American West and History

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The Santa Fe Trail

R. L. Duffus

Originally published in 1930 and now considered the standard work on the subject, this lively history is now available only from the University of New Mexico Press.

"A vivacious and accurate chronicle of one of the great highways of commerce."--Henry Steele Commager

"Best of this century on the subject; swift reading."--J. Frank Dobie


The late R. L. Duffus was a prolific author and journalist.


"In a popular treatment of this famous Western traffic artery, Duffus traces the trail's development from the time of the Spaniards . . . through the early missionaries, prospectors and Indian traders to the nineteenth century. . . . The Santa Fe Trail is good social history. The monotony of trail life, the terror of Indian attacks, and the dangers caused by inclement weather are all nicely covered by Mr. Duffus. Moreover, the author has a feel for the trail itself; this work was obviously a labor of love."


Journal of the West

"Written with distinction and charm . . . Duffus has caught the spirit of the time and the color of the environment."


New York Times

Published in association with The University of New Mexico Center for the American West

5.375 x 8 in. 296 pages 1 maps, 2 tables