Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Sponsors, Series Information, Copyright

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

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Introduction - From Civilization to Sundown: The Santa Fe Trail Begins

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pp. 1-6

It should be easy to describe the Santa Fe Trail: it was a nineteenth-century commercial road stretching from Missouri to New Mexico and beyond. Depending on the route taken, the trail was hundreds of miles of rolling, flat, dusty, wet, hot, dry, green, or sandy track crossing Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico. It was home to...

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Chapter 1 - The Missouri Frontier: “To the Boonslick, to be sure!”

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pp. 7-29

Frontier life was never simple , comfortable, or secure, and it took skill, strength, and imagination to survive. The men and women who settled along the Missouri Trail had very different stories: some were “dirt poor,” arriving in the Boonslick with only a wagon, ...

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Chapter 2 - “As far as we wish to go”: William Becknell Leads the Way

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pp. 30-56

A trail brings people , commerce , and places together. It shows the way. It suffers from bad weather. It has a name and a character. A trail is in some ways, alive. And if necessity was the mother of the Santa Fe Trail and trade, then William Becknell was its...

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Chapter 3 - Life on the Trail

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pp. 57-82

A Santa Fe trader stepped onto the trail and found an even more rough and tumble new world than the frontier. The trip from Franklin to Westport was roughly 150 miles, at least a week’s travel in good weather. Once a trader was on the prairies, he was alone for months with only the men of his caravan for companionship. A...

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Chapter 4 - Wagons and Merchandise on the Missouri Trail

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pp. 83-103

Mexico was ripe for trade long before Missouri traders began to trudge into Santa Fe with packsaddles and hope. Spain had forced generations of New Mexicans to trade only within Spanish-held territories and, particularly, with the southern Mexican provinces. But these provinces lay a thousand miles and more...

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Chapter 5 - The F-A-R W-E-S-T: Missouri Trail Towns

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pp. 104-121

The Santa Fe Trail was never a single trace, track, or path. Men and wagons, like water, find their own levels and directions. Like the Missouri River, the trail had cutoffs, braids, and alternate routes. Arrow Rock could be reached by traveling west across the prairie from Franklin or by crossing the river at Boonville and then...

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Conclusion - The End of the Trail

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pp. 122-126

The Missourians who helped raise the Santa Fe trade from infant to maturity were made of determination and grit. Because the Santa Fe Trail was a commercial venture, more men than women traveled it in the early years. The women settlers of the Boonslick stayed behind to tend the farms while the men set out for...

Appendix - The Language of the Missouri Trail: A Glossary

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pp. 127-138

For More Reading

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pp. 139-140

Index

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pp. 141-144

About the Author, Back Cover

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pp. 158-160