New Mexico, like Missouri, was the other trailhead state of the Santa Fe Trail, and its capital of Santa Fe was a principal destination for trading caravans from the U.S. since their first successful trips in 1821. While New Mexico was a province of the Spanish empire, trade with foreigners was discouraged, but with the founding of the Republic of Mexico in 1821, the new government actively sought trade with its U.S. neighbor. The New Mexican domestic economy had always lacked items like fine cotton fabrics, iron hardware and implements, and other manufactured consumer goods, and their ability to pay with silver from the rich Mexican mines to the south made them particularly attractive customers for traders from the specie-short frontier economies of Missouri.
What is a Chapter? A Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA) chapter is a regional representative of the Santa Fe Trail Association, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting, and educating the public about the historic Santa Fe Trail. The Santa Fe Trail was a significant trade route that connected Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the 19th century, playing a crucial role in the westward expansion of the United States. These chapters are geographically dispersed, often covering specific regions along the Santa Fe Trail or areas with a strong historical connection to the trail.
Why join a Chapter? One of the primary goals of the Santa Fe Trail Association is to preserve the historical sites, landmarks, and traditions associated with the Santa Fe Trail. Local chapters play a crucial role in this effort by focusing on the preservation and education of their specific areas. They may undertake projects to restore and maintain trail-related sites, host educational programs, and engage with their communities to raise awareness about the trail's significance. Joining a local chapter is important to the Santa Fe Trail Association because it allows for a more focused and localized approach to preserving and promoting the historical significance of the Santa Fe Trail. These chapters are instrumental in carrying out the association's mission on a grassroots level and connecting with communities along the trail, ultimately contributing to the broader efforts to preserve this vital part of American history.
Which Chapter do I Join? The Santa Fe Trail Association has many state chapters including Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. New Mexico, specifically, has three chapters with each one having its own territory. Click below to learn more and join one or more chapters!