Over the Santa Fe Trail to Mexico: The Travel Diaries and Autobiography of Dr. Rowland Willard
One of the earliest, and best, accounts of travel along the Santa Fe Trail came from a young physician, Rowland Willard, who trained in St. Charles, Missouri, and set off for the Southwest in 1825. His journals and subsequent autobiography chart a journey that took him to Chihuahua, Mexico, providing a rich account of life on the trail and medicine on the frontier.
In a discussion of Over the Santa Fe Trail to Mexico: The Travel Diaries & Autobiography of Dr. Rowland Willard, which she edited, New Mexico Deputy State Librarian Joy L. Poole recounts the doctor’s migration and encounters with traders, trappers, and others seeking opportunity out west. Willard also provided the only eyewitness description of the ghastly wounds suffered by famed mountain man Hugh Glass (subject of the Oscar-winning film The Revenant) in a grizzly bear attack.