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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

on the six-weeks journey and was able to speak it fairly well by
the time he reached Santa Fe. Thus, without intent, he was drawn
into the Santa Fe trade.
Gregg made four round trips across the Great Plains with
merchant caravans, trading dry goods and hardware for Mexican
silver and mules. One trip took him beyond Santa Fe to the in-
terior cities of Mexico. On his last journey he blazed a new trail
that later became a favorite of gold-seekers bound for California.
Gregg served in the Mexican War and later practiced medicine
for a short time in Saltillo. He died early in 1850, at forty-three,
while on an exploring expedition in California. The location
of his grave has since become lost.
But Gregg needs no monument beyond his Commerce of the
Prairies. He realized in 1843 that he had in his notes the makings
of a book and went east to obtain editorial help and to seek a
publisher. Turned down by Harper and Appleton in New York,
he found a publisher in Philadelphia. His worst troubles were in
the editing of his manuscript. After parting company with an
Irishman whom he had engaged, he found a capable editor in
a young lawyer, John Bigelow.
The first edition of two thousand copies in 1844 was successful
enough to warrant starting work on a second a few months later.
For this, Gregg made only slight changes but added a second
preface, an index, and a glossary of Spanish words. The work
had several more printings during Gregg's lifetime and went into
British and German editions. Later American editions included
one annotated by Reuben Gold Thwaites, published in 1905
and now out of print.
The present edition, in a single large volume, is a scholarly
work, handsomely printed and bound. The editor is a teacher
at the University of Oklahoma. Both he and the publisher de-
serve credit for making available to today's readers this attractive
and useful reissue of one of the great works on the early West.
The Time of the Gringo. By Elliott Arnold. New York (Alfred
A. Knopf), 1953. Pp. viii+613. $4.95-
"The time of the gringo" was the period in New Mexico from
1837, when this historical novel begins, to the day when General


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 3, 2016.

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