The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 42
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of the state leaves no, doubt regarding the identity of the man
and reveals the fact that his last days were spent in a manner
well becoming the true scientific spirit that possessed him.
In his early life Josiah Gregg suffered from poor health and
so at the age of twenty-five left his home in Missouri to join the
spring caravan then leaving for the Mexican outpost at Santa
F6. For the next nine years he engaged regularly in the busi-
ness, himself becoming one of the proprietors of the Santa F6
trade. By this means he became thoroughly familiar with the
country and people of northern Mexico, and being of a, scientific
turn of mind he displayed great interest in whatever he came in
contact with and made careful notes of all his observations and
impressions. At the request of his friends these were published
in a work of two volumes in the year 1844, being issued simul-
taneously in both New York and London.
This work, Commerce of the Prairies, was immediately re-
ceived with great enthusiasm and two more editions were issued
during the following year; to be followed later by a fourth and
fifth edition, and in 1857 by a sixth, under a somewhat different
title. Not only was this popularity enjoyed among American
and English readers but the work was also translated into Ger-
man, and three editions published in that language between the
years 1845 and 1847. Dr. Thwaites declares him "pre-eminently
the historian of the Santa F6 trade," and describes his book as
"a classic in the literature of Western history," that it "stands
without a rival, and is indespensable to a full knowledge of the
Although he had returned to his home in Missouri, Gregg
was once again called to the frontier when the Mexican War
broke out; this time to act as a newspaper correspondent, a posi-
tion for which his literary ability and knowledge of the country
very ably fitted him. At the first news of the discovery of gold
in California he joined in the migration to the El Dorado and
in the fall of 1849 was to be found in the northern part of the
state among the miners upon the Trinity River. It was here that
the opening events in the last chapter in his career took place.
As winter approached with its consequent high water which
$Thwaites, Early Western Travels, XIX, 15.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917, periodical, 1917; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/m1/48/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.