The Santa Fe Trail can be of interest on many levels; from tracing its ruts, reading the journals of those who traversed it, compiling receipts of the food they ate, focusing on biographies of individual travelers, and so on. Yet, the Trail’s history has a context that begins before and continues after its existence. It’s importance relative to the European Reformation and the history of the United States resonates today. It is this context that makes The Santa Fe Trail a significant event in North American history.
Thomas E. Chávez has a Ph.D. in History from the University of New Mexico. He directed the Palace of the Governors State History Museum for over twenty-one years. Under his administration the Fray Angélico Chávez Library was opened and the planning and money was achieved for the new History Museum and the Stewart Udall Resource Center. He has published twelve books, three of which are published in translation in Spain. His book Chasing History: Quixotic Quests of Artifacts, Art and Heritage is a firsthand account mostly about the history museum. Tom is a corresponding member of Spain’s Royal Academy of History and a Research Associate Professor for the Latin American Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico.
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