MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 12, 2007

Santa Fe Trail explorers were from Three Forks

The first Americans who came and settled in the Three Forks area must have had a great sense of adventure. Many of them, in addition to establishing trading posts along the rivers, ventured out on well-documented expeditions throughout the American West.

At one of these early trading posts, built by Nathaniel Pryor, plans were finalized for an expedition into Spanish Territory in 1821. Pryor was a veteran of Lewis & Clark’s “Corps of Discovery” and never lost his interest in exploration.

The expedition had actually begun at Fort Smith where Pryor’s trading partner, Col. Hugh Glenn, met another retired soldier named Jacob Fowler who expressed a desire to travel west and asked for Glenn’s assistance. Glenn and Fowler left Fort Smith in August 1821 and traveled to Pryor’s post on the Verdigris River.

With Glenn and Fowler, Pryor discussed the possibility of traveling all the way to Santa Fe. Their objective would be to see if trade with the Spanish might be possible.

The problem with such an expedition would be in finding the best route. At that time, the Santa Fe Trail had not yet become a major trade route, in part because the Spanish had not been receptive to trading with Americans.

Most travelers through the western region of Oklahoma and Colorado stayed close to the Arkansas River because water was scarce elsewhere. This route later was referred to as the “wet” trail.

The Three Forks explorers followed the north bank of the Arkansas River, leaving Pryor’s trading post in September of 1821. But they veered away from the river in what is today Colorado, creating what became known as the “dry” route of the Santa Fe Trail. Theirs is the first recorded effort to reach Santa Fe along the “dry” route.

The Glenn-Fowler Expedition continued to the Pueblo area of Colorado. Here Fowler remained to construct a stockade while Col. Glenn continued south to Santa Fe. Glenn secured permission to trap in the Rio Grande valley from Mexican authorities. Mexico had gained independence from Spain, so Santa Fe was now in Mexican territory.

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks