Notes and Documents
Hamlin Qarland at Isleta Pueblo
Edited by LONNIE E. UNDE1 HILL and DANIEL F. LITTLEFIELD, JR.*
HAMLIN GARLAND WENT TO THE SOUTHWEST IN LATE JUNE, 1895, TO
collect information for a story he was writing ("Jim Matteson of
Wagon Wheel Gap," published in 1900). With him were two artists, whom
he had met in Chicago, that were anxious to observe the American Indian.
They first visited the Southern Ute Reservation in southwestern Colorado
and later the Isleta Pueblo, near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Garland wrote
his observations of the pueblo Indians in a piece entitled "A Day at Isleta,"
which he intended for his syndicated column, "Over Indian Trails." Al-
though he never published it, "A Day at Isleta" has intrinsic interest and is
produced here because at the time it reflected a recent development in
Garland's career-his use of the West as a subject for writing. His interest
in the West was not new, however, and his i895 trip was, in some ways,
the culmination of a decade's preparation.
Garland's 1895 trip to the Southwest followed the publication of his novel
Rose of Dutcher's Coolly. This novel marked the close of his prairie tales
and the beginning of a series of mountain stories and sketches of the South-
west. Garland's method of collecting information was authentic because he
carried a pocket notebook on all his trips. On the spot or at close of day, he
wrote in them impressionistic studies "of hill and stream, and shorthand
records of the characters" he had met. Thus, these notes and records of his
travels and observations, made and dated on the spot, offer valuable insight
into the peoples of the West near the close of the nineteenth century. In
these records are what Garland called the "moods of the moments," the
veritable "seeds of fact" from which many of his writings subsequently grew.
Garland remarked that his artist friends had said his records and sketches
were "true impressions of color, sketches such as an artist might make."'
*The editors have published extensively on American Indian history and have recently
completed a volume on Hamlin Garland's writings on the American Indian. Mr. Under-
hill is an instructor, Department of English, University of Arizona, and Mr. Littlefield
is a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University,
1Hamlin Garland, Roadside Meetings (New York, 1930), 298-300.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/. Accessed September 24, 2014.