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forbade it, besides, the house was very large, has no seats,
and no means of warming it. I thanked him for his kind-
ness, informed him that the Court-House had been offered
me, when I should preach at 3 o'clock, and invited him and
his people to attend.

Sunday, 12th. This morning attended mass. Many hun-
dreds of Mexicans present, probably not one of whom under-
stood a word that was said, as what little was read was
not above a whisper and in Latin. It is not customary for
the priests of this country to preach to the people, and as
only about one in three hundred can read, their oppor-
tunities for instruction are very limited. At the time ap-
pointed for preaching, the house was literally crammed.
The priest accepted a seat in the desk with me. The ex-
ercises were commenced by singing the missionary hymn.
I preached from 2nd Cor., V:20, "Now then we are ambas-
sadors for Christ," &c. It was an interesting occasion, and
such an one as ever preached here by a protestant minister,
and in the congregation were several of my own National
brethren, who probably have not heard a sermon for the last


twenty or thirty years. The Lord gave me much freedom
in presenting his claims, and my prayer is, that this first
sown seed here will produce some fruit to the glory of his
name. ! for the time to come, when the Gospel shall be
preached throughout New Mexico.

Roll swiftly round, ye wheels of time,
And bring the welcome day.

June, 1851

Missionary Tour in Neiv Mexico

Journal of Rev. H. W. Read, (continued from our last.)
Foundation For An Academy Laid

Monday morning, [January] 13th I have just furn-
ished Mr. Josephs (a wealthy merchant) with a plan of a
School room, and quarters for a teacher's family, which he
is to build by the first of July next, and the use of which
he is to give for the instruction of his two little boys! I
have also just given to Messrs. Wooton & Williams a plan
for furnishing the school room, the lumber for which is
gratuitously given by Esq. Gary. The object of my visit
to this place is satisfactorily completed. The foundation
for a good Academy, I trust, is permanently laid. Judge
Houghton and others have rendered me valuable assistance.
9 o'clock A. M. I am now ready to commence my home-
ward journey. Capt. Gordon sends some soldiers to escort
me through the mountains. 11

The Taos Valley

La Jolla, 12 Monday evening. On leaving Taos this
morning passed through a portion of the valley I had not
before visited. It is apparently very productive and highly
cultivated. The Taos valley within a circuit of a few miles,
contains about 6000 inhabitants; and all things considered,
this is one of the most promising missionary stations in
all this country. There is perhaps, more intelligence, more
wealth, less vice and less poverty in this section than in
any other of the same extent in New Mexico. A missionary

11. This was probably Capt. Wm. H. Gordon, 3rd U. S. Infantry.

12. This "La Joya" was between Embudo and Los Luceros coming south. An-
other plaza of this name down the Rio Grande toward Socorro is mentioned later.


can live here at comparatively little expense, as the neces-
saries of life are here raised in abundance, and consequently
obtained at a low rate.

A Mexican's Idea of the Time
Requisite for An Education

Had a safe passage through the mountains, and ar-
rived here at 4 P. M. Put up at the house of a Mr. Val Dais. 13
Here is a large family all uneducated. Two boys have just
gone to Santa Fe to attend my school for 3 months, their
parents supposing that a sufficient time for them to acquire
a good education. I assured the old gentleman that it would
require nearly that time to straighten their tongues, or in
other words to teach them to pronounce words in our

Education Unnecessary For Girls.

My host kindly invited me to attend a Fandango to
which his family were going, and seemed somewhat surprised
that I should decline. But I told him I prefered to spend
the evening in telling him the importance and benefits of
educating his children. He admitted that is was well to
educate the boys, but education was unnecessary for the
girls; pointing to his wife as an illustration, saying that
"she knows nothing." Before the subject was dismissed
he promised to send two of his daughters to school next

I am satisfied that it is only necessary to present the
subject of education properly to this people to have them
see the importance of it. Here also a school ought to be

Fortunate Escape From a Mad Dog.

Tuesday moi~ning. Jan. 14th. Resumed my journey
at 9 o'clock, reached Canada at 11, fed and rested my horse
for an hour, and again started for home. 34 Had not gone
more than a mile when a large rabid dog made a furious
attack upon me and my horse, but we succeeded in out-
running him until I could bring a holster pistol to bear upon
him, which put an end to his career. Reached home at 3

13. Correct phonetically, but the Spanish name is Valdez.

14. His stop was at Santa Cruz de la Canada, the second oldest Spanish plaza of
New Mexico, better known today as "Santa Cruz."


P. M. thankful to my heavenly Father for his kind watch
and care over me and my precious wife during my absence.

Rev. Mr. Read's Third Tour

(Extracts from a Journal of a missionary tour through
portions of New Mexico, Old Mexico and Texas, by Rev.
H. W. Read, Chaplain U. S. Army, and missionary of the
American Baptist Home Mission Society, dated May 1,

The Forward March

Under orders from Col. Munro, 15 left Santa Fe on
Tuesday P. M., March 4th [1851], in company with Maj.
Hagner, 16 his clerk, servant, and an escort of six men. I
was mounted on my horse, gun in hand, a brace of pistols
in the holsters on my saddle, wore a broad-brimmed white
wool hat, short beaver-overcoat, buckskin pantaloons, and
thick boots. For the first few miles the snow and mud made
traveling difficult. Our course Southerly. Reached Delgado's
Rancho at 5 P. M., where we obtained lodgings. Distance
16 miles.

Narrow Escapes

This evening came near being shot by the careless dis-
charge of a gun in the hands of a soldier. Thankful for
the gracious preservation of my life. The well known "Del-
gado's Rancho" is an old delapidated pile of adobes, at
present occupied only by peones or Mexican slaves.

Wednesday morning half-past 7 o'clock, as we were
preparing to start Maj. Hagner was accidentally shot,
providentially, however, not much injured ; the ball grazed
his hand, passed through his coat, vest, and shirt on his
right side, hence through the carriage, leaving no farther
traces of its course. The wounded hand being dressed we
proceeded on our way, thinking and talking of the protection
of providence, also resolving to be more cautious in future.

15. At this time, John Munroe was major 2nd U. S. Artillery, but he had been
brevetted "Colonel" in the Mexican War. When Chaplain Read arrived in July 1849,
Col. John M. Washington was serving as both civil and military governor, but in
October 1849 he was succeeded by Colonel Munroe. The latter served in the civil
capacity until James S. Calhoun took over on March 3, 1851 ; and Munroe continued
as military commander until relieved by Col. E. V. Sumner in July.

16. John Randall Hagner was major, Paymaster Dept., 1850-56.


* * * Reached Algodonis (cotton wood) at 3 P. M., in
a tremendous storm of wind and dust. 17 Distance 25 miles.
Put up at a Mexican house, there being no American family
in the place. Population 300, mostly very poor.

Thursday 6, rose early, very cold. The valley on which
we shall travel most of the way on this tour, at this place
is some three miles wide, easily irrigated ; but the indolence
of the people is always likely to prevent them from obtaining
the comforts of life. A few beans, a little corn, a good deal
of tobacco, and large quantities of red peppers comprise
their principal stock of provisions. And this is true of all
the poorer class of Mexicans. Resumed our journey at
eight and a half o'clock. For a few miles but little land

Better Management

Six miles from Algodonis, came to Bernalillo, the
prettiest place I have yet seen in New Mexico. It contains
some 300 souls, and is famous for its superior grapes and
peaches. The houses are good, the garden walls high and
capped with cactus to prevent the depredations of thieves
with which this country abounds. Passed through the
small Pueblo of San Dia. These people are very industrious,
and gain a good livelihood by agriculture. Arrived at Albu-
querque at 2 P. M. Put up with Capt. Ker, who showed
me so much kindness when crossing the "Plains" nearly
two years since. 18 Took tea, and spent the evening at Mr.
West's. Enjoyed a precious season of social worship.

Friday 7th, detained here today; Maj. Hagner paid
the troops. This is one of the most important places in
New Mexico. It contains about 1500 inhabitants, is a
military post, and several American families reside here,
and on the whole it bids fair to become a place of great
importance. The inconvenience of hauling wood 18 miles
is not considered very great. The principal productions of
the country together with grapes and peaches, do extremely
well here.

Trouble Apprehended

Saturday 8th, resumed our journey at 8 A. M. Forded
the river, and started toward Cibolletta. But before leaving

17. Delgado's Ranch and Algodones were regular stopping-places for travelers
going south. In 1855, W. W. H. Davis made the same stops when en route from Santa
Fe to Fort Defiance (El Gringo, 389).

18. Croghan Ker at this time was captain 2nd U. S. Dragoons. He resigned his
commission Nov. 10, 1851.


the river filled our water casks and canteens, as we shall
probably find no water for the next two days. As this is a
more dangerous part of the journey our escort is doubled.
We have a baggage wagon and a carriage or ambulance.
Capt. Dodge, son of Gen. Dodge, of Wisconsin, whom we
met at this place accompanied us. 18a For fifteen miles the
road runs through a sand desert, rendering the traveling
slow and difficult. The general face of the country is un-
dulating, producing grass but is destitute of water. Eighteen
miles from A. crossed the Rio Puerco, (Muddy River),
which is now dry. Six miles farther on reached the "timber,"
which is only a clump of cedar bushes and a few small trees.
Here we encamped.

We were now in the range of the Nabajoes. Kept a strong
guard and a large fire all night. I slept on the ground, or
rather tried to sleep, but could not on account of the cold,
and the incessant howling of the wolves.

Sunday 9th, regretted the necessity of traveling today,
but could not avoid it, as I am traveling in company with
others whose affairs I cannot control. *****

Unpleasant Neighbors

Late in the evening came to some small settlements,
the people of which cultivate small quantities of land
bordering a small muddy stream, the name of which I did
not learn. Two or three springs of good water in the
vicinity. Here the people are liable at any moment to be
robbed of their property or their families by the warlike
Nabajoes, and for their security they have many little
stone forts, where a watch is kept most of the summer
season when their stock is grazing, and I observed two or
three very small villages located in the tops of the rocks,
the houses not only having rocks for their foundations, but
built of and among rocks. At sundown reached Cibolletta
where we were kindly received and hospitably entertained
by the officers stationed here.

Monday 10th, visited the few Americans and a few
Mexicans of this place, and learned that this town contains
some 300 souls, besides the troops, of which there are two

18a. Henry Linn Dodge was not a captain in the U. S. Army but of a Volunteer
Company which participated in the Navajo campaign under Colonel Washington, in
the field from Santa Fe August 16 to September 23, 1849. His father, Henry Dodge
of Wisconsin, and a brother, Augustus Caesar Dodge of Iowa, were both serving in
the U. S. Senate. (Annie H. Abel, ed., Official Correspondence of James S. Calhoun,
pp. 38, 334).


companies. The post is commanded by Col. Chandler. The
other officers consist of one Captain, one Physician and
two Lieutenants. Three of the officers have families with

This place is located far up among the mountains of
the Nabajo country, and is not worth what it costs the
Government to protect it for one month.

A Truly Pitable Condition

The people are ignorant and indolent in the extreme.
The commanding officer assured me that whenever one of
his mules died numbers of these people would collect and
strip off all the flesh for food.

Tuesday llth, detained today, and as there is but
little interest here, especially to one who has no time to
waste, the hours dragged heavily. A famous half-tamed
Nabajo Chief named Sandoval, who resides in this vicinity,
came into town today to sell some captives of his own
nation which he has recently took prisoners. He sold one
young man of 18 years of age for thirty (30) dollars. * * * 19

Friday, 14th, passed on and put up at Tome. Distance
16 miles. Tome is a small dilapidated village, most of the
houses fast going to decay. Formerly vast herds of cattle
were raised here, as there is much good grazing land and
plenty of water, but the Indians have robbed the inhabitants
until they are miserably poor.

Trying To Do Good

Went out to distribute tracts, saw about fifty women
on their knees on the street, responding "Amen," as an old
man recited some prayer. I observed that at short distances
small crosses were placed in the ground; around these the
women knelt while the prayer was repeated, then all rose
and proceeded to the next. In this way they traversed the
whole town. Gave a man a tract, which he soon sent back,
being afraid to keep it. Spent the evening in reading the
Testament to a group of people.

Saturday 15th, started at 8 o'clock. For several miles
there is but little land under cultivation. Most of the people
in this vicinity appear to be be very poor.

19. The section here omitted (for March 12-13) would show that the party
turned back from Cebolleta, for we next find them at the little old plaza of Tome
which is in the Rio Grande valley, about twenty-three miles below Albuquerque.


Encouragement to Labor

Passed some small villages and reached La Jolla, (La
Hoyah, The Hole) at sundown. 20 Put up with a Mexican,
there being no American in town. Immediately commenced
distributing tracts to such as could read, and scores of
persons followed me from house to house, and persons were
running from every part of the town either to get a tract
or to hear me read. One man showed his gratitude for a
tract. I had given one to his son who could read, by offering
me a dollar for "Esta buen librito" That good little book.
Spent the latter part of the evening with the family of an
intelligent aged Mexican. Read to them the third chapter
of John's Gospel. When I had finished it, the old man
desired to read. He then read the fourth and part of the
fifth chapters, often pausing to praise the book, and to
express his delight at having the privilege of holding for
the first time in his life, the Bible in his hands, and reading
a portion of it. He entreated me to leave it with him, but
I was obliged to refuse him, telling him at the same time,
that it was all I had, but that I had friends in the States
who would send me a great many in a few months, when I
would send him one. This exhibits the desire of many
Mexicans to obtain and become acquainted with the Scrip-
tures. I hope that Christians in the States will send me
enough to supply this Territory.

Sunday 16th, obliged to travel a few miles today. Had
expected to reach Socorro last evening. Passed through
Limita [Lemitar], a thriving town of some 300 souls. Gen.
Armijo, formerly Governor of New Mexico resides here.
This place is situated in a most beautiful portion of the
valley. Arrived at Socorro at 2 P. M. Distance 20 miles.

Monday 17th, called on several of the most influential
persons in town, and all seemed interested in the success of
my present mission.

Mormons in New Mexico

Visited several Mormons who are on their way to the
"sure land of promised rest and safety," The Colorado.
They seem to be a simple-hearted ingenuous people. Their
prophet, in whom they have formerly reposed implicit con-

20. From Tome, they were following down the camino real on the east side of the
Rio Grande. This "La Joya" was about two-thirds of the way to Socorro but that
place was on the west side, and they seem to have crossed over at Lemitar. Mr. Read's
translation is at fault, for La Joya means "the jewel."


fidence, and his father have purchased a large farm, and
located near Socorro. 21

A Mexican Military Friend

Tuesday 18th, in company with Dr. Hammond, visited
Parida, a small town 4 miles distant, and thence proceeded
to Limita and called on Gen. Armijo. 22 The Gen. is about
50 years of age, large size, sociable and communicative, and
is altogether the most enlightened Mexican that I have met.
He has possessed himself of most of the ancient histories
which are translated into the Spanish language, and these
he has read and even studied. He appears to be very
anxious to secure the good will of the Americans, especially
as he is not liked by the Mexicans. By invitation we dined
with the General. All the furniture of the table was massive


September, 1851

Rev. Mr. Read's Third Tour, No. 2
A Rich Valley

Wednesday 19th, left Socorro at 10 A. M. The whole
valley in this vicinity is very fertile, producing most of the
grain and fruits of the country. Grapes and peaches are
raised in great abundance. Indeed this is one of the very
best portions of New Mexico. Fifteen miles below is Bigs'
Rancho, where government stock is pastured. At this
point the valley is ten or twelve miles wide. Wild geese
and ducks are very abundant. Ten miles further on again
struck the river, where we encamped. Here is a beautiful
meadow bottom with much large timber. It is called Val
Verde, (Green vale),

Thursday 20th. left camp at 8 o'clock, crossed the river
and after a ride of ten or twelve miles reached a grove of
timber, and where all persons traveling this way halt to
feed, rest and obtain a supply of wood and water before
entering the Jornada. This camping ground is called Fra

21. Could these have been stragglers from the Mormon Battalion of 1846? Davis,
previously cited, stayed overnight in Socorro with an ex-Mormon (op. cit., 365.) The
reference to their prophet and "his father" is unintelligible.

22. This was Don Manuel Armijo, last governor under the Mexican regime. Of
him also Davis has quite a little to say. Parida was east of the river and a little
upstream. From there he crossed again to the west side and upstream to Lemitar.


Cristobal. Arrived at this place at noon; halted until 4
P. M. Our watercasks filled and wood taken in, we resumed
our journey at four.

The Jornada (pronounced Hornada)

For the first five miles the road leads up a gradual as-
cent, afterwards the land is slightly undulating. The road is
remarkably good. Indeed, I could scarcely realize that this
was the dreaded "Journey of the Dead" as the name of this
prairie signifies. Had a large escort, half of whom rode in
advance, the remainder after the waggons. Traveled until
we reached the Alaman, (so called after some Germans who
were murdered here some years since) and encamped, hav-
ing made 40 miles since four P. M. It was now half past twelve
o'clock. The Jornada (Hornada) is usually traveled in the
night, as there is less danger from the Indians and because
water is seldom found here. The night was very cold. Indeed,
I am informed that during the hottest weather the nights
on this desert are quite cool.

Friday 21st, a delightful morning; the sun shining as
cheerfully upon this terrible desert-waste as though it was
habitable and inhabited. During the whole of this day, the
road has been as good as the best McAdamized roads in the
States. Saw no live animals except a wolf in full chase after
a rabbit, and a few birds. During the afternoon passed the
Point of Rocks, the most dangerous part of the road, inas-
much as the rocks afford a shelter for Indians close by the
roadside, and also an opportunity to retreat over the hills
where it would be next to impossible to follow them.
Every great thoroughfare in this country has its noted point
of rocks, and travelers should be on their guard in approach-
ing them, as Indians may be secreted so as to betray no evi-
dence of their vicinity. At this place we met a solitary foot
passenger going to Socorro ; said he was not afraid, that he
was anxious to go and could not wait for company. He had
a blanket, a loaf of bread, a canteen of water, a flask of
whiskey, brace of pistols and a heavy walking club.

Three miles farther on are the Ponds of Perillp, (Ponds
of Peril,) so called from their dangerous proximity to the
point of rocks. 23 No water in them. Twenty-two miles far-

23. This placename should be spelled "Perrillo" and means "little dog." The
name derives from an historical incident of 1598 when Don Juan de Onate and the
first colonists were coming north. At this point on the Jornada when they were in
desperate need of water, a small dog returned to camp with muddied paws. They
backtrailed him and found the waterholes.


ther on, brought us once more to the river, and to the end of
the Jornada. This camping ground is called Roblero. Arrived
here at four P. M., having been just twenty-four hours on
the desert. Distance ninety miles. The journey of the dead,
as the name given to this desert signified, is a misnomer.
From many accounts which I had heard of it, I expected to
see graves and human bones scattered along the whole dis-
tance, but on the contrary, there are but three graves, nor
did I see a single human bone. Neither are there half as
many carcasses of animals on the whole route as I have fre-
quently noticed in a distance of two miles in the vicinity of
Santa Fe. And this is not so barren a desert as has been rep-
resented. Nearly the whole distance there is a luxuriant
growth of grass, which indicates a naturally good soil, and
would produce abundantly could it be watered. Several
varieties of Cactus, a species of Maguey, the Soap plant, and
some other shrubbery are very abundant and grow to a great
size. 24 Halted for half an hour, and then started for Dona
Ana, 8 miles distant where we arrived at eight o'clock P. M.
Capt. Buf ord kindly invited me to accept a room at his quar-
ters. 25 Glad to sleep in a house again.

This is comparatively a new town, containing some 200
souls. It is a military post, commanded by Maj. Shepherd. 26
There is much fine land in the vicinity, and considerable tim-

Public Worship, the First Sermon

Sunday 23d, arrangements having been made for pub-
lic worship, at ten A. M., the officers, the two companies of
soldiers, all the Americans, and several Mexicans assembled,
when I tried to preach to them the Gospel. Also read the 4th
chapter of John both in English and in Spanish. Capt B

24. It may be of interest to note that a large stretch of the country here des-
cribed has for some years past been a reserve of the U. S. National Forest.

25. Abraham Buford was lieut., 1st U. S. Dragoons, but had been brevetted
"Captain" for distinguished service in the Mexican War. In the Civil War he was on
the Confederate side as a brigadier general.

26. Oliver Lathrop Shepherd was capt., 3rd U. S. Infantry, but was brevetted
"Major" for service in the Mexican War. In the Civil War he was to distinguish him-
self on the Union side. Six months later (September 1851), this post was abandoned,
the troops being moved south to the Bracito grant and used in the building of Fort
Fillmore. (Maude McFie [Bloom], "A History of Mesilla Valley," unpublished thesis,
1903, State College.)

Also among these colonists was one Pedro Robledo of 60 years and four sons. The
father died on the way and was buried at the last camping place (coming north)

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