Skip to main content

We will keep fighting for all libraries - stand with us!

tv   Santa Fe Trail Brides  CSPAN  August 20, 2021 2:50pm-3:56pm EDT

2:50 pm
senate minority leader mitch mcconnell shares what is on his reading list. then at 2:00 p.m. eastern, author discussions on afghanistan including wesley morgan with his book, the hardest place. the american military in afghas valley. national security analyst peter burgen talks about his book, the rise and fall of osama bin laden. and from freedom fest libertarian institute director scott hearten hardens the war on terror his book, enough already, time to end the war on terrorism. watch american history tv and book tv every weekend on c-span 3 and find a full schedule on your program guide or visit santa fe trail association co-founder joy poole discusses the experience of young women who traveled along the more than
2:51 pm
800-mile long santa fe trail with their husbands. she explores their time on the trail as well as their lives once they arrived in the southwest. the kansas city public library hosted this event and provided the video. >> it is my pleasure to introduce our speaker this afternoon who joins us from new mexico. joy is returning missouri valley sunday speaker. in 2019 she gave her talk over the book over the santa fe trail over mexico, the travel biographies of dr. miller. at that time she announced she was researching first-hand accounts of young women who traveled the santa fe trail poole currently serves as deputy
2:52 pm
librarian for the new mexico state library. previously she was director of the el camino real international heritage center in new mexico and a music director for the colorado historical society. poole has devoted much of her career to studying santa fe trail history. in 1986 she helped organize the first symposium of santa fe trail in california. simply put she's an authority on trail history which is very much a part of kansas city's early history as a frontier town. thank you for being here, joy, and i will turn it over to you. >> well, thank you and welcome, everyone. i almost feel given the topic
2:53 pm
and the fact we have descendants in our viewing audience maybe you can think about hearing the strains in the bridle march and it might be appropriate for me to say please rise. during this presentation i'm going to provide you a brief biography of the brides who traveled the santa fe trail and the stories are from their memoirs, diaries, reminisces and letters. first let me give you a story about the santa fe trail trade. after the mexican independence the santa fe trail evolved as an international trade route linking the u.s. with santa fe in northern new mexico.
2:54 pm
traveling in large groups for protection as they crossed over indian territory. cargo frighted west consisted mainly of manufactured cloth like silks, linens, calicos, all kind of sewing notions as well as iron tools that the people of new mexico needed. i know many of you in missouri have heard about the good old missouri mule. the commerce generated by trade in the 1850s was estimated at over 5 million. and by 1860 some 10 tons of freight were going across the trail pulled by 6,000 mules,
2:55 pm
over 25,000 oxen, 3,000 wagons and employing some 10,000 men. i will say that the majority of the brides passed through and/or departed from independence on their santa fe trail honeymoon. so let me tell you about the very first bride. in 1987, the year congress designated the santa fe trail a national historic trail, a local historian here in santa fe spotted a headline in an old new mexico newspaper that said "first white child born in new mexico." well, it caught her attention, but all the historians here in santa fe said, oh, you can't believe everything you read in those old newspapers.
2:56 pm
but the person persevered and she verified that from an 1880s texas census that a cattleman who was visiting santa fe, his birthplace indeed had been born in new mexico. and as the story unfolded one fact remained clear that mary donahoe has eluded historians. she was the daughter of dr. james and lucy dodson, and when she was a teenager the family moved to missouri just south of columbia. there she met william and in november 1831 they were married in boone county apparently by the justice of the peace. within a year a daughter was born to them. and shortly after his daughter's birth william started selling
2:57 pm
off his properties there in columbia to purchase inventory to trade so when they joined the annual spring caravan over the santa fe trail he had something to trade. they arrived in santa fe in august 1833. and i will say that members of the caravan had elected charles bet as their captain who alone was freighting $40,000 worth of cargo across the trail. she and her 9-month old baby were accompanied by 183 men, 93 wagons and there was even a military group captained by
2:58 pm
captain wickman and 44 soldiers who were ordered to accompany the caravan as far as arkansas to the lower crossing of the arkansas, which at that time i might add the arkansas river was the international border of -- between mexico and the united states. during the four years mary was in santa fe, she learned all kinds of hotel management skills. she was organizing employees to cook and clean the exchange hotel kulsmers they had. and she was described as having energy and a commanding spirits. or this day and age leadership skills. two more children were born to them and during their years in santa fay their hotel business was quite profitable. but with three children underfoot and the hotel to run she was way too busy to leave
2:59 pm
any journal recording the joys and/or hardships of living on the santa fe trail. i will say that surely mary and her husband william learned to speak spanish since it was the predominant language here in santa fe at the time. then in 1837 two events occurred which led to the them departing santa fe. the first was that william learned that three american women were being ransomed. they had been taken the previous year and had spent a year and a half with them. and soon very much committed to securing their freedom at any cost and returning these captive women to their families in missouri and in texas. but the next event that occurred
3:00 pm
was in august of 1837 when the new mexico governor was assassinated during a rebellion. and i will say that that rebellion caused a great deal of apprehension and unrest among the foreigners. they banded together because they thought the rebellion was going to escalate, and they barricaded their stores in anticipation of -- in anticipation of retaliation. fortunately nothing happened, but still out of safety, concerns for his family and with the goal of returning the captives to their family he decided to leave new mexico. he left so quickly he had to return a year later, and then he sold the exchange hotel, disposed of his merchandise, sold all their mules and horses, and then he returned to missouri where he took his family to
3:01 pm
texas and they operated the very successful donahough house. she lived a fairly long life passing away in 1880 at the age of 72. now, our next bride is susan shelby magoffin who's the first woman to write an account of her journey on the santa fe trail. she was the granddaughter of the first governor of kentucky, isaac shelby. samuel took his bride, susan, on a honeymoon to new york. but while he was there he purchased merchandise for his next trading expedition
3:02 pm
therefore giving susan, if you will, an extended honeymoon on the santa fe trail. for the previous two decades samuel and his brother james had engaged in trade on the santa fe trail, and they had a very lucrative business and they were very well-connected. they arrived in independence where susan started her audio and indicated these were going to be her travelers in mexico commencing on june 1846. on friday 12th she announced that my story tells a story rather different than ever before, the curtain rises now with a new scene. this book of travel is act 2 literally and truly.
3:03 pm
while they were there in independence samuel purchased the cargo for the trade expedition that would be freighted on 14 big wagons pulled by six yoke each and you could tell they were big wagons. i can tell you when her diary was first published in 1926 susan was thought by historians to be the first american woman to travel the trail. but as you just learned marrow dona hough traveled the trail before susan, and i'm sure other american women also traveled the trail even before susan. in 1846 her journal was written at a crucial time when the mex wn war was beginning and the army of the west had already started out on the trail before their caravan had started. but her journal does describe the excitement, the daily
3:04 pm
routines and the dangers of traveling the trail for over a year. and she was very good at observing in detail the cultural customs, the appearances of people and places. and once she arrived in mexico she records their movements as they moved from house to house and town to town. she learns spanish very quickly and she even learns the lingo, if you will, of the traders. she traveled in comfort. her husband had bought two dearborn carriages. among the travelers in the caravan was john knicks stanley who painted this very touching scene of samuel and susan on the trail. and throughout her diary she uses the term of endearment for her husband. and in english that translates
3:05 pm
to "my soul." she was also a wild game foodie. she wrote that such soup as we have made of the ribs, one of the most choice parts of the buffalo i never eat as equal in the best hotels of new york and philadelphia. and the sweetest butter and the most delicate oil i have ever tasted tiz not surpassed by the marrow taken from the thighbones of the buffalo. these western caravans as they traveled through the vast herds of buffalo grazing on the western shirt grassed prairies of western kansas supplied a lot of meat for these western
3:06 pm
caravans. when they arrived the army of the west was already there, and they were developing their strategy to launch their invasion into mexico. after six weeks of travel on the trail susan who apparently was pregnant and was probably also enduring morning sickness suffered a miscarriage which delayed their journey. when she arrived in new mexico she described the houses as genteel pig stylist. but she tempered her initial response by saying that within these places of apparent misery there dwells that peace of mind and contenement which princes and kings often desire but never found. the magoffins reached santa fe
3:07 pm
on august 31, 1846 and susan quickly became part of santa fe's so-called high society which in the months following the u.s. invasion consisted of an eclectic mix of american officers, wealthy anglotraders, elite hisanos and even some american visitor. they traveled on down arriving in modern day -- on february 17, 1847. and they stayed with a priest who was known for his hospitality to visitors and travelers along the trail. eventually the magoffins made it to -- where susan pregnant again
3:08 pm
contracted yellow fever. she survived that sickness, but her son that she delivered did not. they returned to the united states where two daughters were born. however, she died after the delivery of her second child. and at the age of 28 years old was buried there in st. louis, missouri. our next bride is rebecca cohen mayer. and by today's standards rebecca was considered a child bride. henry met rebecca when she was just a year old and seemed to take a fancy to henry from the very first. he would set her on his knee and she would tell him everything she knew. after that he called her his little wife. in between trade expeditions he never came without a present and
3:09 pm
he bought her her first doll and which was a very large doll and i might say a novelty at that time. when rebecca was 10 years old her father died and henry continued to visit rebecca and her mother. and when he visited, he would often help her with her german and her french languages. and in turn she would help him with his english and would often laugh at him when he would mispronounce an english word. henry had also learned spanish and rebecca had henry teach her spanish as well. the bridle wedding march was played for rebecca's ceremony. and as you can imagine all heads turned toward the stairs when she appeared there on june 20th, 1852. her wedding dress was a light shade of gray silk nearly white,
3:10 pm
and her vail was a very fine net with along with her dress trailed down the floor. they were married in cincinnati in a traditional jewish ceremony standing under the canopy. she had two bridesmaids, and her aunt fanny also played hymns of praise during the ceremony. for the week leading up to the wedding presents had arrived from all over the country and from germany where henry's family lived. and after the ceremony preparations were made for henry to take rebecca on her honeymoon over the santa fe trail. when she left her family urged her to write a diary. and here's a picture of rebecca as a young woman and then henry as a much older man on his 50th wedding anniversary to rebecca. he took her on a honeymoon with 50 men and 500 mules.
3:11 pm
can you imagine? he had started trading on the santa fe trail in 1838 with one wagon which gave him an initial profit of $1,000. and by the 1850s mayer and company were purchasing thousands of dollars of inventory and frighting their cargo on mules crossing over the santa fe trail. i will tell you that a couple years ago i was at the historical society and looking at a ledger of another santa fe trail merchant and discovered that henry was one of his customers. and throughout that whole ledger there's literally thousands and thousands of dollars worth of cargo that the merchant was selling him. they arrived there in independence, and rebecca says that our wagons are being loaded at wayne city landing, and our mules are out at grass in charge of our mexican boys.
3:12 pm
all together we have 500 mules, some of them never have been in the hardest before and there's a lot of swearing and confusion when the men begin to lasso the new mules and get a harness on them for the first time. i have never heard such a deafening roar, and i've never seen such an exciting -- i've never seen such an exciting scene. henry told me that he prefers mexicans for teamsters because they understand how to handle the mules better than any other class of men. they are cool and calm when danger threatens. most of the men speak english and are friendly, and they seem glad to see me. she continues on by saying, henry, i cannot understand how you can tell how much food it will require for all these men. henry smiles and responds. well, at first when i made this
3:13 pm
trip i ran short, but now i've made the trip often, and i know about what is required. i allow 50 pounds of flour and bacon for each man, 10 pounds of coffee, 20 pounds of sugar, some salt and we use many pounds of dried beans. and you can see there where she says that the beans are especially good the way that their mexican cook prepares them and that as soon as they camped the bean pot was the first thing he put onto the camp fire. henry went onto say he does give them as much coffee as they want always twice a day. it is wonderful how it refreshes them after great toll in cold, heat, rain or sunshine. and he also says they get considerable fresh meat as they go along and that they're all very good shots and there's plenty of buffalo, elk and antelope that's abundant.
3:14 pm
he also said that he never gave any of his men liquor unless they had gone through very hard work or they had been chilled in some manner. and even then he would only give brandy as a medicine. now, she continued in her diary in saying when i last wrote in my diary i mentioned that i had never seen an indian. but suddenly on august 20th she was terribly startled when the curtain of her ambulance were parted and she saw the painted face and bright feathers of an indian chief looking down at her. i was assured when i caught sight of my handsome husband who was standing immediately behind the indian, and i was certainly very proud of my husband for there was no sign of fear on his face as he stood there so tall and erect with his wonderful, big black eyes looking straight into mine. henry introduced me to the chief
3:15 pm
as his wife whereupon the chief said he would give him 20 horses for me, and with a hearty laugh henry told him, she was not for sale. by october 4, 1852 they arrived at barclay sport, and here they said they were resting for the entire day for the sake of the mules. henry bought some corn for them which they needed after their hard toil and the poor food of the withered grass that they had subsisted on. but they were very proud that so far they had not lost a single animal on their drove. from here they left the santa fe trail and continued down to mexico. and when they arrived at the custom house, henry's business with the custom house took six
3:16 pm
days, and it took so long because he had to translate the detailed invoice of his long stock into spanish. and the custom house officers took advantage of everything possible in settling the amount of the duty according to rebecca. she also said that some goods were entirely prohibited and that she had all the nice things that her mother and grandma had made for her, packed in her two trunks. and when she arrived she found that most of the things had been denounced as contraband. and she was certain that it had furnished the custom house authorities with a rich and elegant wardrobe for their wives free of cost. nevertheless, henry paid over $10,000 in duty so you can imagine how much cargo he was frighting across the trail. the mayers continued to have a
3:17 pm
very adventurous life and made fortunes and lost fortunes. after henry finished trading on the trail they went to san antonio until the civil war broke out, and then they left for europe where he visited his family in germany, and thain they moved to england where they lived in high society in london. unfortunately, henry's business partner made some bad financial decisions, and it was unbeknownst to henry. and he learned while they were living in england that his company was broke. the local people there in england offered to loan him money but he was too proud. and with $5,000 they moved to chicago, illinois, and in 1874 started all over again opening up more businesses. this is rebecca's headline when
3:18 pm
she died in the 1930s. it said pioneer woman of early trail days dies at 93. rebecca mayer, 93, who was a bride of 15 crossed the old santa fe trail and died yesterday afternoon in her home. she accompanied her husband, henry, a trader on horseback and by covered wagon to chihuahua, mexico from the start of the trail and independence missouri. on that trip she was surrounded by a buffalo herd and as she rode horseback was rescued by her husband and other members of the party through what they considered a miracle. subsequently she took a half a dozen other trips, a distance which took them four months to travel. it goes onto say that they had lived there, and i might add henry died in 1906 at the age of
3:19 pm
89. her memoirs and diaries and letters are important because i think it reveals the culturation of english europeans achieve social equity, acceptance and economic stability by joining the american middle-class, if you will. our next bride is mary mamie bier bernard. she spent her first years of her life in baltimore near her maternal grandparents. when she was about 10 years old the bernard family moved west to missouri and there her cousin william bernard and a.g. boone who was the grandson of daniel boone were business partners and neighbors. and you can see they had the most luxurious houses at that
3:20 pm
time in the area. now, boone was appointed indian agent and left for colorado. and so william had his uncle join him in the business and they operated the store together, and they prospered there on the santa fe trail. they were very successful. they gross over $260,000 from selling and loading freight onto some 2,000 wagons. mamie returned from west port to baltimore in 1860. however by the spring of 1861 the civil war had started, and as you know missouri was a slave state so to speak, and the bernards were southern
3:21 pm
sympathizers. in fact, mamie and her friends had gathered in a sewing circle to hand stiff and send to the confederate men enlisted in the confederacy. in the spring of 1862 -- and his mexican frighters traveled east on the trail to west port and arrived in a carriage pulled by a team of white horses in advance of his freight wagons. the arrival was very welcomed given the run rest that was occurring there in west port as a result of the war. he stopped and picked up mamie's father who was under great duress and that evening he begged the men to guard his family and he would give
3:22 pm
anything if his men would protect his family. and he was very diplomatic and he said of course he would provide his friend protection for his family. and he also asked -- mamie's father said he would pay any price for epiifamio to protect his family. and he asked for the hand of mamie in exchange for his men to protect the bernard family. you know, needless to say epiifamio didn't speak english and mamie did not speak spanish, and they courted each other using a translator. mamie was smittened with his affections and he often stopped and took her on rides in his stylish carriage pulled by his white horses.
3:23 pm
she described his spanish voice as being lyrical. on august 21st in 1862 they were married, and she looked up into his blue eyes and said "i do." the ceremony, i might add, was performed in the bernard home. and this is a bible that mamie's father gave to epiifamio. and if you look closely you can see an inscription there on her wedding band. he was also quite a showman and he arrived at the bernard house accompanied by his caravan of 26 wagons where each ox yoke was festooned with white satin ribbons, and his men all wore white rosettes. he presented a horse for his
3:24 pm
bride which had a saddle decorated with silver inlay, and it also had a white velveteen bridle. it really was something out of a fairy tale romance. he also gave a wedding gift to his bride which was a tea and coffee silver set engraved with their initials thus signified with their union. and this gorgeous set is passed down in the family and is cherished as a treasured heirloom. he had to leave his bride and return to new mexico with the freight he purchased, but he returned four months later. and when he returned the bernard family persuaded him to take mamie and her mother back to baltimore for the wedding of mamie's sister, kate. and while on that trip epifamio also had an opportunity to meet his eastern suppliers and to buy
3:25 pm
much needed equipment for his freight line. but upon his return to westport, mamie learned she was expecting their first child. and epifamio had to leave her there and resume his frighting business. he had contracts he had to honor or faced losing his whole business. his son pedro was born in july, and when he returned in august he was overjoyed to see his wife and his son, but he was also shocked because he saw armed troops on every street corner of west port. it was like a war zone. and it was no place for his wife and his son. fearing for his family he decided to take mamie and his son with him back to new mexico on his next trip. very soon gary's ten fright wagons were heading out pulled by ten large mules with over
3:26 pm
10,000 pounds of freight. now, their journey went fairly smoothly. when they reached the arkansas river she said that it took them two days for the train to cross the arkansas, and there was quite a jubilee when all were on the other side. the men sang and they had a glass of whiskey all around. the gary train arrived in las vegas, new mexico, where they decided to stay for a week and rest. i suspect that the wagon train continued on and delivered some merchandise to people in santa fe and albuquerque. they also traveled onto santa fe arriving there at the end of november and then onto albuquerque where they stayed two weeks again selling some more of their goods and attending balls where epifamio
3:27 pm
could introduce his bride to the leading wealthy families leading their ranches along the rio grande. they arrived in -- but the night before they arrived mamie was so busy unpacking her prettiest gown. she wanted to make a good impression, and it was from here that he ran the freighting business where he literally like the mayers won and lost business. in june 1864 he was awarded a u.s. military contract. it was the largest freighting contract awarded in new mexico at the time and amounted to $138,000. according to another historian, darus miller, in his book "soldiers and settlers" he
3:28 pm
described epifamio as being a good example of the hispanic capitalist who tapped into the military reservoir of federal dollars. now, the contract only lasted one year as epifamio was outbid the next year by a settler in new mexico. and by 1869 there were two other unfortunate incidents that occurred. epifamio lost two caravans back-to-back while freighting in new mexico. and financially he just couldn't see any way to recover from the losses. so this resulted in epifamio moving his family to arizona where he had property and other business interests he could leverage to continue to make a living. here's some pictures of the
3:29 pm
children. and then you can see the three boys there on the right with mamie's brothers there. after seven years of marriage epifamio was kill, and it left mamie with three boys to raise. for a time mamie and her children returned to west port, and initially they enjoyed being in the bernard household again. however, the conservative nature of west port made it difficult for mamie as a widow to socialize in public and her biracial children were viewed as different especially with their strong spanish accents, and they were teased at school. and she decided that there just wasn't a very promising future for her. and so with her sons she returned to new mexico where they enjoyed a much higher class status. and by 1875 she moved her family
3:30 pm
to tucson where she started her career as a schoolteacher. mamie like her mother was a born organizer. she was resourceful. she was industerous, and ultimately she became a spanish instructor for the university of arizona. and as you can see here she was also inducted into the arizona hall of fame. our next is henrietta "jennie" bull culver. she had met ian an attorney who had setup a law practice in her hometown, and i would say this last bride was a story of heartache. jennie was not in good health.
3:31 pm
and everyone thought the climate would help her improve. she left in 1869 on a train with her husband. at the time she was 27 years old and eight months pregnant with her second child. they took the train from kansas to the end of the rail line which at that time was shared in kansas. and upon arrival in sheridan jennie wrote they had secured lodging above a saloon and she went onto say, well, last night we were frightened almost out of our wits. we did not get any sleep at all on account of all the noise in the bar room, the drinking and the gambling. finally they got one of the mens money away from them, and they undertook to put him outdoors. she went onto say that they commenced firing and fired about 30 shots. i laid and i shook like a leaf
3:32 pm
all night with fear. i was so afraid of thomas' men were some of them among the gang. thomas was her brother-in-law who had said he would meet them in sheridan, but he had left a few days ahead of them. but inos learned they were all part of another gang, and if any of his men are with them we're going to go by stage. that next morning the boy -- she continued and said that the boy had come with the carriage and we are to start about 10:00. they stopped at oteros and inos got a whip for the carriage. and then she said that, well, there is a wagon stuck and so now we've got to stop. bad luck already. well, we're hitching up again. i hope we can all start soon. this evening we've only gotten 5 miles from sheridan and now a wagon has upset and we are going
3:33 pm
to camp here for the night. some bad luck but hope for the best. i took a long cry this afternoon. oh, i'm so lonely, and my home is always on my mind. god grant that we may have no bad luck and meet no harm or sickness. they continued down the mountain branch of the santa fe trail and then arrived in july of 1869, and for the first six weeks inos was hired by his brother-in-law thomas to help with the store that he had there and with unloading merchandise, he painted the house and even touched up signs for him. but before long they realized they were on their own to find work and to make a living. inos managed to secure an appointment as inspector and
3:34 pm
collector for the el paso district and assigned to an area outside of mesilla about 100 miles away from mesilla. jennie and inos said that her stepbrother exaggerated the opportunities that were there in new mexico for inos, her husband, a lawyer, and he never advised to come or anything else and that he had only said that inos since he was a lawyer could do quite well. and jennie was writing to her sister libby in ohio, and she said if i never see thomas again or if i ever see him, he'll hear more from me than he cares to hear. meanwhile enos also learned that through a trip to a nearby
3:35 pm
military fort that they were hiring men and he could maybe make $30 a month and get everything to live on plus some other things. but enos wanted to talk it over with jennie, and he came home and talked with her about it, and jennie told him of course she'd have him do it. but then she realized of course i'm going to have to work a little more but i don't care. i want to get home someday, and by doing this i think enos and i can layup his full salary and a little more. and they decided that they would start boarding soldiers at fort bayard. enos was afraid that would be too much trouble for jennie and also they'd have to hire a cook. but jennie settled his fears and told him she would do all the cooking herself if he would hire someone to keep her house and do the washing so that all she had
3:36 pm
to do was cook albeit three meals a day for these soldiers that they were boarding. this is the sister that she sent letters back home to, and throughout all her letters she's telling her sister that she hopes that enos will strike it rich so that they can go back home to ohio, and that she only needs enough to dress good and to have some for the poor. there were times when enos didn't make a living for weeks at a time. and their only hope was that, again, he would strike it rich. and there were many times she would write that things look very dark to me at present and it may be all yet well. i hope so but god only knows. and then she writes again that it's an awful undertaking to
3:37 pm
come here. i don't know that i shall have an opportunity of visiting these minds this week. and if so i'll write and tell you about them. i wish i was there where i could help you and maw with your work, i get blue here sometimes just awful. well, he's quiet now at least for a few minutes. i tell you what, lib, i have my hands full and more than full. my work daily and children to see to half the time i have to carry howard in my arms and work with the other. and when i attempt to write, i have to stop half a dozen times before this finished. lib, i know of no reason why you should be blamed for us coming to new mexico. i blame no person but myself and my stepbrother t.j. ball. enos would soon have come had it
3:38 pm
not been for me and i have made up my mind to not go until he goes with me. i have always said enos had nothing to do with me coming here. it was my own fault. now enos ends up in silver city trying to strike it rich. he builds a store and starts a boardinghouse for minors, and jennie essentially works herself to death and dies of tuberculosis. enos can't run the store and tend the boardinghouse and he sends his children down to where his brother has a store. and by the time enos does visit his boys he needs an interpreter to talk to children because they're only speaking spanish. enos leaves new mexico and he moves to the dakotas where he marries a schoolteacher and the family relocates to wisconsin where he dies in 1926. and this is a picture of
3:39 pm
jennie's grave site there in silver city. she died at 25 years old. some of the characteristics of the brides as you've learned is that they were young, they were all literate. they were adventurous yet naive to the hardships of the trail trade. they came from middle and upper class family homes. they believed in the businesses and acumen of their older and well-established husbands. obviously they were totally in love, and in some cases it was a situation of until death do us part. as you've publicly learned from this presentation there were times i'm sure you learned the huppy moon was surely over. on the left here you can see some of the people i'd like to acknowledge for the photo credits and in particular the kansas city public library and
3:40 pm
the missouri valley room so adeptly run by jeremy. and then also if you'd like some books for your library i would recommend these four which captures the memoirs, the letters and the diaries of these brides on the santa fe trail. i'd like to thank you, and i'd also like you to please consider joining our santa fe trail association for history's sake. >> well, thank you, joy. that was excellent. i want to invite the audience to if you have questions about joy's presentation you can put those right into the comments and we'll get to them shortly. i'll start off with a question. i guess this was susan magoffin. i believe, joy, you said she did daily entries it sounded like. what were those daily entries
3:41 pm
like? were they maybe mundane details, or were there quite a few maybe adventures like the one rebecca mayer had being surrounded by a buffalo herd, and i'm sure indian encounters on the frontier were worth noting in diary entries as well. >> just a few. i would say that susan's account is probably one of the most well-known diaries of the santa fe trail trade. and is oftentimes referred to for the types of things that she observed as they were traveling across the trail. she's very descriptive on a daily basis about the different things that are going on around her and making different observations, and to some extent her writing is very poetic in
3:42 pm
nature as well. the first -- the beginning pages of her diary, i think the first 10 or 15 pages are all filled with poetry. so she was well-educated, totally in love with her husband. she was fortunate in that she traveled in style because she did have her maid with her. she also had a horse, of course, that she could ride when she didn't want to ride in the carriage. she had her dog with her. she also had a cook. so given that she had all this help she had time to write daily in her diary. >> these were kind of middle class and upper class women -- women from middle class and upper class families that you would have to have considerable resources to make that trip, you know, specifically with the 50
3:43 pm
mules, 50 men and 50 mules. did i get that right? >> that's correct. >> you had to have, you know, considerable resources to make this four-month journey. >> that's true. and susan, had married magoffin and he was very well-established, very wealthy and also very well-connected. and during that army of the west invasion his brother was used to help pave the way for the army of the west to enter into new mexico. and because he knew the politicians and the military officials of mexico not only in santa fe but also down in
3:44 pm
chihuahua as well. >> interesting. again, i want to encourage our audience if you have any questions for joy -- it looks like we have one that just came in. as you were reading and doing your research on these firsthand accounts what was the biggest question you had for which you could not find the answer? >> you know, i don't know i have preconceived notions when i've done the research on these brides. i've been interested in the history of santa fe trail for decades. and i guess in the twilight years of my career so to speak suddenly i realized that i had all these journals, letters and diaries written by young brides who had traveled the trail and two or three of them were ones i discovered were not well -- nobody knew about.
3:45 pm
the biggest question i was interested in the hardships they faced. obviously two of the brides died very young in their lives. i think that was unfortunate. it also revealed how dominated women were by men at that time in society and what they could and couldn't do. i will say that i was very impressed with mamie who would marry a mexican freighter, fell in love with epifanio not knowing anything about the mexican culture and language. and she was the only bride that remained in the southwest and went onto become a spanish instructor and contributed much to new mexico and arizona given her position as epifanio's wife.
3:46 pm
>> an amazing story, right? someone had asked was there anything in your research of these women that kind of surprised you, maybe mamie's story is one of those. you just gave the answer to that. was there anything in your research you came across. you've been studying this santa fay trail for many years. there's something that struck you as -- surprised you in your research on these women? >> i guess the thing that i don't know surprised me but maybe saddens me a little bit is that traveling the trail took their toll on these womens health, and of course as susan suffered a miscarriage and i can't even imagine traveling the trail when you're pregnant and having morning sickness, getting up every day and traveling on. for jennie culver to board a
3:47 pm
train in kansas city eight months pregnant traveling the lest leg of their journey by wagon, as soon as she arrived in mesilla she gave birth to little howard. rebecca mayer also had a miscarriage after leaving chihuahua at 15 years old. there's no medical doctors, no medical facilities. a -- watched over her and nearly killed her from the abortion that happened as a result of that miscarriage. so those were, you know, in some regards it's a miracle they lived as long as they did and could even consider traveling under such circumstances. but, again, they were adventurous, they were in love with their husbands. they trusted them and had total faith in their ability.
3:48 pm
>> someone has asked if you could mention the -- list the titles of the books again you recommended. i'll remind our audience this program we archived on our youtube channel you could go back and look at that slide again. joy, do you recall a couple of the titles of these books? >> yes. of course susan magoffin is the santa fe trail into mexico. the wonderful story about mamie is called journey of the heart by annette gray. and then rebecca's story is captured in two places. one is in a book called "with a doll in one pocket and a pistol in the other." and then i also have her memoir and more information on a national park service site. and if you googled rebecca mayer
3:49 pm
and my name, joy poole, that -- that memoir will appear as will the letters and the story of jennie culver. >> a couple people want to know and i'm curious as well you said aguirre was murdered, killed, correct? >> yes. >> what was the circumstance surrounding his death? >> shortly after they'd moved to arizona there was a stage line that went from arizona down into mexico, and in the middle of the night someone arrived and for some reason the driver could not continue, and the stage wagon was difficult to operate. and epifanio in his years of
3:50 pm
leadership decided he was the only one that could probably handle the situation, that it wasn't fair to ask his -- one of his men to try and drive that stagecoach on.on. mamie records that she argued with him and, you know, and expressed her concern, really must you go and he said, yes, that he should. during that drive he was shot and killed by apaches. >> so i wanted to finish the discussion and ask you how did you get involved in santa fe trail history? you know, you've been a part of -- co-founder of the association and been involved in promoting that history. i'm just curious how you became
3:51 pm
interested in trails history. >> prior to serving as the deputy state librarian for the new mexico state library i was a museum curator and director. and started my career in trinidad, colorado, located on the santa fe trail. and while i was directing the trinidad museum properties, a colleague from the kansas city area, from the mckathy stagecoach house came to visit and during the course of our conversation he started telling about stories of the santa fe trail and his end of the trail. and i said, gee, wouldn't it be interesting if we could all get together, who are running these museums and historical societies along the trail and share our stories of the -- of the santa fe trail trade and our specific area? and so i had that idea, but i
3:52 pm
sat on it for a couple of years and ran it up the flagpole with different people and timing is everything. but in 1986, then, i approached the director of the colorado historical society and everyone loved the idea of having a symposium on the santa fe trail. so we recruited david lavender, sandra meyers, and dr. mark simmons to be our leading presenters of that symposium. and we went ahead and incorporated the santa fe trail association at that time. this was before the internet, i might add, and so it was quite a challenge to work with all the different museums and libraries and historical societies along the trail. the 300 people came to that symposium in 1986, and while we were there, we went ahead and grabbed the bull by the horns,
3:53 pm
so to speak, and organized the santa fe trail association and then within a year, president reagan signed the santa fe trail designating it the legislation which would designate the santa fe trail as a national historic trail. >> excellent. well, joy, i want to thank you for an excellent presentation. i want to thank the kansas city athaneum for co-sponsoring this program and i want to thank our audience for tuning in online and of course we look forward to the day when we can meet in auditoriums again. in the meantime, look at the -- go to the library's website for more of our online programs to come. thank you, again, joy. and we'll see you next time. >> okay. thank you very much. i hope everyone will consider
3:54 pm
joining our santa fe trail association. there is going to be a lot of events all along the trail, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the opening of the trail here in 2021, including events here in santa fe. i'd like to invite our audience members to please consider coming to santa fe in november of 2021 when we're going to re-enact william bucknell arriving in santa fe and we'll have a buffalo dinner at the lafonda exchange hotel that the donahoes operated. and many -- and then also professor james whiting will be speaking about indians on the santa fe trail. okay, thank you. >> thank you.
3:55 pm
♪♪ bob drury and tom clavin talk about their book "blood & treasure: daniel boone and the fight for america's first frontier." they examine america's westward expansion and brutal conflicts with native americans through the eyes of daniel boone. water mark books and cafe of wichita, kansas, hosted this event, and provided the video. >> i want to read a couple of paragraphs from


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on