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Kansas History - Winter 1996/1997

(Vol. 19, No. 4)

Kansas History, Winter 1996/1997

The Santa Fe Trail: Special Issue

Thomas E. Chavez, "A Road of Culture and Commerce: Introduction."

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The director of the Museum of New Mexico, Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, New Mexico, provides the introduction to this special issue commemorating the trail's 175th Anniversary.

Michael L. Olsen, "Old Ruts and New: The History of Santa Fe Trail History."

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The consequence and romance associated with the Santa Fe Trail has captivated Americans since before it closed about 1880. Professor Olsen, New Mexico Highlands University, offers here a fascinating historiographical essay that examines the writings of both "those who would celebrate the trail and those who seek to interpret its significance."

Sterling Evans, "Eastward Ho! The Mexican Freighting and Commerce Experience Along the Santa Fe Trail."

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The Santa Fe Trail, which spanned some eight hundred miles of prairie, plains and desert, was "a conduit for commerce, not settlement." In his fine contribution, Mr. Evans, a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Kansas, rejects the traditional, ethnocentric interpretive approach and examines "the Hispanic contribution to the eastward expansion of ideas and innovations."

Leo E. Oliva, editor, "'A Faithful Account of Everything': Letters from Katie Bowen on the Santa Fe Trail, 1851."

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The wife of army captain Isaac Bowen, Katie Bowen traveled the trail from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to Fort Union, New Mexico. The letters presented here cover mainly the Kansas portion of the trip and, as Dr. Oliva, a noted trail and frontier military historian, tells us, "are informative, affectionate, and delightful to read."

Harry C. Myers, "Banditti on the Santa Fe Trail: The Texas Raid of 1843."

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Rivalries and resentment between the still newly independent Republic of Texas and Mexico spelled trouble for the Santa Fe Trail. The author, superintendent of Fort Union, tells a story of murder, intrigue, and a military confrontation between the U.S. Army and a large contingent of Texas troops.

In Memoriam: Donald R. McCoy

Volume 19 Index