Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 20 of 368
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CONFUSED ACCOUNT OF RED RIVER.
Missouri, from Santa Fe, and among others the brother of Captain
Shreeves, who gives information of a large and frequented road, which
runs nearly due east from that place, and strikes one of the branches of
the Canadian; that, at a considerable distance south of this point, in the
high plain, is the principal source of Red river.
"His account confirms an opinion we had previously formed,
namely: that the branch of the Canadian explored by Major Long's
party in August, 1820, has its sources near those of some stream which
descends towards the west into the Rio del Norte, and consequently that
some other region must contain the head of Red river." He continues:
"From a careful comparison of all the information we have been able
to collect, we are satisfied that the stream on which we encamped on
the 31st of August is the Rio Raijo of Humboldt, long mistaken for
the sources of Red river of Natchitoches. In a region of red clay and
sand, where all the streams become nearly the color of arterial blood,
it is not surprising that several rivers should have received the same
name; nor is it surprising that so accurate a topographer as the Baron
Humboldt, having learned that a Red river rises forty or fifty miles east
of Santa Fe and runs to the east, should conjecture it might be the source
of Red river of Natchitoches.
"This copjecture (for it is no more) we believed to have been adopted
by our geographers, who have with much confidence made their delineations
and their accounts to correspond with it."
Hence it will be seen that up to this time there is no record of any
traveller having reached the sources of Red river, and that the country
upon the head-waters of that stream has heretofore been unexplored.
The Mexicans and Indians on the borders of Mexico are in the habit of
calling any river, the waters of which have a red appearance, "Rio
Colorado," or Red river, and they have applied this name to the Canadian
in common with several others; and as many of the prairie Indians
often visit the Mexicans, and some even speak the Spanish language, it
is a natural consequence that they should adopt the same nomenclature
for rivers, places,
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Marcy, Randolph Barnes. Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan., book, 1854; Washington, DC. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6105/m1/20/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .