transported directly to the gates of Paradise. On arriving, I knocked at the door and was admitted by St. Peter in person, and invited into the anteroom for examination. There were many ahead of me, and among them Mr. Pino. When his turn came, St. Peter asked his name and where he was from. He replied:

" 'My name is [Pedro Bautista] Pino, from New Mexico.'

" 'How dare you attempt such a trick upon me?' said St. Peter. 'You are a fraud and an imposter. There is no such a place on earth as New Mexico. Go to your place, where you will find plenty of company of your kind.'

 p100  "Mr. Pino gently reminded him that there was such a place, that he had just arrived from there, and [that] if he had a map handy, he would show it to him — in the mountains truly, and far distant from any other christian population. St. Peter took him to a map, where he showed him New Mexico plainly laid down and the location of many christian churches. St. Peter looked astonished and confounded that there should be such a place and he not know it, but finally excused himself by saying that on reflection his mistake was not so singular after all, as he was the first person that ever came from there, and this was the first occasion he had ever had to refer to it on the map — then very blandly opened the door and allowed him to pass in without further questioning."

The day after our arrival the ox teams of nearly all the train were sold to Mr. Bonney, who followed us in from the crossing of Moro river for the purpose of buying or taking them to the prairie to herd. Several of us preferred to sell rather than take the risk of having them herded through the winter. We sold our oxen for seven dollars a yoke, and Mr. Scolly loaned Bonney the money to pay for most of them.

After about a week we were permitted to withdraw our goods from the custom-house, but were not permitted to sell at retail. The change of administration and the apprehension of the Mexicans that there would be a demand for forced loans, impaired confidence to such an extent that those able to buy and willing to do so ordinarily, chose rather to plead poverty, and would only buy in limited quantities and on credit, for fear of exciting the cupidity of the new governor. We were consequently compelled to store our goods and wait for something to turn up.

 p101  I stored my goods with E. Leitensdorfer and Company and authorized them to sell as they had opportunity, allowing them a commission of ten per cent. The prospect of my bettering my fortunes by this adventure was by no means encouraging. And with nothing to do and not understanding the language, I concluded that rather than give way to despondency, I would keep a good heart, avail myself of every opportunity offering to see the country, and satisfy myself whether the country afforded any encouragement for a continuance in the trade.

A look at the resources of the country was not encouraging. The only products, beyond the immediate needs of the people, were wool (which would not pay transportation), a few furs, a very few deerskins, and the products of the gold mines, which did not amount to more than $200,000 a year when in bonanza, and very seldom to anything near that amount. Another resource of the country was from the proceeds of sheep driven to the low country in large flocks (amounting to from 50,000 to 100,000 a year), the proceeds from which would be in the hands of a very few of the ricos.​145 And the only chance I could see of getting any portion of it was from the little that might be in the hands of a very few who might want to start a little store and had not yet got in the way of going to "the States" for goods, or [who] might indulge in the national propensity of gambling and thus put some portion of it into general circulation.

The system of peonage, or voluntary servitude, was a fixed institution. The wages of the laborers was only from three to six dollars a month, and a ration to the  p102 laborer only. From this he would have to support his family and pay the dues to the priest for marrying, baptizing, and burial of seven dollars and upwards, according to the ability and ambition of the individual desiring the services. An inflexible rule with the priests was: no money, no marrying; no money, [no] baptizing; no money, no burying. Or as they put it: no haya dinero, no hay casamiento; no haya dinero, no hay bautismo; no haya dinero, no hay entierro. As a consequence the poor were extremely so, and without hope of bettering their condition. The priesthood [was] corrupt, vicious, and improvident. Is it strange, then, that with such a heartless, demoralized, and utterly impious, yet very religious, priesthood, the people in such abject poverty could see no merit in virtue or honesty?

In a conversation with Dr. Connollyº146 some years after the establishment of the Territorial government, and after his marriage to the widow Chávez, he was boasting of the improved condition of his servants under his liberal management. He had raised the wages of his shepherds from two and three, to four and six,  p103 dollars a month, and the peons on the hacienda to six and eight, and teamsters with his wagon train to ten; and some of the best and most industrious laborers he had allowed to work a portion of the land on shares. And he flattered himself that he was treating them with great generosity and kindness, and was doing more to improve the condition of his servants than any of his neighbors.

"Well, doctor," [I said], "how many servants have you on your hacienda?

"Big and little, 108."

"Well, I suppose you furnish them all [with] work through the winter?"

"Oh no. The crops are all gathered and stored, and I have no further work for them until time to plant the [?]."

"Of course they have a good store of corn and other provisions laid up for the winter?"

"Not an ear — not a thing."

"But how are they to live with nothing in store, and nothing to do to earn a living?"

He saw the point, and laughingly replied, "Steal from Otero."

"And how are Otero's servants to live, who you said were not as well cared for as yours?"

"Oh, they will steal from me — if they have the chance. It is considered dishonorable to steal from the master, but neighborly stealing is no disgrace."

This was the condition of the laboring classes of old New Mexico, and in view of the example set by the religious fathers, and their dependence upon their masters, is it strange [that] they were, as John Randolph very truly but uncharitably called them, "a  p104 blanketed nation of prostitutes and thieves?" Let us withhold our denunciations until we in imagination have put ourselves in their places, and ask ourselves what we would do. We can and ought to thank God that in mercy He placed us [in] a christian land under a free and liberal government, and under pious and moral teachings, where honest labor is liberally rewarded and there is no necessity of resorting to immoral or dishonest practices to live in comfort and decency. Let us watch and pray lest we be led astray by false doctrines of religious and political teachers, and fall into a like condition or entail it upon posterity.

After remaining in Santa Fé a week or two, Mr. Scolly was about sending his clerk, Mr. Smith, to the plains for some cattle he had on the range, and I asked the privilege of going with him. We went across the mountains from Pecos to Upper Tecolote, and thence to his ranch not far from Moro town, and found the herd in a valley between the Moro and Bonney's, where the herders had a temporary corral and jacal147 made of bushes laid upon poles supported by crotches driven into the ground, where the herders boarded and made cheese. The curd was prepared in the usual way with rennet, and set in small kettles and earthen water-vessels; and when in proper condition, tied in a cloth and pressed by placing it upon a flat rock and a heavy stone laid upon it. We were invited to eat of it and found it very good, for the time and place, but not by any means what I had been accustomed to eat as cheese at home. We had about thirty head driven into the corral, where they were to remain until the next morning, when we were to start for Santa Fé. The  p105 herders said they had company, or visitors, from the Moro who had come out to gather piñones,​148 and they would be in at night.

When bedtime came, Smith was about to spread his blankets outside, when I expostulated for preparing to sleep outside when we could sleep under shelter. He said there would be a house­ful, but if I could stand it, he could, and we would try it; but [he] feared I would repent my rashness before morning. I insisted, and we spread our blankets and laid down and soon fell asleep. But it was not long before the visitors commenced coming in, and several times on partially awaking I found myself so crowded that I could not move without disturbing a neighbor; and on further awaking to the situation, found that I could not get out without walking over several sleepers, and that my blankets were not only furnishing bedding for myself but [for] numerous others. So there was no way but to lie still and rest as well as I could.

At daylight I awoke and took a look of the sleepers. The jacal was full — packed so thick [that] it was impossible to count them or distinguish who was which, or myself from my bedfellow — men, women, and children piled in promiscuously regardless of sex, age, or nationality. As soon as I could pick my way out, I seated myself on a stone and determined to count (so far as possible) the number of lodgers, and as I remember, it was, I know, over twenty, and, I think, nearer thirty. Smith found several acquaintances, and the people had a good deal of fun, he told me, inquiring how the stranger enjoyed his lodgings among so many bedfellows.

 p106  After an early breakfast we started with the cattle, and one or two herders assisted us for a few miles, when we went on alone by a path but little traveled and over mountains and across ravines which it seemed impossible to pass with a drove of cattle, and nearly so on mule back. But we got along without losing an animal, and made very good time considering the difficulties and intricacies of the way.

Arriving in Santa Fé, we commenced to butcher and care for the meat. The cattle were shot down in the corral and bled and skinned where they fell, and cut up, laying upon the skin the paunches taken out, and a small incision made to empty the contents; then turned inside out and washed, and then re‑turned and laid away until the tallow was rendered, when it was poured into the paunches after cooling sufficiently so they could be filled to nearly their original capacity. The four quarters were hung under the portal, where they would keep without salt or other care until wet weather the next summer, if desired. The meat from the hind quarters was jerked by cutting [it] in strips from four to six inches wide, and then sliced to about half an inch thick and hung on ropes of rawhide in the open courtyard in the sun to dry.

Mr. Scolly used to slaughter from fifty to seventy-five head of cattle each fall, and dispose of the meat in quarters or jerked, as he found a market; and the tallow was sold and used for cooking purposes the same as we use lard — a part, perhaps, made into candles. I don't recollect ever eating any salted, or even corned, beef in any part of Mexico during my fifteen years' residence in the country.

While hunting the cattle at the ranch, we saw two  p107 men coming from the prairie who from a distance appeared like traders, and waited their approach. When they came up, they proved to be Mr. Albert Speyer with a servant. Mr. Speyer informed us that he came in for mules; that he had encountered a very severe storm of sleet and rain on the Cimarrón not far from Willow Bar,​149 and had lost a good many mules, and was going to Moro to see what he could do towards getting assistance to bring in the train. We informed him that Colonel Owens was still in Santa Fé, but was making arrangements to leave in a few days for Chihuahua.

After a short conversation we separated, and on our arrival in Santa Fé found him there. He had bought Colonel Owens' whole outfit — goods, wagons, and teams — and was fitting up to leave with a part of the wagons and all the mules, which, with the few he had bought at Moro, would enable him to move his train. We here learned that he had lost over seventy-five mules in one night of the storm.​150 He said that Connelly and Glasgow​151 must have suffered from the same  p108 storm, as they would be ready to leave Independence but a few days after him, and must have been not far off. Dr. Connelly arrived before he left and reported that he had suffered about an equal loss with Mr. Speyer and would be compelled to go to the Río Abajo​152 to get sufficient mules to bring in his train.

[image ALT: A lithograph of a Western scene. In the background, a gently hilly landscape with one distant snow-covered peak on the viewer's right. In the foreground, a dirt road traveled by a group of some thirty men, some on muleback, accompanying two covered wagons and several oxen; they are traveling toward the viewer's right and generally into the background, where a small town canned be dimly made out. Many of the men are raising their hats high in the air. The scene depicts the arrival of a caravan at Santa Fé, New Mexico in the 1840s.]

Arrival of the Caravan at Santa Fé
From Josiah Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, New York, 1844

 (p110 is blank) The Americans were all (with the exception of Wethered and Caldwell, who had got a corner on the Santa Fé trade) much disappointed in the expectation of realizing large profits.​153 They had expected an unusually good trade, as the Mexicans had been deterred from going to "the States" for goods by apprehensions of privateers from Texas preying upon the "commerce of the prairies" under the plea of war between the two nations; and [also by apprehensions of] robbers from the frontier, as the proprietor of one train (Mr. Chávez) had been murdered and the train robbed by Dr. Prefontaine and his gang from Westport, Missouri,  p111 the year previous.​154 But the order prohibiting retailing in Santa Fé, and the losses of teams and consequent delay largely increased the expenses of the Chihuahua traders [and] left but a small margin of profits.

I think the traders had some hand in deterring the Mexicans from going in for goods by exaggerating the danger and reporting rumors of a large expedition from Texas being organized for the purpose of making a raid upon the prairies and taking every Mexican train that should attempt to cross the plains that year. I am led to this belief by the knowledge of such a report being started at a meeting of the traders at the rooms of Leitensdorfer and Company after the arrival of Speyer and Connelly with their trains. Their house was the headquarters of all American traders for social and business conversation, and [for] plans for promoting their general interests. Mr. Charles Bent​155 arrived from the fort about this time and reported that Colonel  p112 Warfield​156 had been there that fall and assured him that there would be a large body of Texas rangers on the plains, and that all trains which could be identified with Mexican interests by any evidence real or presumptive would be taken, regardless of any claims of proprietor­ship; and as Leitensdorfer was a long time resident of the country and from his intimate and confidential relations with the Mexicans, it would be very risky even for him to bring but a limited amount, as it was known that his means were limited, and if he should attempt to bring more than five or six wagons, it would be considered as sufficient evidence that he was allowing the use of his name to cover Mexican interests. Therefore it would be more prudent for him to remain in the country the next year and allow some of them to supply him what goods he needed, which they would contract to do for a small commission. Eugene told me he thought they were trying to play it rather fine; but the plan was well laid, and if there was a probability of the present order prohibiting Americans from retailing continuing in force, it might be an inducement to accept the proposal in order to give force to the plot.

After remaining a few days in Santa Fé, business being very dull, Leitensdorfer and Company thought of trying an adventure to the Río Abajo; and consulting  p113 the governor, found they might get permission to retail goods anywhere outside of Santa Fé. So they selected a stock of goods and packed [it] for transportation on pack mules. I thought I might see the country at least, and possibly find some place where I could dispose of my goods, and concluded to join the expedition.

Thomas Leitensdorfer and myself, with each a riding mule and an extra mule for the two Mexicans, and three pack mules left by way of the bajada for Peña Blanca,​157 where we hoped to begin a trade. But after staying one day and selling but two or three dollars' worth, we concluded to move on to Algodones, where our success was not much better. Thence [we traveled] on through the settlements along the river to Albuquerque,​158 where we crossed the river and [where] a circumstance occurred which showed me the force of habit among men, accustomed to going constantly armed and traveling in a dangerous country, in their care to keep their arms in good order and their powder dry. Tom went down the bank first, the pack mules to follow, and I was to go in last and drive. He told the dismounted Mexican to jump up behind the portage of one of the mules and ride across. But either misunderstanding or thinking best to mount behind Tom, he did so and they traveled in the stream till the water came up to the saddle-skirts, and the mule miring in the quicksand began struggling to extricate himself, throwing the Mexican into the water behind him and Tom over his head. The Mexican was thoroughly ducked,  p114 and all I could see of Tom for a moment was his arm holding his rifle above the water. Rising and blowing the water from his mouth and nose, and wiping his face, his first words were:

"No, you don't! You don't wet my rifle unless the water is over my head!"

We traveled down the river to Socorro, stopping at all the towns along the route [and] making some sales in each town. [We] spent two or three days in Socorro, and started for home one cold windy morning.

And after traveling two or three [hours?], Tom proposed we should stop and rest awhile, make a fire and warm ourselves, and take a smoke. I supposed he would, of course, select a sheltered place under the hills, where there was plenty of brush to make a fire, and rest ourselves comfortably out of the wind; but he stopped on the bank of the river where the wind had full sweep. We had a few words about camping in such a place, but I was a greenhorn and any suggestions from me about choosing a camp were treated with contempt. We unpacked the mules and made a fire to leeward of the goods. I thought I would have a good fire, and commenced breaking limbs from a fallen cottonwood tree which had been thrown down by the caving of the bank. Tom thought we had fire enough; and I wanted a good one as there was plenty of wood. He kept expostulating, and I kept piling on the wood.

All at once he jumped up and seizing a keg of powder, said, "If you are going to blow us all up, I will help you and have the affair over with."

"Throw it in, Tom, and let us have a lively fire and get warm?"

"Do you banter me?"

 p115  "Yes, Tom, I banter you; go it."

I watched his eye closely to see the direction, whether in or over the fire, knowing full well he would accept the challenge, when he gave it a throw through the blaze of the fire (and as close to the ground as he dare without the chance of its stopping the fire) directly in the direction of my feet.

I stepped aside and let it pass, and laughing, said, "There, Tom, I knew you would not let it stop in the fire."

"Well, I would, but these Mexicans couldn't understand, and I did not want to blow them up. Now let us both be sensible and sit down and smoke."

There were no further words about it, but we were ever after fast and confidential friends, and he never again called me a greenhorn.

That night he gave me his confidence, and explained the reason for his always choosing Fournia​a to accompany him whenever he went hunting or was called to leave the train in hunting strange animals. He said Fournia was jealous of him (but without reason), and shot at him from the window of [a] house while passing one night, but he never let on that he suspected him of it. And when he was making preparations to leave Carondelet, Fournia applied for employment; but a friend had cautioned him not to employ him, as he had threatened to kill him on some hunting expedition.

Tom immediately went to his house and hired him, as he said, "Just to show him he was not smart enough to do it."

I do think Tom enjoyed his triumph more than he would the making of a thousand dollars. I always considered Thomas Leitensdorfer as a brave, honest,  p116 and trusted friend in any emergency, and I remember him with the highest respect and affection.

We arrived in Santa Fé after an absence of about three weeks, having traveled three hundred miles and sold between three hundred and fifty and four hundred dollars' worth of goods. I had seen now all the principal settlements, and after a thorough calculation of the resources of the country, I could not see much inducement to continue in the trade. But what could I do? My goods were unsold, and I owed for a part of them, which with my outfit would amount to about a thousand dollars. There was nothing to do but wait and see what would turn up.

Albert Speyer had arrived from the plains with his train and was about to leave for Chihuahua. About the first news from him was that the Navajo Indians had attacked him at Fray Cristóbal and run off one hundred and fifty mules, leaving him unable to move his train, and necessitating the purchase of a third set of teams. Connelly and Glasgow were expected in two or three days, and George P. Doan​159 was waiting the arrival of Glasgow, with whom he had been intimate in St. Louis, desiring to accompany him to Chihuahua. He had come to Bent's Fort with their train, and after a short stay there, came to Santa Fé with Mr. Charles Bent.

He [Doan] had been presented with an old rifle by Messrs. Bent, St. Vrain and Company, and wished me to trade with him for a double-barreled shotgun I had. The trade proposed was not very enticing, but in consideration  p117 of his anxiety for the trade and the history of the rifle (given me [him?] by Mr. Bent), I finally accommodated him by an even swap, and have never regretted it. Many years before, a trapper employed by the American Fur Company had taken it on a trapping expedition in the Blackfeet country. The Indians killed him and took his gun. Years after, Messrs. Bent, St. Vrain and Company sent an expedition to that nation on a trapping and trading trip, and traded for the old rifle. At the fort it was re‑stocked (full-length), and altered from flint-lock to percussion, and kept at the fort for a target rifle for several years. In 1846 I had it newly grooved, half stocked, and [added] a new lock and breech pin, and have carried it in all my travels in the trade except my last trip. In 1849 a man from Boonville, Missouri, on his way to California, came into the store when I was cleaning it up, and on looking at it, said:

"My father made that gun. Thereº are his initials. It must be very old, for he has been dead many years and did no work of that kind for many of the last years of his life. He made all his guns by hammering out the barrels by hand, and boring them and creasing them in the same way."

This is the history of my old and trusty friend, companion, and bedfellow, who never went back on me — "Old Blackfoot" — the name it was known by at the fort and which I have always retained.

Everything continued in the same dull routine in our mess — waiting and hoping, no business, no news from "the States," and nothing particularly interesting or exciting until early in February, [when] a mail arrived bringing news of the presidential election which  p118 took place the November previous. It was news, and oh, such news! James K. Polk was elected, and Henry Clay defeated. Seldom in my life have I passed a more sad and melancholy night. I was a Whig — in 1840 cast my first vote for General Harrison, and holloed myself hoarse hurrahing for Harrison and shouting for "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." And Henry Clay was now my idol, and defeated by such a man as Jim Polk! My Country! Oh, my Country! What are we coming to, when my countrymen can make such a choice! To wait three months for news, and then get such news, was more than I could sleep over.

We began talking about future prospects, and what was best to do. To do business, we must have new goods. But with me it was a question of how my credit would stand the strain of asking for more until I could pay for the goods I had. On taking account of cash and stock, I found I had cash to pay for my outfit and a part of my indebtedness; but inventorying goods on hand at a fair valuation, I could see no profits beyond my mule, saddle, and bridle, and "Old Blackfoot." The question for me to decide was whether it was better to remain until all my goods were disposed of and lose another year, or to go in and try my luck and credit for another trip. I decided to take the chances and try again, and began preparations for leaving. I had not yet learned to talk much Spanish, but could understand enough; so I thought I could sell my own goods if I had credit enough to buy them.

On March 3, 1845, about 2 o'clock P.M., three of us started for "the States" by way of Taos, the balance of the company going with two wagons by way of Las Vegas.º We were going to meet them at the Moro river and  p119 take the Ratón route for "the States." We rode to Pojuaque and stopped for the night at the house of a Mexican, and [had] the usual accommodations at Mexican houses: chile colorado, frijoles,​160 tortillas, and atole, using the floor for a table, and the jerga161 (carpet) for a tablecloth. The tortillas [were] brought in on a napkin, and the atole in earthen dishes made by the Indians, and no spoons, forks, or knives, except our own butcher knives, using fingers for forks, and tortillas for spoons. Our beds were wool mattresses, with pillows of the same; [and there were] no sheets but the common Mexican blanket. Yet we enjoyed our supper and rested well.

The next morning at breakfast I found myself without much appetite, but supposed the change in rations and excitement of being on my way to "the States" had produced the effect. We traveled that day to Embudo and stopped at the house of an old Frenchman, and were very cordially received and entertained. The first thing on entering the house, a bottle of Taos whiskey and aguardiente162 were set out, of which we all partook with a gusto. And when supper was announced, we  p120 all had good appetites and ate heartily — rested well, and breakfasted on a sand-hill crane I had killed the day before and brought along. Crossing the creek, we immediately ascended the mountain — and a long, winding, and steep ascent [it was]. We footed it in Indian file, each driving our [his] mule ahead of him. Arrived at the top, we mounted, rode for some distance by a comparatively level path, and had a good time for rest and reflection.

For some reason I began to think how much better I had relished my breakfast that morning than the morning previous, and to question myself why it was. "Was I sick yesterday, and well today? No, I was not sick, but had no appetite. Why?" Something whispered: "Aguardiente! What? Liquor! Can't you breakfast without your grog? Well, Webb, you have got to a pretty pass. If you can't breakfast without your grog, you shall starve, for no more grog do you get till you arrive in 'the States.' "

And I stuck to it. [I] breakfasted light in Taos and Moro and a few days in camp, but crossed the plains without grog; and although for many days all the meals were light, no grog was used by me to stimulate an appetite or as a substitute for short rations of food. . .

We traveled that day to Taos and stopped at the house of that ever hospitable and kind old gentleman, Don Carlos Beaubien, where we spent a couple of days; and then started to meet the company by way of Moro town, and spent the night with Mr. Lucien Maxwell. The next day we joined the company near the Moro  p121 river and started by the Ratón route. E. Leitensdorfer was the captain, or leader, of the company, and Mr. C. C. Branham and myself agreed with him to board us and our mules, and haul our beds and "possible sacks"​b for forty dollars each. So we had nothing to do with laying in provisions or forage for the trip, and supposed everything was liberally provided.

We found no buffalo and but little game before reaching Bent's Fort, and rations of meat were getting short; but [we] supposed we could buy dried meat at the fort to last us two or three days till we should get to buffalo. But in this [we] were disappointed. They were also on short rations, and we made haste to get along. About fifty miles below the fort we killed a fat cow, but neglected to take all the meat, as we were sure of finding plenty farther along as needed. And this was the last and only chance we had to get meat on the trip, except a poor old bull near Walnut creek, which we killed and took the tongue and what little meat there was. He was so poor he could not run nor hardly walk. We all did our best at hunting, but not a buffalo, elk, antilope, or deer could we get; and even the prairie dogs laughed at our calamity and stayed in their holes. We had corn which was laid in for the mules, but we [were] compelled to deny the mules their rations and use it ourselves. The night guards would boil it. And we had boiled corn without grease, salt, or other seasoning, and coffee without sugar, for breakfast, and boiled, unsifted flour for supper. The ration of flour gradually lessened along the journey, until the last ten days the allowance of flour for supper was reduced to three pints for seventeen men. At Cottonwood creek​163 three men left the company and went ahead, which gave us a  p122 little extra ration, but not enough to be noticed. We did not think of suffering to starvation, but [for] there was but little time; but we were hungry enough not to disdain anything eatable. And we were also very [in]considerate of the rights and feelings of others, as I think a certain degree of hunger makes a person cross enough to fight on small provocation.

[We] arrived at the Lone Elm,​164 fourteen miles from French's​165 (the first house in Missouri), and camped for the night. The next morning I started ahead of the train by a cut‑off and bought provisions for breakfast, and took to camp on the "Blue,"​166 waiting for the arrival of the train. I bought a ham [that] weighed about twenty pounds, four and a half dozen eggs, flour, potatoes, and lard for shortening, sugar for our coffee, etc. We ate all the ham and eggs, and all of the other provisions we could hold. After a smoke and a short rest Branham, myself, and a man we called Muggins went to the house to settle, and they [Branham and Muggins] wanted to know if we could not get some buttermilk. The woman had just finished churning, and we told her to bring all she had. She brought a large white pitcher full — I think near or quite a gallon — and we passed around the pitcher till it was emptied. [We] settled and rode off — riding slowly. [On account of] the detention  p123 at the house, the train had got some two or three miles ahead of us, and I proposed to Branham to gallop and catch up.

He looked up with a peculiar wink and a don't care and satisfied yet suffering look, and said, "Black Bess can't gallop."

I challenged him to a trial with Dolly. And Muggins began bragging on his pony, until he [Branham] was induced to make the trial, when we found that we all could travel much faster on a walk than on a faster gait, and finally concluded to stop and rest. We could only rest by lying flat on our backs, which we did for an hour or two, and then started for the camp. [We] found all the men resting without cooking supper. And the next morning [we] started for Independence without breakfast, and did not get hungry after for the two days we remained there. We were about fifty days from Santa Fé to Independence.​167

The Author's Notes:

124 Santa Fé, the capital of New Mexico, was founded by Governor Pedro de Peralta some time between 1610 and 1614. Although an important northern outpost of the Spanish Empire in America, it was isolated and sluggish, unlike the lively mining towns to the south. It had a population of about three thousand in 1844. Like other New Mexican towns, its houses were one story high and built of adobe, or large mud bricks dried in the sun. To many Americans entering Santa Fé for the first time, this method of construction gave the town the appearance of a group of brickkilns. House Ex. Docs., 30 cong., 1 sess., no. 41, p34; Herbert E. Bolton, The Spanish Borderlands (New Haven, 1921), 177‑187; George P. Hammond, Dson Juan de Oñate and the Founding of New Mexico (Santa Fé, 1927), 180; Lansing B. Bloom, "When was Santa Fé Founded?" New Mexico Historical Review, IV.188‑194; Gregg, op. cit., XIX.255, 283.

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125 About October 20. Daily Picayune, Feb. 8, 1845.

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126 Compare Kendall, op. cit., I.338‑340; Bloom, "New Mexico under Mexican Administration," Old Santa Fé, II.230.

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127 James Conklin was one of the first Anglo-americans to settle in New Mexico. He was born in Canada about 1800, and at an early age removed to St. Louis. In 1825 he journeyed to New Mexico, and lived there until his death in 1883. J. H. Watts, Santa Fé Affairs, MS., Bancroft Library; Senate Reports, 59 cong., 2 sess. no. 156, p336; Prince, Concise History of New Mexico, 154; Twitchell, Leading Facts of New Mexican History, II.102.

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128 Marsh, or meadow, on the east side of Santa Fé. Ralph E. Twitchell, Old Santa Fé (Santa Fé, 1925), 92.

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129 Alhóndiga, or public granary.

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130 Small rickety shops.

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131 "A small stream which used to flow down the present Water Street," Twitchell, Old Santa Fé, 329.

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132 Brandy.

Thayer's Note: More informatively, the author's own note, below.
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133 La castrense, or the military chapel, built in the form of a cross, was erected some time between 1717 and 1722. It was probably abandoned as a place of worship in the decade prior to Webb's arrival in Santa Fé. Twitchell, Old Santa Fé, 50; "Barreiro's Ojeada Sobre Nuevo Mexico" (Lansing B. Bloom, ed.), New Mexico Historical Review, III.85; W. H. H. Allison, "Santa Fé as it Appeared during the Winter of the Years 1857 and 1858," Old Santa Fé, II.177; W. H. H. Allison, "Santa Fé in 1846," ibid., II.395.

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134 Most Rev. John B. Lamy was born at Lempdes, France, October 11, 1814. At the age of twenty-five he came to the United States. In 1851 he removed to New Mexico, and resided there until his death, February 14, 1888. Twitchell, Old Santa Fé, 529.

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135 Governor James S. Calhoun transferred the military chapel to the Church in the latter part of August, 1851. Thereafter it was again used as a place of worship. "The Official Correspondence of James S. Calhoun" (Abel, ed.), 406‑412; Twitchell, The History of the Military Occupation of the Territory of New Mexico, 223; Davis, El Gringo, 166, 175.

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136 In 1859. Daily Missouri Republican, Mar. 26, 1859.

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137 A shop licensed to sell cigars.

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138 In New Mexico a fandango was not a particular type of dance, but any ordinary assembly where dancing was the principal amusement. A baile, or ball, was a fandango attended chiefly by the better classes. Sometimes there was no clear distinction between a baile and a fandango. Gregg, op. cit., XX.35‑36; Davis, El Gringo, 315. An American gave the following description of a baile, or fandango, in Santa Fé in 1839: "All dances or balls in Santa Fé are called Fandangos, at least by the Americans. Scrupulously republican in their amusements as well as their dealings, the Mexicans never exact a charge for admission into the ball room. There is generally an extra apartment where sweet-breads, Pasaº whiskey, and wine are sold at double prices, and this is the landlord's or landlady's remuneration for the use of the ball room. . . In the whole town there is but one house that has a boarded floor. . . This apartment with the boarded floor is the fashionable ball room, although the señoras entertain a decided predilection for the native soil on the ground of old use. In compliment to the American strangers then in Santa Fé, Governor Armijo gave a ball in this grand boarded saloon during our visit. All the beauty and fashion attended, and also all the rabble, for, true to their republican principles, none can be refused admission. The night was warm, the windows were open, the Americans threw down their hats carelessly, and the Spaniards walked off with them cautiously. The Governor's lady, Señora Armijo, led off the dance with one of the young American guests. . . The only music is a guitar and violin, and the same instruments are used for sacred music in the churches. Although there is little of elegance in their dances, yet about them there is a wildness and novelty truly enchanting to such young enthusiasts as we were. With all this unrestricted freedom of manners, they seldom quarrel, and the harmony of an evening's amusement is seldom broken unless by some imprudent conduct of the Americans themselves. Scarcely an evening of the week passes without a fandango in one part or other of the town, and the same faces will be seen at every one. It would seem as if the people could not exist without the waltz." Daily Evening Gazette, Feb. 20, 1840.

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139 James M. Giddings was born in Kentucky about 1812, and first engaged in the Santa Fé trade in 1835. Five years later he removed to Santa Fé, where he continued in business until 1853. In that year he established a ranch on the Pecos river near the present town of Fort Sumner, De Baca county, New Mexico. This ranch was one of the first — if not the first — in that part of the territory. There Giddings raised cattle, sheep, horses, and mules, all of which, he declared, kept "in good condition all winter without hay, from natural pasturage." He was still living on his ranch in June, 1865. Senate Reports, 39 cong., 2 sess., no. 156, pp342‑343; Daily Missouri Republican, Dec. 28, 1853; J. P. Dunn, Jr., Massacres of the Mountains (New York, 1886), 467.

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140 Ennis J. Vaughn, a native of Kentucky, migrated to Missouri when quite young. He came to New Mexico at least as early as 1833, and lived there until his death, May 15, 1854. "Integrity, honor, truth, and courage" were the qualities which, according to the Santa Fé Weekly Gazette, "endeared him to all who knew him best." Daily Missouri Republican, June 28, 1854. See also House Ex. Docs., 30 cong., 1 sess., no. 41, p483.

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141 John Scolly came to New Mexico in the thirties and opened a store in Santa Fé, where he built up a profitable business. In 1843 he became one of the principal proprietors of the land grant on the Mora river which was later known as the Scolly Grant. There he established a ranch, though he continued to reside in Santa Fé until his death, April 11, 1847. House Reports, 36 cong., 1 sess., no. 321, pp162‑182; Weekly Reveille, June 7, 1847; Read, Illustrated History of New Mexico, 411‑414.

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142 Manuel Álvarez was born in Spain about 1794. He left his native land in 1818, and in the following year came to Mexico. In 1824 he journeyed from Missouri to New Mexico and began his career as a Santa Fé trader. Opening a store in Santa Fé, he continued in business there for over thirty years, building up one of the largest mercantile establishments in New Mexico. He was appointed United States consul at Santa Fé on March 21, 1835. Though never receiving an exequatur from the Mexican government, he performed some of the duties of his office, 1839‑1841, being permitted to do so through "an extension of courtesy" by the governor of New Mexico. He was appointed commercial agent of the United States at Santa Fé, March 18, 1846, but received his commission after General Kearny's entrance into Santa Fé. On June 20, 1850, when New Mexico's "State" constitution was ratified by a popular vote, he was elected lieutenant-governor of New Mexico; and, in the absence of Governor Henry Connelly, Álvarez served for a time as acting-governor. He died in Santa Fé, July 5, 1856. Manuel Álvarez to Manuel Armijo, Aug. 21, 1839, Memorandum Book of Manuel Álvarez, MS., Historical Society of New Mexico; Guadalupe Miranda to Manuel Álvarez, Sept. 22, 1841, Álvarez MS., Benjamin M. Read Collection, Santa Fé; Manuel Álvarez to the congress of the United States, Feb., 1842, Álvarez MSS., ibid.; B. Davis to T. B. Catron, Oct. 18, 1913, MS., ibid.; Daily Missouri Republican, July 8, Aug. 23, 1850, Aug. 29, 1856; Santa Fé Weekly Gazette, Oct. 4, 1856; Read, Illustrated History of New Mexico, 395-402; Lansing B. Bloom, "Ledgers of a Santa Fé Trader," El Palacio, XIV.133‑136.

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143 William T. Smith was living in Santa Fé at least as early as 1840. Three years later he became one of the proprietors of the land grant on the Mora river. In 1845 he formed a partner­ship with Norris Colburn, the firm being known as Colburn & Smith. American Merchants in Santa Fé to Manuel Álvarez, Dec. 8, 1840, Álvarez MSS., Benjamin M. Read Collection, Santa Fé; House Reports, 36 cong., 1 sess., no. 321, pp162‑182; Weekly Reveille, Jan. 4, 1846.

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144 Pedro Bautista Pino was the only delegate New Mexico ever had in the Spanish Cortes. He was elected to that position, August 11, 1810. Bancroft, History of Arizona and New Mexico, 287‑288.

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145 Rich. Consult Gregg, op. cit., XIX.304, 323; "Barreiro's Ojeada Sobre Nuevo Mexico" (Bloom, ed.), New Mexico Historical Review, III.147.

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146 Dr. Henry Connelly was born in Virginia, and moved to Kentucky at an early age. In 1824 he made his first journey from Missouri to New Mexico and engaged in the Santa Fé trade. Later he opened a place of business in Chihuahua, where he resided for about twenty years. Shortly after the Mexican war he returned to New Mexico and made his home on a ranch near Peralta. He was elected governor of the "state" of New Mexico on June 20, 1850, but, owing to his absence from New Mexico and to the abortive nature of this government, he never entered upon the duties of his office. Continuing in business, he established stores at Santa Fé, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and Peralta. In 1861 Abraham Lincoln appointed him governor of the territory of New Mexico, an office which he filled with credit until his death in July, 1866. Senate Reports, 39 cong., 2 sess., no. 156, p332; Missouri Intelligencer (Franklin, Mo.), June 5, 1824; Daily Missouri Republican, July 8, 1849, Aug. 19, 1850; William E. Connelley, Doniphan's Expedition and the Conquest of New Mexico and California (Topeka, 1907), 276‑282; Davis, El Gringo, 356.

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147 Hut.

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148 Pine kernels.

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149 Willow Bar was in the northeastern part of the present Cimarrón county, Oklahoma, Old Santa Fé, III.284.

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150 In September, 1844, Albert Speyer left Independence with twenty-five wagon loads of merchandise for the Santa Fé trade. One night, while encamped on the Cimarrón river near Willow Bar, he was overtaken by a snowstorm. His mules "crowded all around a little fire which he had kindled, but the cold was so intense that most of them died the same night; and others, in a state of starvation, commenced eating the ears of the dead ones." In later years it was customary for traders who camped near this place to amuse themselves by arranging and rearranging the disjointed skeletons of the mules. "When I last saw them," wrote one traveler, "the leg‑bones were laid in rows, having been placed with great regularity, while the skulls formed a ghastly circle upon the ground." George D. Brewerton, "In the Buffalo Country," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, XXV.457‑458. See also Daily Missouri Republican, Mar. 6, 1845; Wislizenus, op. cit., 13‑14.

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151 Edward James Glasgow was born in Belleville, Illinois, June 7, 1820. In July, 1840, he was appointed United States consul at Guaymas, Mexico. Three years later he went into business in Chihuahua and became the partner of Dr. Henry Connelly. In March, 1846, Glasgow was appointed commercial agent of the United States at Chihuahua, a position which he resigned, October 23, 1848. Thereafter he engaged in business in St. Louis, where he died, December 7, 1908. Julian K. Glasgow, Statement, Jan., 1927; Daily Missouri Republican, Jan. 13, 1844; Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis (William Hyde and Howard L. Conard, editors, New York, 1899), II.900.

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152 "The settlements up the river from the capital are collectively known as Río‑Arriba, those down the river as Río‑Abajo." Gregg, op. cit., XIX.284.

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153 Four caravans arrived at Santa Fé from Independence in 1844. They were in charge of Samuel C. Owens, Albert Speyer, Connelly & Glasgow, and Bent, St. Vrain & Co. George R. Gibson, editor of the Independence Journal, estimated that these caravans consisted of ninety‑two wagons, one hundred and sixty men, seven hundred and eighty mules, and sixty oxen, and carried merchandise that cost about $200,000. Gibson based his estimate upon information obtained from prominent Santa Fé traders. Independence Journal, Sept. 12, 19, Oct. 24, 1844; George R. Gibson to Charles Gibson, Oct. 22, 1873, Gibson MSS., Missouri Historical Society.

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154 in April, 1843, Antonio José Chávez, a New Mexican trader who was traveling from Santa Fé to Independence, was robbed and murdered near the Santa Fé trail at a point which is within the present limits of Rice county, Kansas. The deed was perpetrated by John McDaniel and his band of western Missourians, most of whom were subsequently tried for murder and larceny. Of the eight convicted of murder, John McDaniel and Joseph Brown alone were executed. The others — Dr. Joseph R. DePrefontaine, David McDaniel, Thomas Towson, Nathaniel H. Morton, John A. McCormack, and William J. Harris — were pardoned by the president of the United States. Daily Missouri Republican, Sept. 26, 1843, Apr. 29, Aug. 17, Oct. 23, 1844; Gregg, op. cit., XX.227‑229.

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155 Charles Bent, well known throughout the West, was born in Charleston, Virginia (now West Virginia), November 11, 1799. He removed to St. Louis in 1806. As early as 1823 he traveled to the headwaters of the Missouri river in the employ of the St. Louis Missouri Fur Company. Making his first journey to New Mexico in 1829, he engaged in the Santa Fé trade, and shortly afterward settled at Taos. He was one of the founders of the firm of Bent & St. Vrain, the predecessor of Bent, St. Vrain & Co. General Stephen W. Kearny appointed him governor of New Mexico on September 22, 1846. On the following January 19, during the Taos Revolt, he was assassinated. Missouri Intelligencer and Boon's Lick Advertiser (Fayette, Mo.), July 17, 1829; Daily Missouri Republican, Feb. 27, 1847; Allen H. Bent, The Bent Family in America (Boston, 1900), 121; "Diary of James Kennerly, 1823‑1826" (Edgar B. Wesley, ed.), Missouri Historical Society, Collections, VI.69; Grinnell, op. cit., 29; Bancroft, History of Arizona and New Mexico, 426, 432.

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156 On August 16, 1842, the republic of Texas commissioned Colonel Charles A. Warfield to commit certain acts of hostility against New Mexico and its trade. For an account of Warfield's activities, see William C. Binkley, The Expansionist Movement in Texas, 1836‑1850 (Berkeley, 1925), 106‑116.

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157 For an account of Peña Blanca, see Paul A. F. Walter, "Peña Blanca and the Early Inhabitants of the Santa Fé Valley," El Palacio, III.17‑41.

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158 Albuquerque, originally named San Francisco Xavier de Alburquerque, was founded in February, 1706. "Noticias que da Juan Candelaria Vecino de Esta Villa de San Francisco Xauier de Alburquerque (Isidor Armijo, translator), New Mexico Historical Review, IV.274‑275.

Thayer's Note: Alburquerque with that extra r, as printed, is correct.
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159 George P. Doan, a resident of St. Louis, was born in the British West Indies. His father, J. Parker Doan, was the senior member of the firm of Doan, King & Co., wholesale dry goods merchants of St. Louis. Though a lawyer by profession, George P. Doan also clerked in his father's store. From 1845 to 1848 he was Webb's partner in the Santa Fé trade. Weekly Reveille, Jan. 4, 1847; St. Louis Directory, 1848, p72.

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160 Beans. Kendall wrote: "Frijoles, a species of dark beans of large size, stewed or fried in mutton fat and not too highly seasoned, wind up the substantial part of a dinner, breakfast, or supper, and seldom is this favorite and national dish omitted. In fact, frijoles, especially to the lower order of Mexicans, are what potatoes are to the Irish — they can live very well so long as they have them in abundance, and are lost without them. A failure of the bean crop in Mexico would be looked upon as a national calamity." Kendall, op. cit., II.34. Frijoles were boiled a long time, and then fried in grease and flavored with onions and garlic.

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161 A kind of coarse woolen cloth or stuff, with a shaggy nap on one side.

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162 "Mezcal, or aguardiente," according to Bartlett, "is a spirituous liquor of great strength, much more so than our strongest whiskey. It is obtained from the bulb or root of the maguay, or agave mexicana, and is the common alcoholic drink throughout the country" [Mexico]. In Paso del Norte aguardiente, or brandy, was made from grapes. This brandy was of a light color, and was known in New Mexico as "Pass whiskey." It was probably the latter kind of aguardiente that Webb drank. John Russell Bartlett, Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua (New York, 1854), I.186, 290‑291; Gregg, op. cit., XX.156.

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163 The Santa Fé trail crossed Cottonwood creek, now called Cottonwood river, near the present town of Durham, Marion county, Kansas. Kansas State Historical Society, Eighteenth Biennial Report, 111.

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164 Lone Elm, or Round Grove, was located near the present town of Olathe, Johnson county, Kansas. Ibid., 117.

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165 French's, located in Missouri, was on or near the western boundary of the state and a short distance northwest of the present Martin City, Jackson county, Missouri. Daily Missouri Republican, Apr. 27, 1847.

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166 Big Blue river. One branch of the Santa Fé trail crossed this river west of the present village of Hickman Mills, Jackson county, Missouri. Ralph E. Twitchell, Historical Sketch of Governor William Carr Lane, Historical Society of New Mexico, Publications, no. 20, p24.

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167 Most of the traders left Santa Fé about March 1, 1845, and arrived at Independence on the following April 16 and 17, making the journey in somewhat less than fifty days. While in Independence they stayed at the Independence House, owned by F. F. Hansford. Daily Missouri Republican, Apr. 28, 1845.

Thayer's Notes:

a One of the very few personal names not footnoted by the editor; I suspect he couldn't find anything. Neither can I, but I'm pretty sure this odd spelling in fact stands for the common French name Fournier. The Carondelet area was heavily French at the time.

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b Ruxton, Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains, p243:

[A trapper's] equipment consists usually of two or three horses or mules — one for saddle, the others for packs — and six traps, which are carried in a bag of leather called a trap-sack. Ammunition, a few pounds of tobacco, dressed deer-skins for mocassins, etc., are carried in a wallet of dressed buffalo-skin, called a possible-sack. His "possibles" and "trap-sack" are generally carried on the saddle-mule when hunting, the others being packed with the furs.

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