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Meet the Author: Joy Poole "Over the Santa Fe Trail"

Event Type: *Adult
Age Group(s): Adult, Seniors
Date: 9/22/2019
Start Time: 3:00 PM
End Time: 5:00 PM
 Hear New Mexico Deputy State Librarian Joy L. Poole discuss her new book, "Over the Santa Fe Trail to Mexico: The diaries and autobiographies of Dr. Rowland Willard 1825-1828."

One of the first Anglo-Americans to record their travels to New Mexico, Dr. Rowland Willard (1794–1884) journeyed west on the Santa Fe Trail in 1825 and then down the Camino Real into Mexico, taking notes along the way. This edition of the young physician’s travel diaries and subsequent autobiography, annotated by Poole, is a rich historical source on the two trails and the practice of medicine in the 1820s. Willard’s narrative challenges long-accepted assumptions about the exact routes taken by pack trains on the Santa Fe Trail. It also provides thrilling glimpses of a landscape densely populated with wildlife. The doctor describes “a great theater of nature,” with droves of elk and buffalo, and “wolf and antelope skipping in every direction.” With his traveling companions he hunted buffalo by crawling after them on all fours, afterward making jerky out of bison meat and boats out of their hides. Willard also details his medical practice, offering a revealing view of physicians’ operating practices in a time when sanitation and anesthesia were rare.

The Santa Fe Trail and Camino Real took Willard on the journey of a lifetime. This account recalls the early days of the Santa Fe Trail trade and westward American migration, when a doctor from Missouri could cross paths with mountain men, traders, Mexican clergymen, and government officials on their way to new opportunities.
Library: Middendorf-Kredell Branch    Map
Location: MK Meeting Room A & B
Other Information:
 Joy L. Poole is Deputy State Librarian for the New Mexico State Library, former Director of the El Camino Real International Heritage Center, Museum of New Mexico, and former museum administrator for the Colorado Historical Society. She also was cofounder of the Santa Fe Trail Association and author of Great Plains Cattle Empire: The Thatcher Brothers, 1875-1945 (Texas Tech University Press, 2000).

Books will be available for purchase at the event.

For more information: https://www.oupress.com/books/14306412/over-the-santa-fe-trail-to-mexico
Presenter: Joy L. Poole
Status: Closed

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