The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 32
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Southwestern, Historical Quarterly
start a self-supporting system at home. The women turned to
spinning and weaving, the men to tanning leather and to making
whatever could be made in the country. The only articles we
could not do without were iron, salt, medicine, and ammunition.
Coffee was only eight cents a pound at Houston and on the coast,
but we could substitute corn, okra, and rye for it. Sugar was
beyond us except near the coast.
Trade with Santa FA in certain articles of merchandise was
said to be immensely profitable, and several wagon loads of such
goods were taken along by the Santa F6 expedition. That ex-
pedition was commanded by Colonel William G. Cooke and was
composed of about four hundred men. It was accompanied by
commissioners to treat with the people of Santa Fe who, it was
said, were willing to come under our government. Many of the
party, newcomers from the States and old Texans, too, were in
search of romance and adventure. The expedition was never au-
thorized by Congress, and money not appropriated for it was paid
out with much effect on our finances. Starting from Austin, it
proceeded northeast, crossed Little River at the Three Forks,
came within five miles of the Brazos near Waco, crossed the
Bosque at what is now known as the Santa F6 Crossing, pushed
on parallel with the Brazos to the mouth of the Paluxy, and then
passed east of the Comanche Peak, making toward the waters of
the Trinity. I struck the trail of it repeatedly in my scouting
for Indians. It traversed an entirely unsettled country, and I
last saw the track somewhere near the present site of Weather-
ford, going northward.
The guides were old hunters and trappers; some of them had
been engaged in the Santa F6 trade, and knew well the country
north of Red River to Santa F6. I myself had considerable
acquaintance with such men before that time in the frontier
service. I had often heard them speak of the trail from Natch-
itoches to Santa Fe. This trail lay on the north side of Red
River, close to the stream for water, and clear out by its head.
It was the oldest trading route from New Orleans to Santa F6,
having been established when Louisiana as well as Mexico be-
longed to Spain. It was abandoned after St. Louis became a
city, and trade opened from there with Santa F6. This was the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/38/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.