The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 63
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An Anonymous Description of New Mexico, 1818
artillery. It would be susceptible of the easiest defense; a handful
of men could hold there an entire army.
The second to the south is about one hundred miles from the
Rilito de los Indios, called El Caion de San Fernando, or El Cafion
del Pueblo. One enters there from the east by going up a little
branch of the Red River of Natchitoches and following a footpath
made by the savages. One descends to the west at the foot of the
mountains, at the Villa de Taos, or by going to the left, at the
village of San Fernando. This pass offers more difficulties in
surmounting than that of the Sangre de Cristo, and consequently
(has) also more facilities for defense.4"
The third is about thirty miles to the southeast of Santa Fe,
called El Vado, concerning which I have absolutely no information
except that the mountains diminish considerably towards the south.
This pass is the easiest of all, but because of the linking of province
with province, no surprise could be made at this point.42
There is still a pass north of that of Sangre de Cristo, going up
the branch north of the Rio Huerfano and passing along the Sierra
Mojada, as far as the Rilito de los Indios.43 But this is very bad,
only practicable for people on foot, and very little used even by
the savages. It would be prudent to fortify and establish a post
Country between the Mississippi and the Mountains. The im-
mense extent of the country between the Mississippi and the moun-
tains which border New Mexico on the east, from the northern
frontiers of Texas to the Missouri, excepting some establishments
on the frontiers of Louisiana and the territory of Missouri, is
entirely inhabited by savage nations, and may be divided into two
parts, one to the south, the other to the north, of the Arkansas
River. These two parts present aspects entirely different.
The first from the province of Texas as far as the Red River
Sangre de Cristo Creek and that the Rilito de los Indios here is present
Trinchera Creek. The translation in Spanish has "Realito" for "Rilito"
41The Taos Pass, with its connections on the east and west sides of the
Taos Range, is referred to here.
"El Vado, the well-known point of crossing on the Pecos River, southeast
of the Pecos pueblo, linked Texas with New Mexico.
"4The pass referred to here is either Mosca or Sand Hill Pass, probably
the latter. For a further contemporary description of these passes and
the areas in question, see the Melgares Report translated below.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/71/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.