11 books like The Old Santa Fe Trail

By Stanley Vestal,

Here are 11 books that The Old Santa Fe Trail fans have personally recommended if you like The Old Santa Fe Trail. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition

David Bowles Author Of Comanche Trace

From my list on the American westward movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always had a passion for epic events in history, especially Texas history. I'm the fifth generation of my family born in Travis County, Texas. Both my parents were from early pioneer settlers. My great-grandmother Elnora Van Cleve was the first child born in Austin on April 14, 1841. When I first heard the family story of Elnora’s nine-year-old cousin Fayette, kidnapped by Comanche Indians on Shoal Creek, I knew the story must be told. I approached two well-known authors about writing the book. Both said, only I could write the story to my satisfaction. They were right and I wrote the award-winning Comanche Trace.

David's book list on the American westward movement

David Bowles Why did David love this book?

I highly recommend this 2-volume set of books The Texan Santa Fe Expedition to anyone interested in the days of the Republic of Texas 1836-1845. The narrative written by George Wilkins Kendall, the only American on the so-called trade expedition from Round Rock, TX to Santa Fe, NM. The author was editor of the New Orleans Picayune at the time. Kendall was invited by President Lamar to travel as an observer on the Santa Fe Expedition. The caravan left Brushy Creek on June 21, 1841, consisting of 248 militia and 49 merchants. Less than one hundred men survived. Fortunately, one was Kendall who survived to write about it. His well-written narrative provided me fodder for my award-winning novel.

By George Wilkins Kendall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Book cover of Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick: A Journal of Early Texas

David Bowles Author Of Comanche Trace

From my list on the American westward movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always had a passion for epic events in history, especially Texas history. I'm the fifth generation of my family born in Travis County, Texas. Both my parents were from early pioneer settlers. My great-grandmother Elnora Van Cleve was the first child born in Austin on April 14, 1841. When I first heard the family story of Elnora’s nine-year-old cousin Fayette, kidnapped by Comanche Indians on Shoal Creek, I knew the story must be told. I approached two well-known authors about writing the book. Both said, only I could write the story to my satisfaction. They were right and I wrote the award-winning Comanche Trace.

David's book list on the American westward movement

David Bowles Why did David love this book?

Memoirs of Mary Maverick is a journey of early Texas written in her own hand, edited and published by her family. This extraordinary journal of Mary’s life; married to Samuel Maverick, a signor of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The word maverick originated from Samuel Maverick not branding his cows. Meaning any cow not branded was a maverick belonging to Samuel Maverick. My three great grandfather Thomas W. Smith’s family lived on the Coosa River in Alabama near the home of Mary Adams-Maverick. It was Mary’s new husband Samuel that convinced eleven members of my family to come to Texas in the early days of The Republic of Texas. 

By Mary Adams Maverick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Memoirs of Mary Maverick is a rare source of information about the history of Texas during the days of American colonization and the Republic of Texas. Replete with details and encounters with some of the biggest names in Texas history, Mrs. Mavericks’s stories reflect the personal tales of sacrifice, fear, joy, and indomitable spirit that characterized the pioneer spirit of Texas settlers. Alacrity Press is proud to make this book available to a new generation of reader’s interested in the true, unfiltered history of Texas.


Book cover of Anson Jones: The Last President of Texas

David Bowles Author Of Comanche Trace

From my list on the American westward movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always had a passion for epic events in history, especially Texas history. I'm the fifth generation of my family born in Travis County, Texas. Both my parents were from early pioneer settlers. My great-grandmother Elnora Van Cleve was the first child born in Austin on April 14, 1841. When I first heard the family story of Elnora’s nine-year-old cousin Fayette, kidnapped by Comanche Indians on Shoal Creek, I knew the story must be told. I approached two well-known authors about writing the book. Both said, only I could write the story to my satisfaction. They were right and I wrote the award-winning Comanche Trace.

David's book list on the American westward movement

David Bowles Why did David love this book?

I highly recommend Anson Jones the Last President of Texas to anyone researching the Republic of Texas (1836-1846). Herbert Pickens Gambrell a college professor and well-known Texas historian published his Anson Jones research in 1948. From this book I learned Jones paid my ancestor James W. Smith, the first Supreme Court Justice of Travis County $50 to perform the marriage ceremony to Mary Smith in Austin. The story details how Jones behind the scenes maneuvering for Texas Annexation was almost sabotaged by Sam Houston. The story has a true but sad ending to Jones’ life. Gambrell does an excellent job of detailing the last President of Texas accomplishments.

By Herbert Gambrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anson Jones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the story of a New Englander who came penniless to Mexican Texas in 1833 and within the next decade helped to bring his adopted country through the turbulent disorders of settlement, revolution, political experimentation, and statehood. Within a year of his arrival, Anson Jones was successfully practicing medicine, acquiring land, and resolving to avoid politics; but then the Revolution erupted and Jones became a private in the Texas Army, doubling as surgeon at San Jacinto. Military duty done, he resumed medical practice but some acts of the First Congress so irked him that he became a member of…


Book cover of Dead Man's Walk

David Bowles Author Of Comanche Trace

From my list on the American westward movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always had a passion for epic events in history, especially Texas history. I'm the fifth generation of my family born in Travis County, Texas. Both my parents were from early pioneer settlers. My great-grandmother Elnora Van Cleve was the first child born in Austin on April 14, 1841. When I first heard the family story of Elnora’s nine-year-old cousin Fayette, kidnapped by Comanche Indians on Shoal Creek, I knew the story must be told. I approached two well-known authors about writing the book. Both said, only I could write the story to my satisfaction. They were right and I wrote the award-winning Comanche Trace.

David's book list on the American westward movement

David Bowles Why did David love this book?

Dead Man’s Walk is the third book in the Lonesome Dove series. It is difficult for me to write a review because the book and film are part of my family story. Dead Man’s Walk is a true story inspired by McMurtry’s research into the failed Santa Fe Expedition of 1841. His fictional characters Matilda Jane Roberts, Gus McCrae, and Woodrow Call make a brutal story of humanity, a fun read. Most of the characters' names are fictitious, however, the Comanche Indian Chief named Buffalo Hump was real. His tribe in 1841 killed my great-great-great grandfather Thomas W. Smith and his son James in separate attacks. The Comanche also captured my great-grandmother’s nine-year-old cousin Fayette Smith in the attack that killed his father Judge James Smith on the banks of Shoal Creek. I have written their story in my book and its soon-to-be-released sequel.   

By Larry McMurtry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dead Man's Walk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first of Larry McCurtry's Pulitzer Prize–winning Lonesome Dove tetralogy, showcasing McCurtry's talent for breathing new life into the vanished American West through two of the most memorable heroes in contemporary fiction: Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call.

As young Texas Rangers, Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call ("Gus" and "Call" for short) have much to learn about survival in a land fraught with perils: not only the blazing heat and raging tornadoes, roiling rivers and merciless Indians, but also the deadly whims of soldiers. On their first expeditions—led by incompetent officers and accompanied by the robust, dauntless whore known as the…


Book cover of The Mexican Road: Trade, Travel, And Confrontation On The Santa Fe Trail

Doug Hocking Author Of Terror on the Santa Fe Trail: Kit Carson and the Jicarilla Apache

From my list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Historian Doug Hocking grew up on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation of New Mexico. He knows her peoples, towns, and trails. He has completed advanced studies in history, his first love, anthropology, and historical archaeology. Since retiring as an armored cavalry officer, Doug has owned his own business. With this background he has insight into America’s great commercial road, the Santa Fe Trail, and into battles and soldiering. He understands Apache lives as few others do.

Doug's book list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs

Doug Hocking Why did Doug love this book?

This is a collection of articles including some by Marc Simmons, Gardner’s mentor and frequent writing partner. The pair are the greatest experts on the trail to be found. If you can locate a copy, its articles provide a broad perspective on where Santa Fe Trail research has taken us in recent years by people who love the trail and its peoples.

By Mark Lee Gardner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mexican Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thirteen papers on the Santa Fe Trail, of which ten are reprinted from the April 1989 issue of Journal of the West . Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.


Book cover of The Santa Fe Trail: Its History, Legends, and Lore

Doug Hocking Author Of Terror on the Santa Fe Trail: Kit Carson and the Jicarilla Apache

From my list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Historian Doug Hocking grew up on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation of New Mexico. He knows her peoples, towns, and trails. He has completed advanced studies in history, his first love, anthropology, and historical archaeology. Since retiring as an armored cavalry officer, Doug has owned his own business. With this background he has insight into America’s great commercial road, the Santa Fe Trail, and into battles and soldiering. He understands Apache lives as few others do.

Doug's book list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs

Doug Hocking Why did Doug love this book?

Dary set out to tell the whole story in easily accessible language introducing the student to a wide range of excitement on this trail that built America and made it great. From 1830 until the Civil War, the United States had no national bank and relied on the silver dollars brought from Mexico over the trail as its currency. Fortunes were made and lost and Missouri, the terminus of the trail, became powerful.

By David Dary,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Santa Fe Trail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A prize-winning historian of the Old West brings to life the people who laid down the Santa Fe Trail and opened commerce with Spanish America. He uses first-hand accounts and contemporary records to give us a vivid recreation of a time and place crucial to America's westward expansion.


Book cover of Commerce of the Prairies: Life on the Great Plains in the 1830's and 1840's

Doug Hocking Author Of Terror on the Santa Fe Trail: Kit Carson and the Jicarilla Apache

From my list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Historian Doug Hocking grew up on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation of New Mexico. He knows her peoples, towns, and trails. He has completed advanced studies in history, his first love, anthropology, and historical archaeology. Since retiring as an armored cavalry officer, Doug has owned his own business. With this background he has insight into America’s great commercial road, the Santa Fe Trail, and into battles and soldiering. He understands Apache lives as few others do.

Doug's book list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs

Doug Hocking Why did Doug love this book?

Gregg traveled the trail many times relating its wonders and its economics. He tells his own story of adventure on the plains. Commerce may sound boring, but Gregg was a keen observer and commented on all that he saw, treating it as fresh and new. He talks of the customs of Mexicans and Native Americans as well as of what each wanted in trade. 

By Josiah Gregg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Commerce of the Prairies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic account includes the following chapters:

I. Santa Fe Trade
II. The Departure
III. Catch Up
IV. A Desert Plain
V. Arrival at Santa Fe
VI. Sketches of the History of Santa Fe
VII. Geographical Position of New Mexico
VIII. The Mines of New Mexico
IX. Domestic Animals and Their Conditions
X. Condition of the Arts and Sciences in New Mexico
XI. Style of Dress in New Mexico — Customs
XII. Government of New Mexico
XIII. Military Hierarchy — Religious Superstitions and Ceremonies
XIV. The Pueblos
XV. The Wild Tribes of New Mexico
XVI. Incidents of a Return Trip…


Book cover of Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico: The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846-1847

Doug Hocking Author Of Terror on the Santa Fe Trail: Kit Carson and the Jicarilla Apache

From my list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Historian Doug Hocking grew up on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation of New Mexico. He knows her peoples, towns, and trails. He has completed advanced studies in history, his first love, anthropology, and historical archaeology. Since retiring as an armored cavalry officer, Doug has owned his own business. With this background he has insight into America’s great commercial road, the Santa Fe Trail, and into battles and soldiering. He understands Apache lives as few others do.

Doug's book list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs

Doug Hocking Why did Doug love this book?

Teenaged and highly observant Susan spent her honeymoon on the Santa Fe Trail with her husband a Santa Fe trader as they accompanied the Army of the West on its invasion of Mexico. She provides a woman’s perspective and much more. At a time when very few women have trailed to New Mexico, Susan wrote of the amazing things she encountered giving us a woman’s perspective. 

By Susan Shelby Magoffin, Stella M. Drumm (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In June 1846 Susan Shelby Magoffin, eighteen years old and a bride of less than eight months, set out with her husband, a veteran Santa Fe trader, on a trek from Independence, Missouri, through New Mexico and south to Chihuahua. Her travel journal was written at a crucial time, when the Mexican War was beginning and New Mexico was occupied by Stephen Watts Kearny and the Army of the West.

Her journal describes the excitement, routine, and dangers of a successful merchant's wife. On the trail for fifteen months, moving from house to house and town to town, she became…


Book cover of Over the Santa Fe Trail to Mexico: The Travel Diaries and Autobiography of Dr. Rowland Willard

Doug Hocking Author Of Terror on the Santa Fe Trail: Kit Carson and the Jicarilla Apache

From my list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Historian Doug Hocking grew up on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation of New Mexico. He knows her peoples, towns, and trails. He has completed advanced studies in history, his first love, anthropology, and historical archaeology. Since retiring as an armored cavalry officer, Doug has owned his own business. With this background he has insight into America’s great commercial road, the Santa Fe Trail, and into battles and soldiering. He understands Apache lives as few others do.

Doug's book list on Santa Fe Trail for history buffs

Doug Hocking Why did Doug love this book?

Dr. Willard traveled the trail in the 1820s. He met Hugh Glass, the Revenant as Hollywood named him, and inspected his wounds. Willard brought medicine to New Mexico and Mexico where the Catholic church had made life difficult for doctors. He describes the treatments he used and it’s truly remarkable that any of his patients survived.

By Rowland Willard, Joy L. Poole (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Over the Santa Fe Trail to Mexico as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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 New Mexico Deputy State Librarian Joy L. Poole, is a rich historical source on the two trails and the practice of medicine in the 1820s.

Few Americans knew much about New Mexico when Willard set out on his journey from St. Charles, Missouri, where he had recently completed a…


Book cover of Brujo: Seduced by Evil

GG Collins Author Of Anasazi Medium

From my list on the American Southwest respecting the culture & land.

Why am I passionate about this?

The American Southwest never gets old. Exploring any of the Ancestral Pueblo sites is like walking back in time. Anasazi Medium takes the reader there. I love the land and the culture that has brought us to the present. My character, Santa Fe reporter Rachel Blackstone, reflects this. She is sarcastic at times, can be funny, and has her poignant moments as she copes with a “talent” she never wanted. In Anasazi Medium, I concocted a mixture of mystery, Hopi traditions and a journalist’s eye to entertain and inform. What resulted is a climate mystery in the most water-challenged state in the U.S. and a high adventure read. 

GG's book list on the American Southwest respecting the culture & land

GG Collins Why did GG love this book?

Jann Arrington Wolcott’s Brujo: Seduced by Evil features Lee Lindsay as the intrepid reporter. The action takes place in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After a co-worker is killed in a suspicious car crash, Lee is sent to complete his assignment. The man she meets in a remote village casts a spell over her. Flashbacks to a former life begin to haunt her as the brujo (male witch) stalks her and her family. As someone who knows Santa Fe well, I liked how Wolcott used Santa Fe locations and local color to enhance the narrative. Lee’s friendship with the artist who knew something about brujos was the best part for me; a true friend who risked it all.

By Jann Arrington Wolcott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brujo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Wolcott, Jann Arrington


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