The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926 Page: 4
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Southwesltern Iistorical Quarterly
as well as the Albuquerque, or Middle Route, was too cold, he said.
In fact, the Platte and South Pass route had been tried for several
years, and winter mails were often not received until spring. It
is his arguments for the Southern route rather than his objections
to the others that seem of most interest in our study.
Three sources of information seem to have been principally relied
upon in his decision: First, the report of Captain Randolph B.
Marcy, who made a reconnaissance across the Southern Plains in
1849 from Donna Anna, above El Paso, across the Pecos near the
thirty-second parallel, down that stream for some distance and
across in a northeastward direction to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Sec-
ond, the report of various officers who accompanied the Pacific
Railroad Survey over the Southern Route, 1853-'55. Third, Mr.
John R. Bartlett, who was connected with the United States Bound-
ary Commission, 1850-'53, and who operated near the thirty-second
parallel both east and west of the Rio Grande, was quoted at length
the west it ran from Franklin (or El1 Paso) to Hueco Tanks, nearly due
east 30 miles; thence a little north of east to the Finery, 56 miles and
24 miles on to Delaware Springs; thence down Delaware Creek, crossing
to the south of it a few miles before it enters the Pecos; thence across
the Pecos to Pope's camp, a few miles east of the Pecos, near the thirty-
second parallel, 40 miles; thence down the Pecos, 65 miles to Emigrant
Crossing, and 55 miles on to Horse Head Crossing, keeping all the while
east of the river. From Horse Head Crossing the trail struck out in a
direction slightly north of east across the desert of the southern part of
the Llano Estacado to the head waters of the "Middle" or "Main" Concho,
70 miles. From the Concho the route turned slightly more northward to
a camp (later a station) on a tributary of the Concho, 30 miles; thence
to Grape Creek, another tributary of the Concho, 22 miles; thence to
Fort Chadbourne on a tributary of the Colorado and near what is now the
line of Coke and Runnels Counties, 30 miles. From Fort Chadbourne the
line turned still more to the north across Valley Creek, 12 miles, to Moun-
tain Pass, 16 miles; thence on to Old Fort Phantom Hill, passing a few
miles to the west of where Abilene now stands, 30 miles (Phantom Hill
on the Clear Fork of the Brazes was not at that time and had not been
since 1854 a military post) ; thence from Phantom Hill to Smith's Sta-
tion, 12 miles; Clear Fork Station, 20 miles; Franz's Station, 13 miles;
Fort Belknap on the Brazos in Young County, 22 miles. From Belknap
the line turned more to the east to Murphy's, 16 miles; to Jacksboro, 19
miles; to Earheart's, 16 miles; to Davidson's, 24 miles; to Gainsville, 17
miles. Thence from Gainsville it extended to Diamond's, 15 miles; Slier-
man, 15 miles; and on out of Texas at Colbert's Ferry, a few miles down
the Red River from old Preston, 131 miles. Ibid.
At each of the points named there was a station. Ibid., pp. 30, ff.
Other stations were later established. A "Middle Station" between the
Concho and Horse Head Crossing on the Pecos was soon established accord-
ing to a report of Mr. Woods and Mr. Miller, passengers. Missouri Re-
publican, January 5, 1859.
No doubt it became essential to establish other stations from time to
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117141/m1/12/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.