In the rush to settle the lands that the United States took from Mexico after the Treaty of Hidalgo, the Anglo settlers traveled into the area that made up the New Mexican territories. The new movement of American settlers was spurred on by the Country’s belief in Manifest Destiny. This belief in a God given right to take the land, created opportunities for many Americans who were willing to invest in materials and manpower so they could travel west and settle the lands by farming, ranching and mining the natural resources of the country. The movement fed on itself and continued to create more and more opportunities for adventurous men and women as the new frontier expanded. Needs for the new settlers had to be met and small settlements sprung up around junctions and trails where the settlers could be refitted and re-supplied on their way west. Many people made their fortunes by supplying these settlers. The new settlers were not without their troubles as the current inhabitants, the American Indians resisted the onslaught of civilization into their lands. The Anglo settlers did not have the same mindset as did the Spanish settlers that had come into the lands earlier under the flag of Mexico. They had an unspoken agreement with the Indians and considered the Indian harvesting some of their crops or taking a few sheep or cattle as the Indian passed through the land, just part of the cost of doing business. They also considered the land public domain and did not fence it. Therefore they were able to get along well with the Indians. The Anglo rancher however viewed the Indian actions as theft and demanded the service of the United States Army to protect the settlements from Indian depredation. Some men were less than honest in their endeavors to convince the U.S. Army to move into their areas. Many of the ranchers found that a sizable company of army troops in their area could result in an instant market where the ranchers and farmers could make a profit by trading with the troops and selling grain to feed their horses and cattle to feed the troops. A problem was that Congress did not believe in a large standing army and many areas were protected by volunteer forces that would be fielded in times of local crisis. The existing army was spread very thin in the new west and needed to prioritize their responses to the areas that had the worst Indian problems. Many of the unscrupulous settlers resulted in making false reports of Indian degradation to their fields and live stock to persuade the army to frequent their areas. Some went further then that including deadly measures to ensure the army’s presence. This story is intermingled with truth and fiction. It is based on the life in the southwest and tells of a profiteer who manipulated the people of the Gallinas Valley of San Miguel County, and attempted to swindle the army so he could profit from his dishonest actions. This story will cover many characters that could have existed in a newly settled land. There will be the local deputy and his brother of the small town of Chaperito, located 33 miles south of Las Vegas New Mexico. The local army commander from Fort Union will play a major part in the story, as he is manipulated by the profiteer. An unlikely heroine steps into the story as she develops a strong bond with a pony soldier who is recruited to investigate the Indian degradation and the possible connection to the Spivey ranch. Many characters will come and go in this story. Some will win the heart of the reader and yet others will be down-right irritating. The setting for the story starts in the American South and moves to the Gallinas Valley in San Miguel County, New Mexico, at the edge of the Santa Fe Trail. The nearest large settlements were Anton Chico to the south and Las Vegas to the north.
About Michael T Young
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Published May 15, 2013
by Michael T Young.
Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy.