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Caption: Introduction to the Geography of Trapping

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    Traders and merchants in the area around St. Louis had been interested in trading with Santa Fe for years. The major problem was that the Spanish officials governing Santa Fe did not like the idea. Then in 1821, the Mexican people secured their independence from Spanish authorities. At first, the Mexican authorities who replaced the Spanish in Santa Fe resisted trading with the Americans. For one thing, the Mexican authorities imposed taxes on American goods.

Wagons Ruts on the Plains Between Missouri and Santa Fe
Ruts in the Prairie Made by
Wagons Traveling to Santa Fe.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Colorado
Historical Society

     Even so, American traders soon began sending wagons full of goods to trade in Santa Fe. In exchange, the Americans traded for silver, furs and hides, and mules and horses, among other things. Before long, a very extensive trade developed between St. Louis and Santa Fe.
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