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Santa Fe Expedition  Newspaper Articles

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Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
November 17, 1824
Transcribed by: Nancy Piper- 2008

Santa Fe -
Franklin, Missouri, Oct. 2

A part of the company that proceeded from this place to Sante Fe last spring, with merchandize, returned here on the 24th ult. They have been absent a few days over four months, have enjoyed excellent health, were received in a very friendly manner, both by the Indians and the Mexicans, and were successful. A company of 25 separated from the wagons, 200 miles this side of Sante Fe, and arrived there in 60 days from this town; the wagons in 74 days. We are happy to correct the erroneous statement published in this paper last month, that the Indians stole 60 horses and mules from the company, on the Arkansas. They lost 25 only, which were frightened away by buffaloes; two afterwards went off with wild horses, which are numerous, and one or two strayed.

A detachment of the 1st Regiment Infantry, consisting of four companies, under the direction of Major Kearney, arrived at this place yesterday. This detachment is to form part of the military escort which is to ascend the Missouri next spring from Council Bluffs, with Gen. Atkinson and Maj. O’Fallan, commissioners for holding treaties of trade and friendship with the Western Indians.

Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
November 6  Page 2
Transcribed by: Nancy Piper- 2007

St. Louis, Sept 24

From the Santa Fee Expedition

About three months since, a number of persons, principally of this county, forming two parties, one under the direction of Col. Cooper, and the other of Capt. Cooper, and the other of Capt. Becknell, left here for Santa Fee upon the trading expedition. The former party preceded that of the latter, several days, and we regret to learn, by the following extract of a letter from a gentlman of respectability, at Fort Osage, to his friend in this place, it has met with a serious disaster.

“Fort Osage, Aug. 20

“It is reported that Col. CooperÂ’s party were robbed by the Indians, and left in a starving condition.  The news came here by Gen. Atkinson, from the Council Bluffs. Mr. Immell, of the Missouri Fur Company, who had been out with a party, broÂ’t the information to the Bluffs.  The party of Col. Cooper had sent to Mr. Immell for relief, who was not in a situation to afford them any – and they must either have arrived at Santa Fee before this or perished.  The presumption is, that if they were not deprived of their guns and ammunition they could be able to live; consequently their being left, as the report says, in a starving condition, implies that they were robbed of the means of procuring the necessary food.

“I am inclined (exclusive of the reports coming from so correct a source) to believe that it is true, as Mr. Glenn, who came in from Santa Fee some weeks ago, stated that he met Col. CooperÂ’s party at the Big Bend of the Arkansas, and he had no doubt but that they would fall in with several war parties of Indians in a few days, who would rob and probably kill them, as he had been stopped by the same party of Indians, and with difficulty got clear of them, and had he not have had an interpreter, would doubtless have shared a similar fate.  Cooper being without an interpreter, will render his traveling through the country extremely dangerous.

“I mention this in order that you may let their friends know the source from whence the news came & will vouch that what I have stated is correct (as it was told me by General Atklinson) in esteem essential particular.”

A company of about fifty persons, principally from St. Louis and its vicinity are now in town, on their way to Santa Fee.  Their purpose is to hunt and obtain furs.  We wish them better success than has fallen to the lot of those mentioned above.”

Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
December 4 1822  Page 3

Transcribed by: Nancy Piper- 2007

Frontier Enterprize
From the St. Louis Inquirer, Oct. 19

Santa Fe Expedition

It is not true, as published some weeks ago, that Col. CooperÂ’s party were robbed by the Indians on their way to Santa Fe. Himself and the greater part of his company have returned having successfully accomplished the objects of their journey, which were entirely commercial.  They drove three loaded wagons from Boonslick into the town of Santa Fe: a novel spectacle to the Spaniards of that place, and truly characteristic of the spirit of the western people. They say they had no difficulty in getting along with these wagons, the country being open and level, and abounding with grass for their horses. Fifteen years ago, the Baron Humboldt said that carriages would one day run from the city of Mexico to Philadelphia; his prediction is accomplished, but not exactly in the way that he expected.  It return for their merchandize, Col. CopperÂ’s party brought back specie and some hundred mules, having lost five or six dozen of these animals by getting dispersed by a herd of buffaloes.

While at Sante Fe, the American character displayed another of its traits.  An expedition was going against the Camancle Indians; it was a chance not to be lost, and several of Col. CooperÂ’s young men joined it. In the action which followed, all fighting to the admiration of the Spaniards, one of them (a son of Col. Cooper) was killed.

The party report that they met with the best treatment from the people of Santa Fe, who showed great desire for a commercial intercourse with Missouri, and inquired for Mr. Baird, formerly their prisoner, who had engaged to return with merchandize.  (Mr. B. left this place about a month ago, with a Caravan of sixty pack horses.) These things compel the reflecting mind to pause, and reflect upon the wonderful advantages of our country! Two years ago this paper laboured to prove that Missouri would have a commerce with the people od New Mexico for their silver, with the Indians of the Rocky Mountains for their furs, and with China and Spain for the rich productions of the East Indies.  Such suggestions were treated by many as chimerical. In the mean while the two first are accomplished, and the third will accomplish itself in the same way that is to day by the bold and and silent enterprise of the West, while the learned prejudice of the East is arguing that the thing is impossible, as indeed it would be if such writers had to do it!

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