Talk:Santa Fe Trail

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William Becker 'First used???', minor point[edit]

This page is an excellent start. Can't wait for more additions. I wonder if the following quote needs clarification, "First used in 1821 by William Becknell". Becknell first used it for commercial purposes. But did he really use it first!? I think Native Americans used it first. Maybe they didn't travel all the way from Santa Fe to Missouri in one journey. But they certainly 'paved' the way. Just my 2 cents here. Pommerenke 22:14, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Traveling all the way seems very unlikely. Why would they have gone from an American city to a Mexican one? Meanwhile, Becknell did certainly travel the entire way. The point doesn't seem terribly debatable, although perhaps someone could add weasel words like "documented" or "known." -LlywelynII (talk) 20:29, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Text from 1821[edit]

This should be merged with the main text:

[In 1821] Missouri trader William Becknell Santa Fe, New Mexico and sells his merchandise for a huge profit (he immediately planned to return the following year over a route that became known as the Santa Fe Trail.

== Movie Date Verification ==:RJBurkhart|RJBurkhart]] 21:05, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

The supplies they brought are unfound! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


This was a trade route. It would be nice to have some explanation of what was sold by the Americans and what by the Mexicans they came to trade with.Historicist (talk) 13:06, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

And its value. Quite. -LlywelynII (talk) 20:30, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
This seems like it should have a description somewhere, but I could only find a description of the first few trips, where regular supplies (eg, American calicoes and fabric) sold profitably for Mexican silver owing to New Mexico's distance and poor supply from the South. But surely the New Mexican market wasn't all that large. -LlywelynII (talk) 20:58, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
New Mexico Office of the State Historian by William H. Wroth has the rudimentary details of the trade. Basically, starting in the 1820s economically useful manufactured items were moved west, many of these goods actually moved further south towards Mexico's population centers. Traders heading back east took with them furs, livestock and Spanish gold coin, which was easily interchangeable with Spanish silver coin, the legal tender of the United States at the time. In the 1840s traders advertised and carried west with them spades, hoes, cutlery, textiles, "drugs, paint, tinware, and stationery, as well as several kinds of brandy and champagne"[1]Synchronism (talk) 21:52, 14 February 2010 (UTC)


Doesn't seem to have economic data or comparison with waterborne trade at first glance, but this book from Gutenberg's seems to have plenty of other filler that might be added to the article. -LlywelynII (talk) 20:36, 14 February 2010 (UTC) how'd you know?! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:29, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Trail map problems[edit]

The map of the Santa Fe Trail (drawn by a WP editor?) included in this article has several inaccuracies:

  1. The "canals" shown crossing New Jersey and Pennsylvania are fictitious
  2. Taos and Santa Fe are shown far to the north of their actual locations, with the result that...
  3. The western section of the trail route is shown too far to the north

WCCasey (talk) 16:43, 16 November 2011 (UTC)