An Assessment of the Llano Estacado, and a Little About the Dangers of Prairie Travel

The Blog formerly knowns as................ BLACKWATER DRAW LOCALITY 1

A hilly portion of the northern Llano Estacado.  37,500 square miles (97,000 km2) of short grass cold, semi-arid prairie scrub.

In his report to the Secretary of War, after making a survey of the Southern Plains in 1849, Captain Randolph B. Marcy described the lands of the Llano Estacado in less than enthusiastic light.  “Not a tree, shrub, or any other object, either animate or inanimate, relieved the monotony…” It is “the great Zahara (sic) of North America.”  Furthermore, it is “a land where no man, either savage or civilized, permanently abides,” and it “always has been, and must continue, uninhabited forever.”

llano It’s a tough ride from Fort Smith to Santa Fe on the southern route.

Marcy was no greenhorn or soft skinned parade soldier.  In his 49 year career, he did much to aide American settlers heading west through his immensely popular book: The Prairie Traveler. A…

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