Westport Historical Society Speaker Series
The Westport Historical Society and the Westport Branch Library present Michael Dickey - "Sweat and Survival: The Impact of the Santa Fe Trade on Missouri's Economy"
Second Saturday Speaker Series, August 9th, 2014, 2:00pm
Westport Library, 118 Westport Road
Speaker’s reception follows at the Harris Kearney House, 40th & Baltimore
Title of Talk: "Sweat and Survival: The Impact of the Santa Fe Trade on Missouri's Economy"
Many presentations about the Santa Fe Trail deal with the personalities, landmarks or activities of caravans on the trail. However, few report on the motivations of traders and how the trade affected the economy of Missouri which in 1821 was in a full blown depression. Banks in Missouri were non-existent, hard currency was rare, and merchants and farmers were unable to dispose of their stock. The inauguration of successful trade between Missouri and New Mexico changed all that. By 1839, Missouri was described as being “the soundest in the Union in her monetary affairs” owing to the trade with New Mexico. This program will analyze the financial impact of the trade and how it provided an economic platform for the development of the new state of Missouri.
Bio: Michael Dickey is a native of Independence, Missouri. Mike has been employed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources since 1986 and has been the historic site administrator at Arrow Rock State Historic Site since 1995. He is also the manager of Sappington Cemetery and Boone’s Lick State Historic Sites. Mike has been involved in historical reenactments since high school and is a past board member of the national Santa Fe Trail Association and is currently a board member of the Boonslick Historical Society. In 2004, Mike wrote the first comprehensive book published about Arrow Rock’s history titled Arrow Rock: Crossroads of the Missouri Frontier. This 300 page book won the Missouri Governor's Humanities Award in 2005 and an Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History in 2006. In 2011 the University of Missouri Press published his second book, “The People of the River’s Mouth: In Search of the Missouri Indians” the first book ever published about the Native American tribe for whom the Missouri River and our state are named.