Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous
The Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous was held September 19-21 in Larned sponsored by the Santa Fe Trail Center, Fort Larned National Historic Site, The Rendezvous, now in its fifth year, proved to be a grand gathering.
The theme for 2002 was "The Santa Fe Trail in Lore and Legend". Speaker and topics include; Dr James Hoy of Emporia State University -- "The Importance of Folk Narrative in Regional History"; Dr David Clapsaddle, author and historian -- "Murder and Mayhem at Walnut Creek"; Lawrence Hart, Principal Chief of the Southern Cheyenne tribe -- "Stories of the Cheyennes and The Santa Fe Trail", Robert Torrez, Archivist -- "Demythicizing the Santa Fe Trail," and William Chalfant, author and historian -- "The Battle of Coon Creek".
For those who were new to the Santa Fe Trail or for those who wanted to brush up on basic trail history, Dr. Leo Oliva conducted an "Orientation for Newcomers" on Thursday of the seminar.
Field trips on both the 20th and 21st were conducted. Tour guides were authors/historians Dr. Leo Oliva and Dr. David Clapsaddle.
In addition to speakers and field trips,other features included an opening event at the Santa Fe Trail Center, an evening dinner and music at Sibley's Camp, and a closing event at Fort Larned National Historic Site.
History Day Award
The Chapter is pleased to announce that the winner of the $50 award for the best Santa Fe Trail entry in the Kansas History Day competition was Jacob Frese of Council Grove, Kansas. Jacob's presentation at the annual Abiblens event was a video-documentary of Bill Anderson, the notorious confederate of the William Quantrill, who terrorized the Santa Fe Trail area in eastern Kansas during the Civil War. Our congratulations go to Jacob for a job well done.
Annual Wet/Dry Routes Santa Fe Trail Seminar
Writing to his brother in 1880, George C. Sibley, Factor at Fort Osage, opined that should the United States become involved in a war with England and should Spain enter the conflict, "it is likely this (Fort Osage) will be a rallying post from whence to attack Santa Fee; we could march there and seize their mines in less than twenty days. I have no doubt if we have a war, but seize then we shall." Sibley's conclusion was prophetic of (1) the opening the road to Santa Fe with the inaugural expedition of William Becknell in 1821, and (2) The war aginst Mexico as declared by President James K. Polk on May 13, 1846. Such provides the focus for the annual Santa Fe Trail Seminar sponsored by the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail. Scheduled for May 3, 2003 at Fort Larned National Historic Site in conjunction with the annual Meeting of the Fort Larned Old Guard, the seminar will feature three noted authorities addressing subjects related to the seminar's theme, The Mexican War and the Santa Fe Trail.
Arnold Schofield, historian at the Fort Scott National Historic Site, will open the seminar with an overview the Mexican War, its historic precedents, the Army of the West and its use of the Santa Fe Trail.
Francis Cuppage, M.D. will speak to the role of the First Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the Mexican War, and in particular to the medical aspects of the regiment during their long march to Santa Fe. Dr. Cuppage will draw on diaries of three separate soldiers associated with the First Illinois, one being written by Thomas B. Lester, who enlisted as a private but later was appointed Acting Assistent Surgeon. Of interest is that Lester who became Kansas City's second physician in 1854 was the uncle of Dr. Thomas B. Hall who edited and published the diary in Medicine of the Santa Fe Trail in 1971 and whose son Thomas B. Hall III published a second edition of the book in 1987. Happily, Dr. Cuppage and Dr. Hall are colleagues at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Of additional interest is Private Robert Easley who died en route with the First Illinois to Santa Fe at the Pawnee Fork crossing near present Larned, Kansas. A government issued tombstone with an appropriate military inscription has been placed near the crossing site where Easley was buried by the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter and the Sons of the Civil War. Easleys demise is the subject of some medical discussion by Lester. Fortunately, a great, great, great granddaughter of private Easley will be in attendance at the seminar, Jancie Mercer Dwire-Baker of Wichita. Of equal interest is Scott Altman, one of our nation's astronauts, a great, great, great, great grandson of Easley.
Leo Oiva, Ph. D. editor of "Wagon Tracks" and author of "Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail" will conclude the seminar with remarks on the Indian Battalion organized in July 1847 to protect the Santa Fe Trail from Indian depredations during the Mexican War, several of which occurred in the present Pawnee, Edwards, and Ford Counties areas.
Following lunch, the afternoon and evening will be given over to the activities of the Fort Larned Old Guard. Further details will be forthcoming in future editions of "Wagon Tracks" and "Traces".
The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter will conduct it's Fall Meeting in conjuction with the Fort Dodge/Dodge City/Cimarron Chapter. The meeting is scheduled for November 3rd at the Dodge City Library at 2:00 p.m.
Dues are always Due to the
Fastest Hand in the West
Chapter dues in the amount of $10.00 per family, are due at the Winter meeting or may be mailed to Alice Clapsaddle, 215 Mann, Larned, Kansas, 67550. Checks should be made out to the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter. Dues and email addresses are welcome.
"Printable Dues Form"
Santa Fe Trail Research Site
"E-Mail & Home Page"
Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.