Indians! Stampeding buffalo! Wild animals! That was the Santa Fe Trail in 1821.
And what a strange path this was! A trapper left trail marks to guide those who might come after him. The men of a mule train brought back crude maps showing shortcuts or places to avoid. Thus, a trail was laid that stretched westward from the Missouri River, along the Arkansas, and down int Santa Fe.
Those who first used it traveled on foot or in mule trains, but in this story, we follow the first wagon expedition to make the journey.
The leader of the wagon train, Captain William Becknell, was a true pioneer -a man of strong body and iron will. During the trip he met the usual troubles of the trail, and a few that he hadn't expected.
The men of Becknell's expedition were all alike in their courage; yet they were different in other ways. William Wolfskill, who was later to extend the trail to California, was quiet and gentle. The boyish Ohio Slim thought he was clever enough to outsmart his leader. Instead, he learned a good lesson in an amusing way. Ewing Young was an excellent leader and a loyal friend to the Captain. The other characters, pioneers, Spaniards and Indians- are real people and interesting ones, too.
Those who want to learn something about the fearless men of our early West will find what they are looking for in this book.
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