Navaho Expedition: Journal of a Military Reconnaissance from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the Navaho Country Made in 1849

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University of Oklahoma Press, 2003 - History - 296 pages
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In 1849, the Corps of Topographical Engineers commissioned Lieutenant James H. Simpson to undertake the first survey of Navajo country in present-day New Mexico. Accompanying Simpson was a military force commanded by Colonel John M. Washington, sent to negotiate peace with the Navajo. A keen observer, Simpson kept a journal that provided valuable information on the party’s interactions with Indians and also about the land’s features, including important pueblo ruins at Chaco Canyon and Canyon de Chelly. His careful observations informed subsequent military expeditions, emigrant trains, the selection of Indian reservations, and the charting of a transcontinental railroad.

Editor Frank McNitt discusses the expedition’s lasting importance to the development of the West, and his research is enriched by illustrations and maps by artists Richard and Edward Kern. Military historian Durwood Ball contributes a new foreword.


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User Review  - untraveller - LibraryThing

Somewhat interesting in the first half....the second half gets significantly more interesting with the expedition going to Chaco and Inscription Rock. The epilog was great! Read full review


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Foreword by Durwood Ball Ixxx

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About the author (2003)

James H. Simpson , a first lieutenant during the 1849 survey, was promoted to a brigadier general and named chief engineer of the Interior Department.

Frank McNitt was a leading authority on southwestern history.

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