Reading List

By Harry C. Myers 

Brown, William E., The Santa Fe Trail: National Park Service 1963 Historic Sites Survey (St. Louis: Patrice Press, 1988). Good basic history of the Trail and a survey of the sites along the Trail. 

Carson, William C., Peter Becomes a Trail Man, The Story of a Boy’s Journey on the Santa Fe Trail (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2002). In the 1850s, twelve year old Peter takes his dog and heads west on the Santa Fe Trail to find his father, guided by “Uncle” Seth, who leads their wagon train through an Indian attack, desertion by greenhorns, a buffalo stampede, and other hardships.  

Chavez, Thomas E., Quest for Quivira, Spanish Explorers on the Great Plains, 1540–1821 (Tucson: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1992). An exciting story of Spanish exploration and heritage of the Trail. 

Drumm, Stella, ed., Down the Santa Fe Trail and into New Mexico:  The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin  (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982). A Classic of the Trail written by an 18-year old newlywed. 

Duffus, Robert, The Santa Fe Trail (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1979). A well written general survey history of the Trail. 

Franzwa, Gregory M., Maps of the Santa Fe Trail (St. Louis: Patrice Press, 1988). Modern county road maps with the Trail route marked on them. 

Gardner, Mark, Santa Fe Trail (Tucson: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1993). Color photos enhance this brief overview of the Trail. 

Garrard, Lewis H., Wah-to-yah and the Taos Trail (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1955). Exciting story by a 17 year old on the Trail. 

Gregg, Josiah, Commerce of the Prairies (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1954). First published in 1844, It remains the standard account of Trail life by a participant. The basic source for the Santa Fe Trail. 

Hyslop, Stephen G., Bound for Santa Fe, The Road to New Mexico and the American Conquest, 1806-1848 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2002). This very well written account is the latest survey of the Santa Fe Trail. 

Lavender, David., Bent's Fort (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1972). A very good survey of not only the Fort, but related activities in the Southwest and along the Trail.  

Murphy, Dan and Bruce Hucko, Santa Fe Trail, Voyage of Discovery, The Story Behind the Scenery (Las Vegas: KC Publications, 1994). A recent survey of the sites along the trail with beautiful color photos. 

Oliva, Leo E., Fort Larned on the Santa Fe Trail (Topeka: Kansas State Historical Society, 1982). An excellent history of this Kansas Post. 

Oliva, Leo E., Fort Union and the Frontier Army in the Southwest (Santa Fe: National Park Service, 1994). A comprehensive history of this Santa Fe Trail Post and military activities in the Southwest. 

Rittenhouse, Jack D., The Santa Fe Trail: A Historical Bibliography (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1971). Lists and describes 718 books, pamphlets, and articles on the Trail. 

Russell, Marian, Land of Enchantment, Memoirs along the Santa Fe Trail (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1981). Highly readable account as a young girl and Army Officer’s wife on the Trail. 

Simmons, Marc, and Hal Jackson, Following the Santa Fe Trail: A Guide for Modern Travelers (Santa Fe: Ancient City Press, 2001). A guide to the Trail written by the acknowledged expert on the Santa Fe Trail and updated with Hal Jackson. 

Simmons, Marc, Millie Cooper’s Ride, A True Story from History (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2002). When settlers at Fort Cooper, Missouri, are besieged by a coalition of Indian nations allied with the British, twelve-year-old Millie volunteers to ride to nearby Fort Hempstead for reinforcements. 

Simmons, Marc, José’s Buffalo Hunt, A True Story from History (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003). In 1866, eleven year-old José Arrellanes leaves his home in New Mexico, joining the ciboleros, or buffalo hunters as they hunt on the Texas plains. 

Webb, Dave, Adventures with the Santa Fe Trail (Dodge City: Kansas Heritage Center, 1989). An activity book for students and teachers but of value to anyone interested in the Trail.