The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920 Page: 44
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
River to Santa F6 is difficult to determine. Of course he did not
reach the forks of the Canadian if he went to the source of the
Red River and there turned north. The forks of the Canadian
are almost north of Fort Towson, the point from which he started.
He is probably referring to the forks made by the union of the
Mustang Creek with the Canadian River in northwestern Texas.'
It is equally certain that he did not strike the Santa F6 trail at
the point where it crossed the Canadian River. He doubtless
reached the Canadian River when he turned north from the Red
at the mouth of Mustang Creek as already indicated or at the
mouth of Major Long's Creek. Here he probably came upon "the
much frequented Indian trail crossing the creek, from the west,
and following down along the east bank,"5 to which Long refers.
This he probably thought was the Santa F6 trail. If he took the
-route thus indicated he went west along the Canadian finally
reaching the San Miguel, whence he followed the Santa F6 trail
to Santa Fe.
Soon after arriving in Santa F6 Fonda lost track of his travel-
ing companions. He then went to Taos, where he spent the win-
ter of 1823 and 1824. Here he found a village in which the
"houses were all one story high, and built of clay or large gray
brick." The inhabitants were Spaniards, Mexicans, "Indians, a
mixed breed," and a few trappers. The town was a "lively win-
tering place, and many were the fandangoes, frolics, and fights
which came off" during the winter.
By May, 1824, Fonda had become thoroughly disgusted with
Taos and its inhabitants, "for the latter were a lazy, dirty, igno-
'The map used in this instance is that of Department of Interior, Gen-
eral Land Office; United States, including Territories and Insular Pos-
sessions, 1918. There are some maps which give the Big iBlue ireek as
the principal fork of the Canadian at this point. Of. Department of In-
terior, United States Geological Survey, 1914, and the map in the Cen-
'Edwin James (compiler), Account of an Empedition from Pittsburg to
the Rocky Mountains, performed in the years 1819 and 1820, by order of
the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, Sccretary of War, under the command of Major
Stephen H. Long, 2 Vols., Philadelphia, 1823. II, 94. Continuing, Long
says this "trace consisted of more than twenty parallel paths, and bore
sufficient marks of having been recently traveled, affording an explana-
tion of the cause of the alarming scarcity of game we had for some time
experienced. We supposed it to be the road leading from the Pawnee
Piqua village, on Red River, to Santa Fe."
Long had passed through this country in August, 1820. His route
from here east into the Arkansas territory, however, was north of that
over which Fonda traveled in 1823.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920, periodical, 1919; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101075/m1/50/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.