Mexican Trader of the Santa Fe Trail exhibit coming to PCC Library
Fort Larned National Historic Site and Pratt Community College are pleased to announce a “Mexican Trader of the Santa Fe Trail” exhibit from the fort on display at the Linda Hunt Memorial Library. The Pratt community is encouraged to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) by visiting the exhibit and by delving deeper into Kansas history and the Santa Fe Trail experiences. The trader in the exhibit represents a young drover by the name of Jose Librado Gurules who traveled on the trail in 1867. Many years after his 11-month journey from Santa Fe to Kansas City and back to his home in Las Placitas, Jose shared his recollections with the New Mexican Federal Writers’ Project.
Jose, and the outfit he was traveling with, went through Fort Larned on the journey to Kansas City and then followed the railroad construction on the return trip. Fort Larned operated as an army post from 1859 to 1878 and extended its influence and authority along the Santa Fe Trail. Mexican traders would frequently stop at Fort Larned to trade with the sutler who operated a general store for the military. Trade items included wool, metals, and food items to name a few.
Jose tells of the march being very hazardous and exhausting. Both men and animals were pushed to the limit. A schedule was set and every effort was made to maintain it.
Learn more about his experience by visiting the Linda Hunt Memorial Library. The exhibit will be in place from Friday, Oct. 7 through Wednesday, Nov. 2.