Brides on the Santa Fe Trail

Joy L. Poole
Missouri Valley Sundays
Sunday, March 14, 2021
3:00 pm

From 1821 until the 1880s, the Santa Fe Trail served as a thoroughfare for countless traders, pioneers, and military personnel traveling from Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Many young brides accompanied their husbands on the overland journey to start new lives out west.

In commemoration of the bicentennial anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail, historian Joy L. Poole examines the stories of five wives who traveled the Trail between 1830 and 1870. These women recorded their adventures in memoirs, diaries, or letters sent back home. Drawing from the firsthand accounts, Poole introduces these devoted frontier brides, who vowed to take a husband for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ‘til death they do part – no matter how long and arduous the journey before them.

Poole is deputy state librarian for the New Mexico State Library and a former museum administrator for the Colorado Historical Society. She co-founded the Santa Fe Trail Association and served for ten years on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail Advisory Council for the National Park Service.

This Missouri Valley Sundays program is co-presented by the Kansas City Athenaeum in celebration of Women’s History Month.

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