The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 69
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An Anonymous Description of New Mexico, 1818
The canyon of San Fernando opens out on the plaza of Taos which
has the same name. Intermediate on the road of the sierra, the
road of the Canyon of the Indians branches off, at the end of which
is the Pueblo. But guarding the crest of the Rayado there are
hidden the two cannons." This point could be fortified perma-
nently because it has constant water on a single face, and the sides
are partly guarded by the roughness of the sierra. In the middle
distance from the Rallado to the Bado there are no further cross-
ings (entradas) than the road of Mora. This settlement is placed
on the other side of the sierra, route to the east; it is the most
exposed because of its few resources, and although the perverted
Americans do not know it, the Indians do, and will serve as guides.
From the Rallado to Sangre de Cristo, route to the east, it is
necessary to go down along the Rio de las Animas, crossing over
the Mesa of Sicorica, and going around all the little hills and rough
places of the sierra.4 I estimate that there are some fifty leagues,
more or less, because of the roundabout way to the Huerfano."5
About a league or three-quarters of a league from it, the slope of
the Sangre de Cristo commences along the same route.G" It is
very inconvenient as far as the top of the sierra. To descend to
the west, there is no regular road. From this point along this
same route as far as the settlement of the Rio Colorado, an estab-
lishment of this province, is a plain of twenty-five to thirty leagues.
From there to Taos there is a little slope, somewhat troublesome;
the road has various breaks. One walks this in ten or twelve hours,
and I estimated it will have twelve or thirteen leagues. In the
intermediate distances from the Rallado to Sangre de Cristo, there
are two or three footpaths to cross the sierra, and although they
are unhandy, they can be made suitable with work. This last pass
can be fortified permanently on the same Rio I-Iuerfano, but its
sides are exposed.' For that reason anyone can go up the sierra
6"Undoubtedly Taos Pass is the one thus fortified at the crest.
"4Cf. Fowler's route through this territory and Coues' notes. Journal of
Jacob Fowoler, E. Coues (ed.), pp. 144-152.
"'Melgares is referring to a route from Rayado to the Purgatorie River
(Rio de las Animas) and thence northwest to the Huerfano River.
"OFrom this point on the Huerfano, Melgares is describing the trail over
Sangre de Cristo Pass, thence to the Rio Colorado and Taos.
"?Melgares established a fort on the eastern side of this pass sime time
between May, 1819, the date of this writing and October, 1819, when he
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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/m1/77/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.