A Murder on the Santa Fe Trail
As an international trading route, the Santa Fe Trail featured as many Hispanic traders as American, if not more. Antonio Jose Chavez, Ambrosio Armijo, Mariano Yrisarri, and Antonio Jose Otero freighted goods along with counterparts James Magoffin, Charles Bent, Henry Connelly and Sam Owens.
After Texas gained its independence from Mexico in 1836, hostilities continued as Texans raided Mexican parties along the Santa Fe Trail.
… hostilities continued as Texans raided Mexican parties along the Santa Fe Trail…
Despite warnings of this, Don Antonio Chavez left Santa Fe in February 1843 bound for Missouri. On April 10, 1843 near the Little Arkansas River, well into American territory, Chavez was robbed and murdered by a band of ruffians led by John McDaniel. McDaniel may have been under the direction of Texas Colonel Warfield at the time. After the murder, the group split and headed for Missouri. Several were arrested there, including McDaniel who was eventually hung for his part in the crime.
To hear more stories of the trail, attend the Bicentennial Santa Fe Trail Symposium in La Junta, Colorado, September 23 – 26, 2021. Click here for information and registration.