Merchants of the Santa Fe Trail

Joy Poole
Missouri Valley Sundays
paint of covered wagons
Sunday, October 2, 2022
2:00 pm
Helzberg Auditorium
In Person Event
Event Audio

From 1821 until the 1880s, the Santa Fe Trail was a thoroughfare for pioneers, merchants, and military personnel traveling from Independence or Kansas City, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Historian Joy Poole examines the stories of three of those journeyers, all merchants. Charles Trumbull Hayden was a freighter who eventually founded Tempe, Arizona. One of his customers, Henry Mayer, was an experienced trader who honeymooned on the trail with his bride and team of 50 men and 500 mules. William Baskerville and his business partner gained a reputation for their rapid freighting trips, dubbed the Lightening Express, along the trail.

Poole delves, too, into the details of trading on the Santa Fe Trail, including interaction with Native Americans and the challenges of traveling overland.

Poole, the retired deputy state librarian for the New Mexico State Library and a former museum administrator for the Colorado Historical Society, is co-founder of the Santa Fe Trail Association. She also served for 10 years on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail Advisory Council for the National Park Service.