The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 68
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
From the Bado to the canyon of San Fernando,49 which is level
country, there are from thirty-five to forty leagues along the side
of the sierra of the cast, going through Mora, a settlement of this
province.o Along the ridge of the sierra there are very incon-
venient trails which only the Apache go over, and on the west side
there is no known road. The Cafion de San Fernando begins along
the crest of the rallado, and in order to take it one travels an entire
day over the sierra.51 The crest road is troublesome on account
of the large rocks and undergrowth (palizada), but clearing it
somewhat extensively would make it satisfactory to transport can-
nons, etc. It has its origin at the very foot of the sierra; opposite
there are plains, and at about twenty-five leagues a mesa which
they call Sicorica or El Mayo and various little scattered hills."2
"For convenience of reference, the writer has added this title to these
remarks of Melgares, since his description here of the frontiers is but an
untitled enclosure accompanying a letter to Cordero. Melgares to Cordero,
Santa Fe, 18 de Mayo de 1819. Ailo de 1819. Providencias tomadas para
que se fortifiquen varios puntos en la Sierra del Nuevo Mexico, ff. 174-177.
Historia, Notas Diplomaticas, Tomo 4, Archivo General, Mexico.
D"El Bado or El Vado is the ford across the Pecos River southeast of
Pecos Pueblo; the canyon is that of San Fernando Creek, east of Taos.
OThe exact site of Mora is not clear. Mrs. Mogoffin refers to the settle-
ment of Mora, which may be the same one that Melgares has in mind.
Mogoffin, S. S., Down the Santa Fe Trail Into Mexico, p. 90. Stella T.
Drum (ed.), Yale Press, 1926. The settlement was founded, apparently,
after 1715, as the diary of Hurtado, who crossed over the sierra from the
Picuries Pueblo and camped along the Mora River, makes no mention of
such a settlement at that time. A. B. Thomas, "Spanish Exploration of
Oklahoma, 1599-1792," in Chronicles of Oklahoma, p. 14, June, 1928.
"'Rallado is spelled "rayado" a few lines below. This statement and
Melgares' further remark a few lines below, "It (the Canyon of San Fer-
nando) has its origin in the very foot of this sierra; opposite there are
plains," make clear that the sierra called Rallado or Rayado is the present
Taos Range. This is important, since Melgares uses the sierra constantly
as a reference point.
"Mesa Sicoria here is present Raton Mesa. Coues, in a note to Fowler's
Journal, states that the Chico Rico Mesa is "a part of the general Raton
Plateau, separated from Raton Mesa proper by the defile known as Manco
Burro Pass." The Journal of Jacob Fowler, Elliot Coues (ed), p. 148,
note 35. Fowler passed over the very route described here on June 5, 1822.
Chico Rico, or Sicoria, is the Spanish equivalent of Churquirique, a word
applied by the Indians to this mesa because of the great number of small
rodents there. B. McKinnan, "The Toll Road Over Raton Pass," New
Mexico Historical Review, Vol. II, page 83. The terms Mesa Chicorico and
Mesa de Maya (also used by Melgares as "Mayo" above) appear at present
on geologic maps applied respectively to the mesas west and east of Long's
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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/m1/76/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.