Wednesday, 28 October 2009
07:07:28 AM (GMT)
The Santa Fe Trail was a route in North America that connected Missouri to Santa Fe,
New Mexico- hence the name, and was first used by a man of the name William Becknell,
and was soon used as a vital commercial and military highway of course until the
railroad was finally introduced.
The Eastern end of the trail was located in the central Missouri town called
Franklin, which laid on the north bank of the Missouri River and It passed north of
Marshall, through Lexington to Fort Osage, then to Independence. Independence was
also one of the historic "jumping off points" for the Oregon and California Trails.
However, this trail was filled with many hardships to overcome for it was about 900
miles of arid plains, desert and mountains. Also to add on to that, Indian attacks
were a serious danger in the Santa Fe trail, on to contrast of the
Oregon-California’s. Comanche and Apache Indians both didn’t tolerate these
‘trespassers’ and would attack the travelers.
To top off that was the danger of lacking food and/or water supplies amongst the
trail. Not to mention harsh weather conditions. Because this was just a trail,
thunderstorms could whip up and there’d be no shelter to hide in for the people or
livestock, and livestock could get spooked by the storm. Rattlesnakes also caused a
problem during this trail and caused many of the people to de due to fatal snake
bites from them.
But to help avoid a few things, they began to enlarge the caravans to prevent Indian
attacks and started using oxen which Indians didn’t want to risk raiding these
Caravans just for some Oxen.