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Article : on the

Full Citation: James A Hanson, “Spain on the Plains,” Nebraska History 74 (1993): 2-21

URL of article: http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/publicat/history/full-text/NH1993Spain.pdf Date: 8/13/2013

Article Summary: Spanish and traditions have long influenced life on the Plains. The Spanish came seeking treasure and later tried to convert Indians and control New territory and trade. They introduced to the . Hispanic people continue to move to Nebraska to work today.

Cataloging Information:

Names: Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, Fray , Esteban, the Turk, , Hernán de Soto, Juan de Oñate, Etienne de Bourgmont, Pedro de Villasur, Francisco Sistaca, Pierre and Paul Mallet; Hector Carondelet, James Mackay, John Evans, Pedro Vial, Juan Chalvert, Meriwether Lewis, , , , Fernando de Melgares, ,

Place Names: Lindsborg, ; Wichita, Kansas; El Cuartelejo, Scott , Kansas; Santa Fe, New ; St Louis, ; Fort Carlos IV, Dakota County, Nebraska; , Nebraska

Indians Bands and Tribes: , , Wichita, Pawnee, Kansa, , Osage, Blackfoot, ,

Keywords: , , Adams-Oñis Treaty, , Mexican War, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, the Turk, Juan de Oñate, Pedro de Villasur, James Mackay, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Zebulon Pike, Manuel Lisa, Cibola, , Harahey, Santa Fe Trail

Photographs / Images: a shelterhouse constructed to resemble a Spanish fortification at Coronado Heights, near Lindsborg, Kansas; map showing how Spanish horses from the Southwest spread rapidly across the Plains through intertribal trade and stealing; Father Padilla monument at Herington, Kansas; grass house built by the Wichitas; excavation of the El Cuartelejo site in Scott County, Kansas; George Catlin sketch of Comanche horsemen about 1834; perpetual calendar of Spanish manufacture found at the site of Fort Atkinson; Spanish coins dating from 1767 to 1804 excavated at Fort Atkinson; hide painting of a 1720 battle showing and Spanish soldiers guarding a horse herd; signed certificates that accompanied medals presented in the to an Omaha Indian to gain his allegiance to the Spanish crown; mysterious carving near White Clay, Nebraska; Spanish found in Franklin County, Nebraska, in 1874; Zebulon Pike; Manuel Lisa; detail from Perrin du Lac’s 1802 map of the Missouri River; Frederick Piercy’s 1853 sketch of Fort John (Fort Laramie); José Merivale; Mexican muleteers loading a pack train for the Santa Fe Trail; homes of Hispanic workers near Scottsbluff in the 1920s; inset cover of “Coronado in Quivera” (Songs of the Ak-Sar-Ben Pageant, 1922)

Coronado Heights (from southeast) near Lindsborg, Kansas. The structure on the hill is a shelterhouse constructed to resemble a Spanish fortification. Courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.

p I o

By James A. Hanson

Spain laid claim to the intrepid Europeans. a Spanish soldier shipwrecked on the in 1492. In 1541 Vasquez de Coronado The movement of objects and ideas coast in 1528, reached Mexico explored , Texas, Okla­ and by inference, people, from the with three other survivors eight years homa, and Kansas. The first Spanish Southwest toward the Missouri River later. He repeated fabulous tales of settlers took up residence in New in prehistoric times canbe documented golden cities he had heard from Indi­ Mexico in 1598. In 106 years Spain had through archeology and anthropology. ans along the way, and these stories explored three thousand miles inland Sherds of broken southwestern pots eventually excited the cupidity and and established a permanent settle­ have been found in the of missionary zeal of higher authorities.' ment two thousand miles from the Nebraska. Turquoise beads FrayMarcos de Nizawas so impressed coast. For the English to have equalled have been recovered from prehistoric by them that he purchased Cabeza de this feat, they would have had to have sites ineasternNebraska. There Vaca's African slave, Esteban,who had reached from Jamestown is an incredible and apparently not accompanied Cabeza de Vaca during by 1656 and established an English coincidental parallel between the bi­ his wanderings. settlement somewhere in by zarre Pawnee Morning Starceremony, FrayMarcos andEsteban,with over 1713. When we considerthe vast Span­ which included the ofa virgin 300 Christian Indians, went north a ish , extending from female captured from an enemy tribe, thousand miles to the pueblos of Tierra del Fuego in the south uninter­ and an Aztec sacrificialceremonyfrom present-dayNewMexicoin 1539.When ruptedto Vancouver Islandinthe north the of Mexico. These and other they came in sight ofHawikuh Pueblo, and from on the east to Califor­ instances point to a very ancient con­ Fray Marcos sent Esteban and the nia on the west, it is with respect and nection between the High Plains and entourage ahead, where he and most admiration for the tenacity of these Southwest. ofthe followers were put to death. Fray The history of the be­ Marcos fled back to Mexico, stating Dr. James A. Hanson served as director of gins with the fabled reconnaissance of that he had seen Cibola, with its doors the Nebraska State Historical Society from Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in sheathed in goldand turquoise." 1985 to 1992. 1540-41. AlvarNunez Cabeza de Vaca, The ofNew Spain wasted no 2 Spain on the Plains

time organizing an expedition to pick especially engaging with his sto­ He was seriouslyinjured on the return this fabulous plum. He selected Fran­ ries. When the showed him trip to Mexico and was later tried but cisco Vasquez de Coronado, a personal , he assured them that it could be acquitted on a variety of charges relat­ friend and of the important found in Quivira. ingto the expedition's failure. He never of Nueva ." Only Coronado and his flying column recovered from the physical and men­ twenty-eight, Coronado was a gifted reached the "Province of Quivira" in tal strain and died in 1554 atthe age of administrator with a well-connected central Kansas nearpresentLindsborg. forty-four. wife and an influential father. He was It turned out to be a series of small It is perhaps helpful to one's sense a man on the rise, and this expedition Wichita Indian villages along the Ar­ of historical chronology to note that was the opportunity of a lifetime. He .5 The Wichitas lived in while Coronado's army was exploring marched out of Compostela, Mexico, in fascinating conical houses made of the Southwest, a Spanish army of 600 1540 with 230 soldiers and poles and grass, and relied upon ­ menunder Hernan de Soto was search­ 800 servants to find Cibola and the dening and for their suste­ ing for gold in the Southeast. Begin­ seven golden cities. nance. There were several related ning in 1539, de Soto's army marched Instead, Coronado found a series of bands, sometimes confederated and from Florida to to Mis­ Pueblo Indian villages in present New sometimes at war with one another. souri and finally to Texas before turn­ Mexico. There was not the smallest Theyrangedover much of Texas, Okla­ ing back. De Soto died offever andwas piece of gold or , and no great homa, and Kansas. buried in the River; the quantity of turquoise. Each commu­ East of Quivira, near present Fort 311 disheartened survivors sailed for nity did have extensive gardens, but Riley, Kansas, was the "province" of Mexico in 1543. Curiously, a woman no livestock except for turkeys, dogs, Harahey,which Coronado didnotvisit, actually united these two fabled expe­ and . The Pueblos carriedon an but a delegation from there came to ditions. She was an Indian slave be­ active trade with the "" Indi­ him. These Indians were related to the longing to Juan de Zaldivar, and she ans to the east, exchangingcorn, beans, Wichitas and were possibly Pawnees. had escaped from the Coronado expe­ squash, and tobacco for meat, skins, Of course there was no gold any­ dition in the Texas Panhandle. The and slaves. where, and by this time, Coronado woman fled to , where she These "" were , surelysawhis future crumblingto dust. was captured by de Soto's men. They divided into several groups, and in­ The Turk was strangled for lying, but believedher storywhen she recited the habiting the Plains from Nebraska and modern scholarship have vindi­ names of various captains in to Texas and New Mexico. cated him. When shown gold, he had Coronado's army. The two armies had They were entirely on foot and used used the Wichita word meaning metal. beenjust 300 miles apart at one time, dogs to haul their leather tents and The Quivirans did possess native cop­ and the slave woman said her travel otherpossessions. The Spaniardsfound per from the Great , and the had taken only nine days." the Apaches friendly and helpful, and Turk may not have understood it was Although Coronado's failure brought maintained generally good relations different from gold." The conquista­ a temporary halt to official Spanish with them for nearly two centuries.' dors returnedempty-handedto Mexico. to the north, several Span­ However, friendly relations did not However, for the next 250 years, Span­ ish priests were martyred in New prevail between Spaniard and Pueblo ish explorers would continue to seek Mexico in 1582, and unofficial Spanish and fighting broke out between them. the treasure they believed Coronado reached New Mexico as The thousand or so mouths in had missed. well. One, led by Francisco Leyva de Coronado's party placed an incredible Juan de Padilla, one of the padres Bonilla and Antonio Gutierrez de burden upon the Pueblos, who must accompanyingthe expedition, saw that Humaiia, reached Kansas in 1593, have spent manynights secretly coun­ there were souls to be saved on the where it was wiped out by Indians." seling about the best way to get rid of Plains. He left Coronado at the Rio English sea dog Francis 's these unwanted guests. Grande and returned to Quivira with Pacific raid (1578-79) convinced Span­ The next , the Pueblos con­ several laybrothers to spread the Gos­ ish officials that he had discovered the vinced Coronado that there was goldin pel. Padilla was slain in 1542 by war­ Straits of Anian or the Northwest Pas­ Quivira to the east. Coronado took only riors ofa tribe atwarwith theWichitas, sage, an oceanchannelnorth ofMexico forty , which must have possibly the Kansa Indians. Three of by which to reach . It became a been a great disappointment to the the lay brothers are known to have major concern of to secure Pueblos. However, they furnished two escaped and returned to Mexico. To­ its northern frontier from an expected slaves from Quivira to serve as guides. day there is a monument to Padilla's English invasion.''' One, called the Turk because of his memory at Herington, Kansas." In 1598 an official colonizing expe­ shaved head and scalp lock or queue, Coronado, too, had major problems. dition of 129 soldiers, 20 clergy, 83 3 Nebraska History - Spring 1993

wagons and 7,000 horses, , and in Mexico, he was the son of a political precariously situated little outpost a arrived in New Mexico. It was rival of Coronado. Onate's father had thousand miles from the nearest Span­ the first European settlement in the become fabulously wealthyin Mexican ish settlement. While the hope of great AmericanSouthwest. Its purposes were silver . After serving the mineral wealth may have helped lure to guard against the English, Chris­ for twenty years by conquering Indian the Spaniards so far north, the princi­ tianize the Indians, and find the great tribes in , Onate per­ pal economic activities turnedout to be treasure that simply had to be hidden sonally financed the New Mexico expe­ animal husbandry, farming, and sys­ somewhere.P dition with his own and his friends' tematically robbing the local Indians This substantial colony was orga­ money. through taxation. nized and led by Juan de Onate. Born Onate's New Mexico colony was a In June 1601 Onate marched his army with its train of supply carts into present Kansas, the first wheeled traf­ --.--.-­ fic on the Great Plains. The conquista­ -'--'-'-r­- 0- ._.-\~ dors reached Coronado's Quivira, but 175 8 the various Indian groups on the Plains were in foul humor and spoiling for war. Although Onate found the I ~ 17708 Wichitaswearing sea shelljewelry and I 17408 j concluded erroneously that the strait to China must be near, his men con­ vinced him to return to New Mexico. '-'-'-'~I! ~-'-17~8 En route, the Spaniards fought an in­ -11 conclusive battle with 1,500 Indians I , 17308 \ near present Wichita, Kansas. These were relatives but enemies of the / I Wichitas at Quivira. In 1610 Onate left the province and r- returned to Mexico, having lost over I 600,000 pesos, the equivalent of many L millions today. Rather than abandon T--' 16908 the colony, the Spanish king in 1609 declared New Mexico to be a royal I province in order to protect the 8,000 I Pueblo Indians who had been baptized ~ 16908 as Christians. Santa Fe was estab­ 16608 lished in 1608-09 and is the oldest seat I of government in the . I In New Mexico the Spanish used .-.-.~J ---l.. their standard three-legged bureau­ _._.+ .-.­...... ,... '-'-'-'-' cracy of military, civil, and ecclesiasti­ I 16598~.-,-. cal authority, a cumbersome check­ and-balance system which prevented I Santa Fe 0 I \ any real decision making without ap­ peal to higher authorities. The harsh I 16408 1 . frontier life, the greed of the colony's I , leaders, and the church's inflexible , I attitudes toward the native people I , caused tremendous stress. Some time , I prior to 1664, Pueblos who could not I , accept Spanish oppression fled to a _.-L.r-' '-'--.J , delightful creek valley near present Scott City, Kansas, where they formed Spanish horses from the Southwest spread rapidly across the Plains through an alliance with a.band of Apaches and intertribal trade and horse stealing. Map by Dell Darling. built a pueblo. Known as EI Cuartelejo, 4 Spain on the Plains

"the faraway dwelling," it became an important trade center between the Plains Indians and the settlements." The iron-handedrule ofthe Spanish in the upper Rio Grande Valley was broken in 1680 when a brilliantly con­ ceived and beautifully executed revolt of the Pueblo people overthrew the Spanish regime. One may draw some interestingparallelsbetween this event and our own revolution a centurylater. The mauled and tattered Spanish sur­ vivors retreated down the Rio Grande to El Paso, where they remained for thirteen years. Ironically, the Pueblos, having gainedtheirfreedom, found themselves in an awkward position. Neighboring tribes had acquired horses through theft or purchase and had become highly mobile raiders. The nature of Plains Indian warfare changed dra­ matically, from static, set-piece battles to fluid, fast-moving skirmishes. Raid­ ing Apaches and Utes copied the lay­ ered Spanish leather armor precisely, providing horse and rider with virtu­ ally arrowproofprotection. This armor spread north to the upper Missouri, and it was not until firearms and steel arrowheads were plentiful(about 1820) that leather armor disappeared." Spain could not allow such an af­ front as the to go unpun­ ished, and in 1692-93 the Reconquest took place. The Pueblos, feeling the Spanish to be the lesser of evils, put up only token resistance. While admit­ ting no wrongdoing, the Spaniards were willing to modify their behavior to­ ward the Pueblos somewhat. Realiz­ ing that the harsh controls of early New Mexico would not solve the many problems of the reestablished colony, the government and the clerics usually adopted a policy of looking the other way when it came to illegal trade with the Plains Indians or questionable re­ ligious practices. Itwas to Spain's ben­ efit to accommodate the Pueblos, who served them faithfully many times thereafter. Nevertheless many Pueb­ Father Padilla monument at Herington, Kansas. Courtesy Kansas State Historical los left New Mexico and established Society. 5 Grass house built by the Wichitas. Courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.

fortified "pueblitos" in or intermediaries took horse herds to far out on the Plains to conduct busi­ swelled the population ofEI Cuartelejo. Kansas and all the way to . ness." The New Mexican government set The Spanish also participated in this After the Reconquest, theNewMexi­ about building buffer zones of friendly trade in a major way. cans opened up a major trading trail Pueblo and Apache Indians to lessen Along with the horse came Spanish reaching to the upper Missouri. This the shocks of attacks from Plains raid­ , bridles, bits, and even riding trade road followed the path of least ers. In order to maintain good rela­ techniques. Not until the nineteenth resistance through Colorado just east tions with the Apaches, who at that century did wild horses become nu­ of the to the North time inhabited western Kansas and merous enough on the High Plains to in the vicinity of the fu­ Nebraska and the Texas Panhandle, be captured in large numbers. Until ture site of Fort Laramie. There, three and to develop them as bulwarks then, horses were usually purchased alternate routes took the traders to the against Wichitas and Pawnees, the or stolen. was easier in desired tribes: up the North Platte to Spaniards encouraged trade between the Southwest than on the cold north­ present Orin Junction, Wyoming, then the Apaches and themselves. This trade ern Plains. A Frenchexplorer also noted north around the west side ofthe Black provided an important economic out­ that few Indian ponies produced colts Hills to the villages on the let for the Apaches as well as for the because the mares aborted from being Missouri in ; upriver to New . ridden while pregnant.t" present Casper, Wyoming, then north The Spaniard possessed many won­ The Spanish eagerly sought slaves, to the Crows on the Yellowstone in derful things which the Indians cov­ buffalo robes, dried meat, and leather ; ornortheastfromthe present eted, such as iron for tools and weap­ from the Apaches and other Plains Fort Laramie across northwest ons and sheep for wool, but his out­ tribes in exchange for horses, sword Nebraska to the White River, finally standing contribution was the horse. blades for lances, wool blankets, horse reaching the Arikara villages on the It is almost impossible to conceive of gear, turquoise, and agricultural prod­ Missouri in ." This im­ human life on the Plains before its ucts, especially dried pumpkin, corn, portanttrail or networkoftrails was in coming. Certainly it revolutionized an and bread. While trade outside of pre­ use by about 1700. In 1706 Sieur de entire culture. Horses reached Ne­ scribed times and places was illegal, it Bienville stated that two French Ca­ braska by the 1680s, and the upper was commonly done. Spaniards and nadians, who had lived with Indians Missouri by the . Much of the hispanicized Indians, especially from on the upper Missouri, told of Span­ trade was intertribal, wherebyApache the Pecos and Taos pueblos, traveled iards coming to the villages to buy 6 Spain on the Plains

leather, and the observation was re­ de bois pushed farther and farther up alarmingly that the French were near peated in 1714. 17 the and Missouri rivers. In New Mexico. French cloth, firearms, The trail continued in use through­ 1664 New Mexican soldiers found swords, and religious objects had be­ outthe eighteenthcentury. In the French trade goods at El Cuartelejo. come commonplace among the Apaches British traders reported the Blackfeet The French opened regular trade with inwestern Kansas, who obtainedthem in present Montana were well sup­ the Indians of the central Missouri in the course of war with the Pawnees plied with Spanish horses and horse (Nebraska) by 1703. They provided in Nebraska. Spaniards saw wounded gear.!" In 1790 a St. Louis trader was guns and steel weapons, which gave Apaches who had been hit by bullets surprised to find large quantities of the Pawnees, Osages, Missourias, Kan­ fired from French guns. These events iron weapons, kettles, andhorse sas, and Wichitas great military ad­ led to Spain's most spectacularinvolve­ equipment from Spanish New Mexico vantage over their enemies, the ment with Nebraska, the Villasur ex­ in the Mandan villages. He remarked Apaches. The Spanish did not have pedition of 1720.26 that many of the horses bore distinctly enough firearms to supply their own The New Mexican government as­ Spanish brands." people, and prohibited gun sales to all sembled an army to enter Nebraska North West Company trader Plains tribes.24 and learn what the French were doing Francis-Antoine La Rocque visited the The Missouri River tribes often there. The commander was General and Crows in 1805; he noted warred with one another, but all Pedro de Villasur, who selected quantities ofNew Mexican trade goods seemed to reserve a special hatred for the best, most experienced troops in in their hands, especiallyblankets and the Apaches. Both the Spanish and the province, forty-five in all, and ap­ Spanish battle axes.P" Lewis and Clark French encouraged the slave trade pointed Jose Naranjo as his chief of found a similar range of New Mexican among their Indian allies. Pawnee or scouts. Naranjo, the son of an African artifacts among the tribes of the upper Wichita slaves arementionedinMexico man and a Indian woman, was a Missouri." St. Louis traders discov­ City records, while Apache slaves ap­ skillful and intrepid explorer, , ered that a Spaniard had taught the pear in those of , . andinterpreter. Beginning about 1714 art of glassmaking to Indians, who This intertribal slave trade continued he had apparently made at least three remelted trade beads into large disks into the 1860s andeventuallyincluded trips to the Platte River of Nebraska. and pendants."This trailnetworkwas Hispanic and Anglo-American victims The viceroy in was so im­ later used by American fur traders in as well. The Apaches were also faced pressed that he ordered the governor the mid-nineteenth century. G. K. with a new problem, the . of New Mexico to confer upon Naranjo Warren, who surveyed the eastern­ These predatory nomads, unknown in the title "Captain of War." Three civil­ most routein 1855, specificallyreferred Santa Fe before 1715, swept outofthe ians, including a priest and a trader to it as "the Old Spanish Trail."23 Rocky Mountains with murderous exu­ with six pack animals loaded with The had other seri­ berance' making and breaking alli­ goods, completed the Spanish force. ous problems in addition to its rela­ ances at will. Accompanyingthemwere sixty Pueblo tions with Plains Indian tribes. En­ French traders continuedto advance auxiliaries, who were excellent skir­ glish pirates in the Pacific and Carib­ into territory the Spanish claimed. In mishers. bean took advantage of the failure of 1714 French explorer Etienne de The army left Santa Fe about the Spain's Armada to drive England from Bourgmont reached the mouth of the middle of June and marched 350 miles the seas, and French heretics (infected Platte, which he called the Nebraskier to the stronghold of El Cuartelejo. as they were with Protestants) had River, the first to approximate our There Villasur recruited a dozen or so attempted settlements in South Caro­ state's name. The French concluded Apaches to serve as guides. The lina and Texas, threatening Spanish treaties of and friendship with Apaches had been mauled by the Paw­ Florida and Mexico. The French moves the Missouri River tribes, including nees the previous year and were spoil­ forced the Spanish to colonize actively one with the Skiri Pawnees in 1719. ing for revenge. in Texas, but the French succeeded in French presents andtrade goods flowed The precise route of the expedition establishing a series of trading posts up the Missouri and overland from the is unknown, butitapparentlyfollowed andsettlementsfrom the GulfofMexico GreatLakes to the tribesinNebraska." a hunting and raiding trail of the Paw­ to the . Before long, Span­ For the Spanish in New Mexico, nees. The Spanish route is shown on ish and French soldiers faced one an­ each day brought news that the Paw­ an early eighteenth century French other across fortified borders in Texas, nees, supplied by the French with new map, and it appears to be identical , , and Florida. weapons, were growing in military with the Pawnee trail delineated by On the Plains, French expansion to strengthatthe expenseofthe Apaches. Pike in 1805 and Longin 1820. Surviv­ take advantage of the burgeoning fur In 1719 war broke out between ing portions of Villasur's journal state trade manifested itselfwhen coureurs and Spain and evidence increased they were following an Indian trail." 7 Nebraska History - Spring 1993

The trek brought Villasur's army to eight soldiers, forty-nine Pueblos and its various tribes to assume new rela­ the Platte somewhere around Grand all the Apaches escaped. The survivors tionships with the Spaniards; friend, Island. The troops crossed the Platte retreated to Santa Fe by way of EI enemy, or more often, at war or at and then the . Oto and Cuartelejo, reaching home peace in one province of New Spain Pawnee Indians began making their 6, twenty-four days after the fight. an d the reversein anotherto the tribe's appearance at this time, and Villasur This battle was the biggest defeat best advantage. But the withdrawal of attempted to negotiate with them at for the white man in Nebraska. It was the Apaches also enabled the New various intervalsusinga Spanish slave, a major reversal for the Spanish, who Mexicans to make friends of old en­ a Pawnee named Francisco Sistaca. investigated the details ofthe disaster emies. In 1753 Santa Fe traders were Near present Schuyler, Nebraska, for nearly seven years. The French in with the Pawnees on the Loup River in Sistaca disappeared. The Spaniards Illinois heard of the fight 5; Nebraska. According to Zebulon Pike became so alarmed at the belligerence they embroidered the story as Spanish in 1806 a regular caravan traveled andnumbers ofthelocal Indians,whose guns, swords, , and even a few every three years from New Mexico to villages were south of the Platte- near pages from Villasur's diary, were the Pawnees. Annual Spanish trading present-day Bellwood and Linwood ­ brought in by Indians. caravans also rendezvoused with the that they about-faced and returned to Itis hard to imagine the demoraliz­ and Utes in Colorado and the Loup. They forded the river and ing effect of this disaster upon New the Comanches in Kansas. The went into camp in a meadow covered Mexico. The province had lost a gen­ Comanche trade grew to such propor­ with very tall grass, apparently 10­ eral, its finest scout, a distinguished tions that all NewMexican Indian trad­ catedjust south of modern Columbus, businessman, a priest, and the flower ers came to be called "Comancheros." Nebraska. ofits frontiersmen. As well, NewMexico The destruction of Villasur's elite At dawn the next morning, August was unable to assess the French threat, armywas followed by a series ofFrench 14, 1720, a huge force ofIndians, pos­ which must have seemed awesome at incursions that fueled Spanish hyste­ sibly accompanied by French traders, the time. ria. In the 1730s, , and 1750s, attacked the camp. Most of the Span­ In fact, itwas. Etienne de Bourgmont Frenchmen from Louisiana and iards were still asleep. The tall grass negotiated peace in Kansas with the Mackinac (traveling by way of Ne­ had made it easy for the Indians to slip Apaches on behalf of France in 1724. braska), turned up in New Mexico, at in close, and probably Sistaca had in­ This removed the final barrier to first amazing the Spanish and then formed his people of the best time to French access to the fabulous mines of infuriating them. The most publicized attack. northern Mexico. However, the oppor­ expedition was that of the Canadian General Villasur fell dead in the tunity did not long exist. The brothers Pierre and Paul Mallet in first onslaught, and the Spanish troops Comanches sweptlike quicksilverover 1739. With eight or nine men, they left quickly formed into R) hollow circle, the Plains, and the promises made to Mackinac Islandto trade with the Paw­ bristlingwithguns, swords, andlances. the Apaches at Bourgmont's treaty neesinNebraska. Then they proceeded The horseguard, some distance away council near present Lyons, Kansas, overlar -l to Santa Fe, where they were and also under attack, managed to were not remembered by more eastern well t'ated and sold their goods for some of the horses, and three of tribes with old scores to settle. high prices. They returned to Santa Fe the men undertook a desperate The Apaches finally collapsed un­ in 1741 by a route across . through the swarming enemy. Two of der the incessant pressure, moving However, the Mallet visits upset the Spaniards were shot down, but the southward and westward into Texas, Spanish authorities in Mexico City. thirdmanreached the circle, and seven New Mexico, and Arizona. The White After that, all foreigners were treated soldiers escaped on the horses he MountainApaches hadretreatedsouth badly, but still they came. Jacques brought. One of these survivors had earlier to the JicarillaApaches in Colo­ Velo arrived from Illinois in 1744. In been shot nine times and had already rado. The Paloma Apaches from west­ 1748 thirty-three French traders were been scalped. ernNebraska retreatedto EI Cuartelejo in New Mexico. In 1749 three French Camped separately, the Pueblos did to escape the Pawnees and Wichitas. deserters arrived, and sevenmore came not absorb the brunt of the , Following the Villasur debacle, the in 1750. In 1752 ten French traders although eleven of them died in the Jicarillas were driven from the Plains headed for New Mexico but only two, fighting. The battle lasted only a few to New Mexico, where they settled in Chapuis and Foissy, arrived in Santa minutes, and when it was over, thirty­ 1726. The northernmost Apaches, the Fe with goods. They were imprisoned, five Spaniards including the priest lay Gattakas, joined the tribe but and all their property was sold to pay dead. Among them was intrepid Jose both were driven out of Nebraska for the costs of incarceration. Pierre Naranjo. One civilian, one lieutenant, about 1814 by the . Mallet and three others made one more one corporal, the quartermaster, and TheApache nation's collapse caused trip to Santa Fe in 1750, this time 8 Exeava tion.• of thet Kans El Quartelejoas . Courtesy site Scottsf::t~1K~toriet~ SO~ke:reh~d ina.gn~~) 1(,( George z: l:bout 1834. Crt mane h ehorseme . N~HS Collections. Nebraska History - Spring 1993

This perpetual calendar (left) of Spanish manufacture was found at the site ofFort Atkinson, Nebraska. The calendar is about twenty millimeters in diameter. Courtesy County (Nebraska) Historical Association . . . . (below) Spanish coins dating from 1767 to 1804 were excavated at the site of Fort Atkinson, Nebraska. Such coins were often cut into sections known as "bits. " A quarter section, "two bits," represented one-fourth of the coin's face value. NSHS Collections.

10 Spain on the Plains

across Texas. The third time was France ceded its territory west of the nor laid out a Mallet's unlucky charm; he was sen­ Mississippi to Spain as compensation supply road to connect it with New tenced to life imprisonment and sentto for her belated help, and to prevent Mexico. Father Escalante explored Spain in chains as a galley slave.28 Great Britain from laying claim to it. , and other explorations from The French finally ceased trying to French Louisiana became Spanish Santa Fe reconnoitered eastern Colo­ open trade with NewMexico andrelied Louisiana. rado. Despite its own difficulties, New upon Indians, especially the A European war thatcaused France Mexico did its part for the empire. Comanches, to as middlemen, sell­ to bow out ofNorth America left Spain Spain had received manyinjuries at ing French guns to the Spanish in and Great Britain facing each other the hands of England, beginning with Santa Fe and bringing Spanish horses along the Mississippi. However, nei­ Drake's and culminating with to Louisiana. However, a 1748 English ther was able to occupy its new terri­ the loss of Florida. When theAmerican map distinctly shows a road marked tory immediately. Pro-French Indians colonies revolted against the mother "to New Mexico" heading west from under Ottawa chief Pontiac warred country, Spanish authorities were French Louisiana, which makes one againstthe British until 1765. An anti­ quick to aid the rebels. Even though wonder if the English knew of a trade Spanish revolt in pre­ the Spanish government detested route that Spanish officials ignored or vented complete Spanish occupation democratic revolutions, it despised were ignorant of.29 of Louisiana until 1768. England even more. Tons of Spanish In the last half of the eighteenth Probably the last thing the Spanish gunpowder went up the from St. century, New Mexico was beset with neededwas an expensive newcolonyto Louis to American troops in Pennsyl­ almost constant Indian raids. If not administer. Still, Spain did what it vania and . American raid­ Comanche or Apache, the pillagers could to protect Louisiana. It fortified ers were granted safe havens along the were Pawnee, Wichita, Osage, or even the lower Mississippi and built Fort lower Mississippi, from which they Blackfeet. They carried off women, Carlos IIIin 1768 at thejunctionof the attacked British Florida. children, and livestock and left dead Missouri and Mississippi. St. Louis, Undoubtedly the greatest Spanish men and ruins. An Osage raiding party founded in 1764,became an important aid to the American cause was the in 1790ran offover 800 horses. In 1783 center andthe capitalofSpan­ resupply of George Rogers Clark's Vir­ Osages captured a caravan of silver, ish Illinois - all of Louisiana north of ginian army in 1779. His forces had and 250 Blackfeet did the same in the . swept the British from the Ohio Val­ 1787. Still, the Plains Indian trade The Spanish tried to control the ley, but they had exhausted their sup­ was very good, and horses, , and Indian tribes west of the Mississippi plies and worn out their uniforms and slaves taken in or Texas could with gifts amounting to $100,000 a weapons. When the British counterat­ be bought cheaply in New Mexico. year andwithtrade, as hadthe French. tackedfrom , Clark's men were In the midst of this period of'provin­ Unfortunately for Spanish efforts, by able to defeat them onlybecause of the cial turmoil, events in took a 1773 the British had reached as far as generosityofthe Spanishcommandan t dramatic turn. England and France Nebraska from the Mississippi with at St. Louis. The cause of American had been sparring around the world better, cheaper, and more plentiful liberty also owes a great debt of grati­ for nearly sixty years. In 1754 the last goods. It was an unequal contest, but tude to Oliver Pollock, Irish native, of these colonialwars erupted. By 1759 the Spanish did fairlywell despite gov­ naturalized Spaniard, and St. Louis itwas clear that Great Britain had the ernment interference, lack of capital, merchant. He was purchasing agent upper hand; in America, Quebec City and a limited supply of trade goods. for theAmericans andbankruptedhim­ had fallen, and all French trade down Another major and unnecessary prob­ selfin the process of aiding them. the St. Lawrence was cut off. The lem was that Louisiana was adminis­ The French declared war on Great French managed to convince the Span­ tered from , while New Mexico Britain in 1778, and Spain followed in ish to enter the war in 1761 to prevent andTexas continuedunder theviceroy 1779. The British saw that St. Louis the Britishfrom achievingworld domi­ in Mexico City. Old fears of trade be­ was the keyto whatinfluencethe Span­ nation. tween the Missouri and New Mexico ish had among the Indians of the Mis­ Instead British forces took Spanish persisted, even though both colonies souri and Mississippi valleys. If St. Cuba, themostimportantislandin the were Spanish. Louis couldbe captured, GreatBritain . Peace came in 1763, and Meanwhile, the global thinkers in could claim a huge piece of territory with it France ceased to be a North Spain's highest circles perceived a po­ andeliminate animportantrebelbase. American colonial power. Great Brit­ tential threat to Mexico from Russia However, there were no spare troops ain kept Canada and exchanged Cuba and Great Britain. Spain moved to available, so British army officers and for Florida. All French territory eastof occupy California as a buffer to en­ fur traders were dispatched to various the Mississippi passed to the British. croachment, and New Mexico gover­ upriver tribes. They dispensed pres­ 11 Nebraska History - Spring 1993

ents and promises and recruited over sian and British activity in the Pacific forts and withdrawing to California. 750 warriors with which to assault St. Northwest and British control of the The merchants chose to proceed with Louis. fur trade in Spanish Louisiana. It the Missouri plan anyway, and hired On May 26, 1780, the British-led seemed clear to the Spanish that some the able James Mackay as their field Indians attacked the Spanish at St. grand plan must be developed to pro­ manager. Louis and the at nearby tect their American interests. Baron Mackaybrought his trading expedi­ , Illinois. Outnumbered more Hector Carondelet, governor of Span­ tion up the Missouri to a site a mile than two to one, the Spanish won a ish Louisiana, was instrumental in above the mouth of the Platte. There, handy victory. In retaliation for the putting together a scheme that was on October 14, 1795, they commenced British offensive, Spanish and Ameri­ visionary in its approach and monu­ buildingthe first European settlement can troops burned a pro-British Sauk mental in its failure. in what is now Nebraska. This trading and Fox village at Rock River, Illinois. Two Spanish forts were established post served the Oto Indians, who lived There were persistent rumors that on the Northwest Coast, one at Neah a few miles upstream. Itwas relocated another attack on St. Louis was being Bay in present Washington and one at eight miles south of the Platte in 1797, planned at Fort St. Joseph, . Nootka on , where then abandoned later that year. In A force of sixty-five Spanish soldiers the Spanish seized some British ships 1795 Mackay laid out Fort and sixty Indians marched from St. and property." They were to serve as Carlos IV on a tinyrise of groundinthe Louis, captured the fort on February the western anchor of Spain's new line Missouri floodplain a mile from the 12, 1781, and burned it and the sup­ of defense. Carondeletthen envisioned Omaha Indian village of Chief Black­ plies the British had collected." a fleet of fast, light, armed galleys to bird near present Homer, Nebraska. It The upper Louisianaregionwas thus sweep up and down the Mississippi, was an impressive, stockadedpostwith preserved in Spain's hands. Despite cowing American frontiersmen and corner bastions, storehouse, living this success, British trade goods and interdicting British traders to endtheir quarters, and a trade room for the traders dominated the economic inter­ clandestine trade and their influence Omahas. Posts were also established ests of the Missouri and Mississippi with the Indian tribes west of the Mis­ for the and Arikara tribes in tribes. For obvious reasons neither the sissippi.s! As a final barrier to the Ca­ present South Dakota. Spanish nor the Americans were able nadian traders, Carondeletproposed a Mackay stayed at Fort Carlos IV to obtain the high quality andinexpen­ chain of fortified trading posts all the and dispatched Bernard Lecuyer sive English guns, textiles, and jew­ way up the Missouri to a Pacific link upriver with instructions to head for elry during the war. Even pro-Spanish with Nootka.35 the Pacific. Lecuyer proceeded barely Indians were forced to do business with The two Pacific forts were finished, a hundred miles before giving up. The the British, and the Spanish could not and eleven gunboats went into service next year Mackay sent another em­ prevent it because they had nothing to on the Mississippi. These vessels, com­ ployee, John Evans, who reached the offer." prising "His Majesty's Light Squad­ Mandan villages in present North Da­ Elsewhere, Spanish arms were very ron," patrolled the Mississippi from its kota. He kicked out some Canadians successful. Troops from New Orleans mouth to . Because the Span­ who were trespassing on Spanish ter­ and Cuba captured Baton Rouge, ish tried to drive away British traders, ritory, thenraisedthecastles andlions Natchez, Mobile, and Pensacola. At Indian tribes oftenpreventedthe crews flag over their abandoned post, the the conclusion of the Revolutionary from putting ashore, and the boats farthest upstream outpost of the Up­ War, Spain regained Florida from seem to have had only minimal effect per Missouri Company. Evans simply Great Britain. The end of the war also on curtailing British trade west of the had run out of supplies to go farther. found Spanish troops east of the Mis­ Mississippi. While Evans pushed upstream, sissippi in territory ceded to the United To finance the chain of forts up the Mackay made the first known recon­ States by Great Britain. Various refu­ Missouri as well as to explore it, naissance of the Nebraska Hills. gee Indian groups, some from as far Carondelet granted an exclusive fur He made a great circle, traveling along away as , clamored for trade monopoly in 1794 to a consor­ the Niobrara, Loup, and Elkhorn val­ Spanish protection from the land hun­ tium of St. Louis merchants called the leys. He found six and gry Americans. Not until 1795 did "Company of Explorers of the Upper seveninchesindiameter and remarked Spain finally withdraw its troops from Missouri." Several traders had already about a few other natural curiosities. the disputed lands in the Southeast advanced up the Missouri, one reach­ On the upper reaches of the Loup, and abandon the tribes to the rapa­ ing as far as present North Dakota in however, he recorded a "Great Desert cious frontiersmen." 1790. Just as the company was orga­ of moving sand where there is neither Spain now had to deal not onlywith nizing, Spain backed down to Great wood nor nor stone nor water nor the Americans butwith increased Rus­ Britain over Nootka, abandoning its animals except little multicolored tor­ 12 Spain on the Plains

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13 Nebraska History - Spring 1993

The origin of this rock carving near White Clay, Nebraska, remains a mystery. The name "Celedonio Garcia" suggests a Spanish connection. Courtesy Omaha World­ Herald .... (above) Spanish stirrup found in Franklin County, Nebraska, in 1874. NSHS Collections. toises. "36 Mackay noted that the South While the Britishleapfroggedacross to Santa Fe, via the Nemaha River in Platte's sourcewasverynearthe "Santa the , the Spanish dawdled. southeast Nebraska. Fe River" or Rio Grande, once again In 1801 they did build a trading post at Nothing came of this work, for offi­ reinforcing the New Mexico connec­ the mouth of the in cials inMexico Citycould see no reason tion. Despite these efforts the tremen­ and another for the in to divert Mexico's trade to Louisiana. dous cost of getting started on a large South Dakota. One intrepid St. Louis Vial continued to explore routes con­ scale, competition from the British, traderwinteredwith the in nectingNewMexico to Texas andTexas and mismanagement forced the Mis­ the before Lewis and Clark to Louisiana. Born a Frenchman in souri Company to liquidate in 1797, ascended the Missouri. Louisiana, Vial worked hard to keep leaving over $100,000 in debts. Although Spain'sinvolvementin the the Pawnees from accepting American With the plan to build barriers central and northern Plains during control. He brought Pawnee delega­ against the British in shambles, the the lastthird of the eighteenth century tions to Santa Fe in 1803 and 1804. government of Louisiana returned to was centeredin St. Louis andextended Vial was assisted in his efforts with issuing tribal trade monopolies to indi­ up the Missouri as far north as North the Pawnees by Juan Chalvert, an in­ vidual traders. By thelate 1790s, some Dakota, New Mexico tried to partici­ terpreter and explorer for the Spanish 115 Spanish citizens were engaged in pate but was at a distinct disadvan­ in the period 1800-1820. It is known the St. Louis fur trade. They had 100 tage economically. Long, tenuous sup­ that he was a trader on the Plains and boats on the rivers, and annually ply lines all the way to Vera Cruz had a ten-year-old son living among broughtin peltries valued at $100,000. meant that everyday items like iron the Pawnees in 1806. Chalvert, like Another $100,000 in furs came from cost a dollar a pound and empty glass Vial, was not Spanish. New Mexican lower Louisiana. By contrast, the Brit­ bottles fetched a dollar each. Since records reveal that he was born in ish had 150 boats on the Mississippi Spain ruled Louisiana, it seemed logi­ and was baptized a Pres­ alone and brought in $450,000 each cal to open trade by a shorter and byterian. His real name is unknown." year. More exasperatingwas thatsixty­ easierroad to New Orleans or St. Louis, Through more than two centuries five Britishboats plied the trade on the and thatis whatNew Mexico Governor and at tremendous cost the Spanish Missouri, and British pack trains Frederico de la Concha tried to do. He had tried to build chains of reached the Pawnees 150 miles to the hired ani tinerant explorer, PedroVial, and missions, buffer zones of Indian west. The Omahas, after the closing of to search out the best route,"? In 1792 allies, and colonies and settlements to Fort Carlos IV, were completely in Vial and two companions left Santa Fe protect the northern flank of its em­ British hands. In 1800 they destroyed for St. Louis. They were captured by pire from foreign encroachment. Spain a final Spanish trading expedition try­ Kansa Indians and eventually ran­ itself, however, hadfallenincreasingly ing to ascend the Missouri to the Pa­ somedby fur traders, who took themto under the domination of France. The cific. St. Louis. The next year Vial returned Bourbon royal family saton the thrones 14 Spain on the Plains

of both countries, and following the forts clearly had been successful. their bright and canary yellow , Spain was forced Stoddard also mentioned that the New uniforms with silver braid. When he to look to for leadership in Mexicans brought kegs filled with left New Mexico his army consisted of foreign affairs. Spanish silver coins to the mouth of 105 , 400 New Mexican mili­ Meanwhile, Bonaparte dreamed of the Platte River, where American trad­ tia, 100 Indian allies, and 2,000 riding rebuilding the ers exchanged their goods for cash. andpack animals. The army proceeded lostin the SevenYears' War(or French The Lewis and Clark expedition down the River across the present andIndianWar). He negotiateda treaty frightened the New Mexicans consid­ Texas Panhandle. with Spain in 1800 whereby Louisiana erably. They dithered about what to do Viana then ordered Melgares to was ceded back to France. However, long enough to avoid doing very much. swing north with half his command the cession was kept secret to forestall Finally, they paid some Comanches to and intercept Pike at the Pawnee vil­ a possible British attack on the prov­ ride to the Missouri and report when lage near present , Ne­ ince. When it became clear to Napo­ the expedition passed by. No report braska. The Spaniards were unable to leon that Europe required France's has survived, and Lewis and Clark did find Pike, but they cemented friend­ exclusive attention, he sold Louisiana not mention seeing any Comanches. ship with the Pawnees, then aban­ to the United States in 1803. Spanish Enough time elapsed for the Spanish doned further searching because their forces departed in 1804. Spain was to develop a strategy to deal with these large horse herd invited trouble from probably glad to be rid of a province upstarts, who now posed the greatest marauding Indian raiders. Melgares that cost six times as much to govern threatto New Spain. Veteran dragoons returned to Santa Fe, having led the as itgeneratedintaxes. However,New from Spain were sent to bolster the last official' Spanish military recon­ Mexico was stunned to realize that the defenses of New Mexico and Texas. naissance on the central Plains. U.S. border, previously800 miles away, In 1806 Jefferson sent out a second Pike had been delayed en route, and now ranless than 150 miles from Santa exploring expedition. This was the his little party of twenty finally ar­ Fe. LieutenantFreemanpartyoffortymen, rived at the Pawnee village after One of the first things the United which ascendedthe Red River of Texas. Melgares had departed. Pike found States did was to send the Lewis and Two hundred Spanish soldiers under much evidence of Spanish trade and Clark party up the Missouri to the Captain Francisco Viana intercepted influence; most notable, the Pawnees Pacific. The Spanish had fumbled, dis­ themin eastern Texas and forced them were flying the Spanish flag. Pike fi­ patchingthreeexpeditions infive years, to turn back. However, Freeman's men nally induced the Indians to replace it but nevertheless, during their first apparently told Viana that another with the Stars and Stripes, at least year's work, Lewis and Clark simply expedition was exploring to the north, temporarily. He cautioned them that retraced the route explored by Spain. and troops were dispatched to inter­ the Spanish would no longer come to They saw the ruins of Mackay's Fort cept it.39 the Pawnees. Carlos IV, recorded Cruzat's post near This expedition was led by Lieuten­ At this time Pike was on American the Council Bluff on their maps, ob­ ant Zebulon Pike, and it lacked any soil and Melgares had no right to be served the Spanish post at Isle aux official sanction from President there. Pike andhis men proceeded west Cedres in the Missouri, and talked to Jefferson or the government in Wash­ into Colorado, which was Spanish ter­ Indian chiefs wearing medals bearing ington. It was the brainchild of Gen­ ritory, and floundered about in the the Spanish king's portrait. eralJamesWilkinson, newly appointed mountains during the winter until the The explorers began the process of governorofLouisianaTerritory. Among Ute Indians reported their presence to gaining the Indians' allegiance to the his various schemes were plans to in­ Santa Fe. Melgares mercifully arrested United States. In fact, William Clark vade Mexico, , California, and them, and they were eventually repa­ noted that while the Otos, Missouris, the Rio Grande Valley. He was a major triated. and Osages were pro-American, the participant in the Burr Conspiracy. In These three expeditions caused the Omahas, , and Kansas were pro­ July 1806, less than a month after Spanish to reinstate their old xeno­ Spanish, and the Pawnees refused to becoming governor, Wilkinson sentthe phobic policy of treating all interlopers meet with the expedition. Amos toward Spanish terri­ harshly. An American tradingcaravan Stoddard, the first lieutenant gover­ tory, possibly to spy, possibly to pro­ reached Santa Fe in 1807, but thereaf­ nor of , wrote in voke a war." ter, all foreigners arriving in New 1809 that Americans had been unable The man looking for Pike was Lieu­ Mexico were arrested and imprisoned, to make any headway with the Paw­ tenant Don Facundo de Melgares, and includingfour Americans tradingwith nees, who traded exclusively with the he commanded a troop of dragoons the Comanches in 1812, and nine New Mexicans and the British from recruitedin northern Spain, who must American traders who entered Taos in Mackinac. Pedro Vial's diplomatic ef­ have looked absolutely resplendent in 1816. All lost their property, and some 15 Nebraska History - Spring 1993

Lieutenant Zebulon Pike. Courtesy Independence National Historical Park Collection . . . . (above right) Manuel Lisa. Courtesy Missouri Historical Society . . . . (below) Detail from Perrin du Lac's 1802 map ofthe Missouri River shows the Missouri Company's trading posts near the mouthofthe Platte and at the Omaha village. The map also traces James Mackay's route through theNebraska Sand Hills. NSHS Collections.

16 Spain on the Plains

were even sold into . These oc­ fortified the mountain passes leading across New Spain. This convinced con­ currences embitteredmanyAmericans to Santa Fe. servative elements in Mexico to join toward the Spanish, and there was In fact, the higher powers and per­ with liberal forces who had supported war talk on the streets of St. Louis." haps cooler heads in Washington and the 1810 revolution. Thus, virtuallyall One American who tried to break were concerned about friction of Mexico supported a new govern­ through the new barriers was Manuel all along the murkily defined border. ment which forced the Spanish viceroy Lisa. Born at New Orleans in 1772, he Both parties realized that the situa­ to recognize its independence in 1821. was a dynamic figure in Spanish Loui­ tion, ifleft alone, would lead to blood­ From California to Tierra del Fuego, siana. He fought against the endemic shed. America had annexed West Spain was finally ousted from the New bureaucracy andmonopoly, buthe also Florida and seized Amelia Island be­ World by the descendants of its own understood the Spanish system. By tween and Florida. General people. 1802 he was deeply involved in the Andrew Jackson had taken control of Once again, news of a Mexican revo­ Osage Indian trade in Missouri. In Florida Indians into his own hands. lution prompted Americans to try to 1807 Lisa embarked on a trading expe­ American freebooters were roving open trade with Santa Fe, this time dition up the Missouri and financed across east Texas. with resounding success. In 1821 Wil­ the successful 1807 caravan to Santa The Adams-Ofiis Treaty, negotiated liam Becknell arrived with a caravan Fe. Trading with the from in 1819, solved these problems by sell­ andreturnedto St. Louis with rawhide 1807 to 1813, Lisa tried but failed to ing to the United bags filled with Mexican silver. open a north-south trade from the Mis­ States. A fair and easily recognized Becknell's new route lay directly souri to Santa Fe. He financed parties Mexican boundary was drawn, and across Kansas. Until Lewis and Clark ofwhitebeavertrappers in the Rockies Spain also ceded its provedotherwise, mostpeoplebelieved as well, worked hard to reduce British claims to the United States. The treaty that the Missouri River had its source influence among the Indians during was ratified in 1821; the boundary re­ in the mountains close to Santa Fe. the Warof1812, andinducedtheWest­ mained intact until the Mexican War Even after Pedro Vial proved beyond. a ern Sioux to attack the pro-British of 1846-48. doubt that the shortest route from Santee Sioux in 1815. The year 1821 also marked the final Santa Fe to the Missouri lay across Lisa later built a trading post in collapse of Spain in Mexico. Spain's Kansas, people continued to use the Nebraska for the Omahas. In 1819 he power and wealth had been gradually much older route pioneered by the was there when theYellowstone Expe­ but surely eroded over two centuries Malletbrothers in 1739. Theyascended dition arrived at the Council Bluff. by aggressive merchant nations. More the Missouri to Nebraska, proceeded Lisa's wife, Mary, was the first known important, it proved to be impossible west to the Pawnee villages, then fol­ white woman to ascendthe Missouri or for Spain to seal its colonies from the lowed the Pawnee trail to the Arkan­ live in Nebraska. Lisa, who died in radical political and religiousideas that sas River, where the road westto Santa 1820, was an energetic and resourceful swept the world after the American Fe was . This trail was used by leader, who truly bridged the gap be­ and French Revolutions. Spain was James Clamorgan in 1807, and James tween Spanish and American culture, further devastated by the Napoleonic O. Pattie andother American trappers politics, and economics.P Wars. Colonial administrationbecame and traders through the . Fort There was a last shudder of nerves chaotic, and there were few resources Atkinson, in present-day Nebraska, in New Mexico when news arrived in to prop up royal control. was abandoned in 1827 in favor of Fort 1818 of the U.S. Army's "Yellowstone Between 1800 and 1815 revolutions Leavenworth, Kansas, located on the Expedition." Thinking that this was a swept the Spanish . There Santa Fe Trail. The Missouri River subterfuge for an invasion, the gover­ was an abortive in ceased to playa role as part of the road nor of New Mexico sent spies under 1810. Several Americans who heard of to Santa Fe. Juan Chalvertto theYellowstone River it travelled across the Plains from St. However, one final drama linking in Montana in 1819.43 Chalvert re­ Louis to Santa Fe with goods in order Fort Atkinson and New Mexico de­ ported that the river was farther away to be the first to establish trade with serves mention. Pawnee raiders had from Santa Fe than was St. Louis. The an independent Mexico. Instead, they discovered that New Mexico's portion Yellowstone Expedition actually were arrested and imprisoned. of the Santa Fe Trail offered lucrative stopped in Nebraska, where it built A revolution in Spain in 1820 sources of horses and otherloot of war. Cantonment Missouri (later Fort brought an end to absolute Because the Pawnees lived in U.S. Atkinson) at the Council Bluff, but the and established a liberal constitution. territory, Mexico sought American as­ Spanish were frightened by Major In that year, most foreigners were re­ sistance in negotiating an end to Paw­ Stephen Long's 1819 exploration of leasedfrom Spanish prisons inMexico. nee raids. Nebraska, Kansas, andColorado. They Spanish was also sweeping In 1825 twenty-six Mexican com­ 17 Frederick Piercy sketched adobe Fort John (Fort Laramie) in 1853. (NSHS­ L323-6) .... Mexican Jose Merivale (seated, wearing hat) was one ofthe interpreters for this delegation of Sioux leaders. (NSHS-J82-78) .... (below) Mexican muleteers loading a pack train for the Santa Fe Trail. From Josiah Gregg, Commerceof the .

18 Spain on the Plains

missioners left , passed through Santa Fe, and arrived at Fort Homes ofHispanic su.gar beet workers near Scottsbluff, Nebraska, 1920s. NSHS Atkinson. There, Ben­ Collections. jamin O'Fallon negotiated a treaty to stop Pawnee raidinginto Mexico. 44 The Pawnee raids decreased but did not stop until the , when disease and enemy Indians reduced the Pawnee population to the pointwhere the tribe needed the protection ofthe U.S. Army. The Santa Fe Trail proved to be the stuff of which western legends are made. Each year, hundreds ofwagons hauled manufactured goods to Santa Fe, and many of the goods were then shipped south to Chihuahua. Silver came to Santa Fe from there, and tons of wool and textiles were shipped to packers, interpreters, and guides for usual when large numbers of Hispanic Missouri by the freighters. After the fur traders, emigrants, and the army. people moved to the North Platte Val­ Mexican War more Mexicans than The American fur traders themselves ley in the early to work in sugar Anglo-Americans hauled goods on the went to New Mexico to buy whiskey, beet production, for their ancestors Santa Fe Trail. 'The trail ended with blankets,fancyironwork,jewelry,corn, started irrigated farming there over the construction of railroads after the and flour to supply the Plains 150 years ago. It is one of those won­ Civil War. tribes. derful ironies of history that one of American commercial development The Mexican War intervened in Nebraska's principalHispaniccommu­ in the Missouribasin, mostnotablythe 1846-48 and heightened racial ten­ nities, Scottsbluff-Gering, lies within fur trade, created some friction with sions. Mexico was forced to cede a third sight of the Wildcat Hills, where ar­ the New Mexicans, butit also afforded of its territory to the United States: cheologists have found 700-year-old new economic opportunities for them. California, Arizona, New Mexico, Ne­ southwestern pottery. The legacy of In 1827 New Mexicans reached the vada, Utah, and parts of Colorado and the Spanish in Nebraska and on the annual rendezvous in Wyoming. This amounted to over half Plains, especially their effect upon Wyoming ahead ofthe American trad­ a million square miles or one-sixth of Plains Indian culture through the in­ ers and made a fortune selling liquor, the United States, and by it the last of troduction of the horse, is indeed a textiles, saddles, and other goods. In the Plains passed out of Hispanic con­ treasure that should not be allowed to 1835 New Mexicans were trading with trol. be forgotten. Spain's contributions to the Arikaras inthe BlackHills. AMexi­ Nevertheless, as the Great Plains our history should not be underesti­ can trader and interpreter was living were settled, Hispanic people contin­ mated. After all, half of what is now with the Blackfeet in Montana in the ued to playa pervasive role. Military the United States once belonged to , andin the 1840s New Mexicans records ofcivilian employment atarmy Spain, and thirty million Americans were trading with the Crows in Mon­ postsinthe Westreveal Spanishnames can trace their heritage to Spanish tana. At that time Mexican traders on the payrolls. One of the last fur colonization in the New World. For were also near Ft. Laramie sellingfood­ traderswas AndrewGarcia,born south Nebraskans, Ak-Sar-Ben rituals cen­ stuffs, blankets, whiskey, and brandy. ofthe Rio Grande and working as late tered around the story of Quivira may The large fur trading posts such as as 1879 in Montana." Mexicans em­ not be so farfetched after all. Bent's Fort, Colorado, Fort Benton, ployed in the fur trade and Mexicans Montana, , , and Fort working for the army in the West were Laramie, Wyoming, were built by la­ followed by Mexican cowboys, Mexi­ NOTES Cabeza de Vaca's story is told in Cleve bor battalions from Santa Fe and can railroad construction crews, and Hallenbeck's Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca: The 'I'aos." New Mexican laborers settled Mexican hands. Journey and Route of the First European to Cross the Continent ofNorth America, 1534-36 near Fort Laramie in 1841 and built There was not a beginning when (Glendale, California: Arthur H. Clark Co., the firstirrigation systemon the Platte. Vasquez de Coronadoreachedthe High 1940). The site of their colony is called Mexi­ Plains in 1541, for prehistoric Indian 2Adolph F. Bandelier, "The Discovery of New Mexico by Fray Marcos of Nizza," New Mexico can Hill today. Other New Mexicans people had done it first. There was Historical Review 4 ( 1929): 28-44, is a took up work as , boatmen, nothing new, different, or really un­ good source on the priest and his activities. 19 Nebraska History - Spring 1993

''s Coronado on the Warren's delineation of the "Old Spanish Trail" their war road to New Mexico, where there were Turquoise Trail, of Pueblos and Plains in his field notes, which are in the Warren riches in the form of horses, slaves, and other (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, Collection, Box Five, State Library, booty. The trail also becameimportant to French 1949) is the best and most readable account of Albany. and later, American explorers and traders. For the expedition. l7Addison E. Sheldon, ed., trans., "The First nearlyeightyyears, travelers ascended the Mis­ 'James H. Gunnerson and Dolores A. White Explorers," Nebraska History Magazine souri River to the vicinity of the Platte's mouth, Gunnerson, "Apachean Culture: A Study in 8 (1925): 7. then headed southwest across Kansas to Santa Unity and Diversity," in Keith H. Basso and "Samuel Hearne, A Journey from Prince of Fe. The Pawnees continued to use the trail until Morris E. Opler, Apachean Culture, History, Wales' Fort in Hudson's Bay to the Northern after the Civil War. and Ethnology (Tucson: University of Arizona Ocean (Rutland, : Charles E. Tuttle 28Thomas,Ajrer Coronado; and Thomas, The Press, 1971); and James A. Hanson, Northwest Co., 1971), lii. Plains Indians and New Mexico, 1751-1778, a Nebraska's Indian People (Chadron, Nebraska: 19Abraham P. Nasatir, Before Lewis and Collection ofDocuments Illustrative ofthe His­ Chadron Committee, 1984), provide Clark: Documents Illustrating the History ofthe tory of the Eastern Frontier ofNew Mexico (Al­ information on the early historic period of west­ Missouri, 1785-1804 1 (St. Louis: St. Louis His­ buquerque: University of New Mexico Press, ern Plains groups. torical Documents Foundation, 1952), 82, 160­ 1940); James C. Olson, 5Waldo R. Wedel, "Coronado's Route to 61. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1955), Quivira, 1541," in Plains Anthropologist, 15:49 20W. Raymond Wood and Thomas D. 34. (1970), 161-68. Thiessen, Early Fur Trade on the Northern 2'Emanuel Bowen, A New Map of Georgia 5Mildred M. Wedel, "The Indian They Called Plains: Canadian Traders Among the Mandan with Part ofCarolina, Florida, and Louisiana, Turco," in Don G. Wycoff and Jack L. Hofman, and lndians, 1738-1818(Norman: Uni­ 1748 (Ithaca, New York: Historic Urban Plans, eds., Pathways to Plains Prehistory: Anthropo­ versity of Oklahoma Press, 1985), 189-220. n.d.) logical Perspectives ofPlains Natives and Their 2lReuben Gold Thwaites, Original Journals "Two important compilations of documents Pasts (Duncan, Oklahoma: Press, ofthe Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-18066 relating to the Spanish period in Louisiana are 1982), 153-62. (New York: Arno Press, 1969),103, 106-08. Nasatir, Before Lewis and Clark, and Lawrence 'Bolton, "Friars Remain in the New Land," 22Annie Heloise Abel, Tabeau's Narrative of Kinnaird, "Spainin the MississippiValley, 1765­ in Coronado, 335-43. Loisel's Expedition to the Upper Missouri (Nor­ 1794," in the American Historical Association "De Soto's route in America and the history man: Universityof Oklahoma Press, 1939),139. AnnualReportfor 1945(Washington, D.C.: Gov­ of his expedition is the subject of careful schol­ 23James A. Hanson, "A Forgotten Fur Trade ernmentPrintingOffice, 1946-49). For the Battle arshipin JeraldT. Milanich and Susan Milbrath, Trail," Nebraska History 68 (Spring 1987): 3. of St. Louis, see John Francis McDermott, "The eds., First Encounters: Spanish Explorations in "An amazing compendium of Spanish­ Myth of the Imbecile Governor: Captain the Caribbean and the United States, 1492­ Frenchrivalryon the southern andcentralplains Fernando de Leyba and the Defense of St. Louis 1570, Ripley P. Bullen Monographs in Anthro­ can be found in Elizabeth A. H. John, Storms in 1780," in McDermott, ed., The Spanish in the pology, Number 9, Florida Museum of Natural Brewed in Other Men's : The Confronta­ Mississippi Valley, 1762-1804 (: Uni­ History(Gainesville: Universityof Florida Press, tion of Indians, Spanish, and French in the versity of Illinois Press, 1974), 314-91. 1989). Southwest, 1540-1795 (College Station: Texas A 3lKinnaird, "Spain in the Mississippi Val­ 'For the various expeditions to New Mexico & M University Press, 1975). ley," 1: xxiii; Amos Stoddard, Sketches, Histori­ before Onate, see George P. Hammond and 2"Norall, Bourgmont, is an important key to cal and Descriptive of Louisiana (New York: Agapito Rey, The Rediscovery of New Mexico, understanding French political aggression and AMS Press, 1973), 297. This latter work is an 1580-1594: The Explorations of Chamuscado, Spanish fear of it among the Plains tribes. extremely important and seldom-used source Castano de Sosa, Morlete, and Leyva de Bonilla 25Thebest work on the is on Louisiana at the time of'its acquisition by the and Humatia (Albuquerque: University of New Gottfried Hotz, Indian Skin Paintings of the United States. Mexico Press, 1966). American Southwest: Two Representations of 32Thisfascinating period of American expan­ I°Spain's troubles with English pirates and Border Conflicts Between Mexico and the Mis­ sion and Spanish reaction is outlined in Arthur concerns over the "Strait of Anian'' can be found souri in the Early Eighteenth Century (N orman: Preston Whitaker, The Spanish American Fron­ in Peter Gerhard, Pirates of the Pacific, 1575­ University of Oklahoma Press, 1970), but see tier: 1783-1795: The Westward Movement and 1742 (Lincoln and : University of Ne­ also Alfred Barnaby Thomas, ed., trans., After the Spanish Retreat in the Mississippi Valley braska Press, 1990). Coronado: Spanish Exploration Northeast of (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1969). "Marc Simmons, The Last : New Mexico, 1696-1727 (Norman: University of 33W. R. Manning, "TheNootkaControversy," Juan de Onate and the Settling ofthe Far South­ Oklahoma Press, 1935) for documents relating in American Historical Association Annual Re­ west (Norman and London: University of Okla­ to it. Two substantive questions remain about port for 1904 (Washington, D.C.: Government homa Press, 1991), is a classic of scholarship on the battle. First, where did it occur? All sources Printing Office, 1905), 279-478, is an excruciat­ this subject. agree that it was northeast of El Cuartelejo at ingly detailed account of this incident. 12Waldo R. Wedel,An Introduction to Kansas the junction of two rivers. Thomas incorrectly "Abraham P. Nasatir, Spanish War Vessels Archeology, Bureau ofAmerican Ethnology Bul­ assumed El Cuartelejo was in Colorado, thus on the Mississippi, 1792-1796(New Haven: Yale letin 174(Washington, D.C.: Government Print­ locating the battle site at the forks ofthe Platte, University Press, 1968), is a tantalizing intro­ ing Office, 1959), 23-71. which error was repeated by Addison E. Sheldon duction to this arcane episode in frontier naval 13An excellent source on the of in his writings. Hotz located the site at the history. Indian fighting methods is Frank Raymond junction of the Loup and the Platte, which fits '5Nasatir, Before Lewis and Clark, 77. Secoy, Changing Military Patterns on the Great the information we have. '·Waldo R. Wedel, "An Introduction to Paw­ Plains (LocustValley, New York: J. J. Augustin, The second question is whether French nee Archeology,"BureauofAmericanEthnology 1953). were present at the battle. Spanish sources do Bulletin 112 (Washington, D.C.: Government "Garrick Mallery, "Pictographs of'the North not give the answer, but I believe the artist who Printing Office, 1936), map 7. American Indians," in Fourth Annual Report of did the buffalo robe painting of it was present, "See Noel M. Loomis and Abraham P. the Bureau of American Ethnology (Washing­ and his accuracyin delineating French clothing Nasatir, Pedro Vial and the Roads to Santa Fe ton, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1886), and equipment is unerring. There were French (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967). 108; and Frank Norall, Bourgmont, Explorer of traders in Nebraska by 1720 doing business '·Abraham P. Nasatir, Borderland in Re­ the Missouri, 1698-1725 (Lincoln and London: with the Pawnees. The French in the painting treat:From Spanish Louisiana to the Far South­ University of Nebraska Press, 1988),77. are civilians, not soldiers. west (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico I5Charles E. Hanson, Jr., "The MexicanTrad­ 27The western parts of the trail may have Press, 1976), is the standard work on this pe­ ers," Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly 6:3 been used in prehistoric times. After 1650 some riod. See chap. 7 for a discussion of the New (Fall 1970): 2-6. Pawnees began moving northwardfrom Kansas Mexico situation and whatis known ofChalvert. I5David Lavender, Bent's Fort (Garden City, to the Loup Valley of Nebraska. The trail was "For the record of this expedition, see Dan New York: Doubleday and Co., 1954) advances actively used by Pawnees who travelled west L. Freeman, ed., Jefferson and Southwestern these routes, and his thesis is confirmed byG. K. and south twice a year to hunt buffalo. It was Exploration: The Freeman and Curtis Accounts 20 Spain on the Plains

of the Red River Expedition of 1806 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984). <·Pike's original journals have been repub­ lished as Zebulon Montgomery Pike, Sources of the Mississippi and the Western Louisiana Ter­ ritory (Ann Arbor: Universityof Microfilms Inc., 1966). "Nasatir, Borderland in Retreat. See chap. 5, "The Road to Santa Fe: Genesis of the Santa Fe Trail," and chap. 7, "The Last Frontier of Spanish Louisiana: North from Santa Fe." "Richard E. Oglesby's book on Lisa is nicely summarized in his article, "Manuel Lisa," in Leroy R. Hafen, The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West 5 (Glendale: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1968), 179-201. <3Nasatir, Borderland in Retreat, 156. "Hiram Martin Chittenden, The American Fur Trade ofthe Far West (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986), 189, 200. "Hanson, "The Mexican Traders," 2-6. "Andrew Garda, Tough Trip Through Para­ ,),Ionls b,Y_ dise, 1878-1879 (: Houghton-Mifflin Co., HAf\TLEY 1967), is a classic of . BUIUl. ALI:XANDER

Pub l i &hed by the


The Kingdom ofQuivera was the mythical domain ofOmaha's ofAk-Sar­ Ben, a civic booster organization founded in 1895: NSHS Collections.