Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico: the diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846-1847

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University of Nebraska Press, Jan 1, 1982 - Biography & Autobiography - 294 pages
12 Reviews
In June 1846 Susan Shelby Magoffin, eighteen years old and a bride of less than eight months, set out with her husband, a veteran Santa Fe trader, on a trek from Independence, Missouri, through New Mexico and south to Chihuahua. Her travel journal was written at a crucial time, when the Mexican War was beginning and New Mexico was occupied by Stephen Watts Kearny and the Army of the West.

Her journal describes the excitement, routine, and dangers of a successful merchant's wife. On the trail for fifteen months, moving from house to house and town to town, she became adept in Spanish and the lingo of traders, and wrote down in detail the customs and appearances of places she went. She gave birth to her first child during the journey and admitted, "This thing of marrying is not what it is cracked up to be."

Valuable as a social and historical record of her encounters—she met Zachary Taylor and was agreeably disappointed to find him disheveled but kindly—her journal is equally important as a chronicle of her growing intelligence, experience, and strength, her lost illusions and her coming to terms with herself.

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Review: Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico: The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846-1847

User Review  - Theresa - Goodreads

bought this text at old Bent's fort, it shows the development of the trade route, and the Santa Fe trail, the trials and the tribulations of the adventurous souls who blazed the western trails, for wealth and power, and some place to call home Read full review

Review: Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico: The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846-1847

User Review  - Eric - Goodreads

Fascinating look into life in the mid-1840's on the Santa Fe Trail. Also, an American view of the war with Mexico, showing just how slow and bad information was. Her brother in law was reportedly ... Read full review



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