The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

of Europeans in the New World and on nautical archaeology. The
Texas Antiquities Committee is to be congratulated on its publication.
University of Texas, Austin E. MOTT DAVIS
Pueblo, Hardscrabble, Greenhorn: The Upper Arkansas, 1832-z856.
By Janet Lecompte. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1978,
Pp. xii+354. Illustrations, preface, appendices, selected sources,
index. $14.95.)
Prior to the gold rush to the Rockies in 1858-1859, Colorado had little
history of its own. What exists relates more directly to New Mexico and
the Santa Fe trade or to the fur trade and the Oregon Trail. While re-
searchers (including this author) have previously identified aspects of
the west central plains's early history, Janet Lecompte has fused these
findings with an impressive reliance on documents to trace the begin-
nings of the region's continuous history.
Settlements originated in the upper Arkansas River valley where
Pueblo, Colorado, now stands rather than in the transitory trader's posts,
Bent's Fort being the most notable. Linkages between the communities
created at Pueblo, Hardscrabble, and Greenhorn and the society which
evolved from the gold rush have seemed remote. Lecompte exposes indi-
vidual and broadly conceived interrelationships. Firstcomers to the Ar-
kansas participated in the mountain trade while it lasted; some, finding
life and climate pleasing, entered the trade with both the Plains Indians
and the overland immigrants, thereby developing attributes of commer-
cial men. Concurrently, others turned to farming, suffering various disas-
ters until they approximated methods essential to permanent agriculture.
The same pattern unfolded regarding the cattle industry. Viewed on a
wide spectrum, the men and women of Pueblo initiated the adapting of
midwestern and New Mexican commerce, farming, and ranching to the
region. Green Russell and others added mining a few years later. The
combination became early Colorado, due west across the plains from the
bend of the Missouri River.
For the most part, the author's presentation is exceptionally attractive.
Parts, such as descriptions of life in these early frontier settlements, are
charming. Other segments untangle events which historians have re-
peated uncritically; these concern the Pueblo Massacre of 1854, the role
played by New Mexican pioneers on the eastern slope, early relations
with the Utes, and more. Also employing a biographical approach when
appropriate, the book centers on the lives of leaders such as Alexander

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/. Accessed August 30, 2014.