The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 10
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Three days after Christmas in 1841 he wrote:
This morning about 8 miles and crossed the line
betwixt the U. S. and Texas. . . . Crossed Red River
at Shreveport and came about 7 or 8 miles up, and
stayed at a hog hob of a place-a fellow named Bur-
So he was home again in the United States, after a little
over six months in the Republic of Texas. He had seen the
country, sold his mules, admired the cities, scolded the Presi-
dent, and had ridden alone on a horse through a wilderness,
carrying with him his little copybooks, in which the ink is
brown and slightly pale.
I believe these diaries have tremendous interest, not only
because they have never before been made public, but because
they give us the very intimate fabric of a character destined to
enrich American history by his deeds and American literature
by his words. His own life contained the raw materials of one of
the great books of the American experience, and the landmark
of that book would not have been possible without the little
stations along the trail such as we have listened to tonight.
On New Year's Day, in 1843, he made this entry: "It was a
little prior to this time that I commenced preparing notes for
the compilation of a work on 'Santa Fe and the Prairies.' I
now supposed I would be able to publish it during the follow-
ing summer." On the 1st of June following, he wrote: "Left
Van Buren on steamer "Export" for Philadelphia to prepare
my work for publication."
A year later, after many tedious delays and negotiations in
the East, he was at last able to put in his diary, on Sunday
the 30th of June, 1844:
Started West in the morning train of cars at 9:30.
Arrived at Philadelphia between 2 and 3 o'clock. Mr
Langly expects to publish my work in about ten days.
Having got about 100 copies bound, took them West
with me. Work comprises two vols., 12mo, 320 and
318 pages. Title: "Commerce of the Prairies: or Jour-
nal of a Santa Fe Trader, during Eight Expeditions
Across the Great Western Plains and a Residence of
Nearly Nine Years in Northern Mexico / Illustrated
with Maps and Engravings."
The author's name, of course, was Josiah Gregg.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/14/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.