Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert Visit us on Facebook -- Desert Gazette -- Desert Link
Introduction:: Nature:: Map:: Points of Interest:: Roads & Trails:: People & History:: Ghosts & Gold:: Communities:: BLOG:: :?:: glossary
Old Spanish Trail - Historical Overview

With the American takeover of California

With the American takeover of California, there was a strong interest in completing a railroad connection to the Pacific, and competition between proponents of different routes to make that connection. A number of expeditions followed various northern, southern, and central routes. In 1853, Congress authorized a government survey of all the principal routes under the direction of Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, who was to submit his report in January 1854.

California Bear flag

Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald Beale led a group along the North Branch and then down the main Old Spanish Trail to California in 1853. Beale had been appointed as Indian Commissioner to California. Senator Thomas Hart Benton secured Beale’s appointment and the funding for his trip. Gwinn Harris Heap, Beale’s cousin and a newspaperman, wrote a widely distributed account of the trip, which was very favorable to the route through Cochetopa Pass.

In 1853, Captain John Williams Gunnison led an expedition to explore a possible 38th parallel railroad route across Cochetopa Pass. After entering the San Luis Valley in Colorado, the group followed the North Branch of the Old Spanish Trail into western Colorado. In Utah, the group followed parts of the Old Spanish Trail. On October 26, after leaving the Old Spanish Trail, a group from the expedition was attacked, reportedly by Paiute Indians; Gunnison and others were killed, leaving only four survivors. The main party reached the scene two days later, and First Lieutenant Edward G. Beckwith led them to Salt Lake City.

Previous - Next
Contents

About the Old Spanish Trail

American Indian groups

Spanish colonial interest

In late summer of 1826

A major variation of the Old Spanish Trail

The major reason for travel

There was considerable legal trade

Some of the vast fur trade

Hispanic New Mexican families

Americans and other foreigners

With the American takeover of California

Over the years a number of military groups

Overall, use of the Old Spanish Trail

Introduction:: Nature:: Map:: Points of Interest:: Roads & Trails:: People & History:: Ghosts & Gold:: Communities:: BLOG:: :?:: glossary
Country Life Realty
Wrightwood, Ca.
Mountain Hardware
Wrightwood, Ca.
Canyon Cartography
DesertLink
Links to Desert Museums

Grizzly Cafe
Family Dining


Custom Search

Abraxas Engineering
privacy
Copyright ©Walter Feller. All rights reserved.
3368