By James H. Simpson
In 1849, the Corps of Topographical Engineers commissioned Lieutenant James H. Simpson to adopt the 1st survey of Navaho kingdom in present-day New Mexico. Accompanying Simpson used to be an army strength commanded by way of Colonel John M. Washington, despatched to barter peace with the Navaho. A willing observer, Simpson saved a magazine that supplied helpful info at the party's interactions with Indians and likewise in regards to the land's positive aspects, together with very important pueblo ruins at Chaco Canyon and Canyon de Chelly. His cautious observations knowledgeable next army expeditions, emigrant trains, the choice of Indian reservations, and the charting of a transcontinental railroad. Editor Frank McNitt discusses the expedition's lasting value to the advance of the West, and his learn is enriched by way of illustrations and maps via artists Richard and Edward Kern. army historian Durwood Ball contributes a brand new foreword.
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Extra resources for Navajo Expedition: Journal of a Military Reconnaissance from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the Navvaho Country Made in 1849
Conard, Uncle Dick Wootton, 200. " Wirtz prefaces the remarks quoted here by relating circumstances of the disaster that befell Fr&mont7s party a few months before in the San Juan Mountains. Favour, in Old Bill Williams (205-207), relied solely upon Wirtz, allowing himself to be misled, and in turn so misleading others who since have written on the same episode. Several documents among the Fort Sutter Papers in the Huntington Library collection, quoted or referred to below, bear on the matter without doing much to illuminate it.
On the return to Fort Smith, while scouting a ravine off the main trail, he was met and led off by Indians, probably Comanches, and was killed. He was lvi Introduction scalped first; the troops later found his stripped and mangled body sprawled down among the rocks. Two days west of Cerro Tucumcari, on June 19, Captain Marcy met in full force the Indians who had been lurking behind the train and for whom he had presents and a reminder of their treaty promises. 32 One by one or in pairs they rode up to the encampment, until by noon they numbered some fifty or sixty warriors.
His object was to discover a central route for a transcontinental railroad connecting St. Louis with the Pacific Coast-a dream that was entirely reasonable, providing that a route could be found over the high barrier of the south-central Rocky Mountains. The balance between reasonableness and disaster lay in Frkmont's timetable. A winter passage of the Rockies, if not impossible, most certainly would be hazardous. This, with his pre- Introduction vious experience in these mountains, Frkmont knew.
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