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Opening the Mojave River Trail

The Race for Profits

Governor Chavez was pleased with Armijo's success. On May 14, 1830, he sent Army host diary to the Minister of Interior and Foreign Relations, praising his efforts and successes. The big, husky California mules which were brought back were praised and admired. The mule price of $10-$14 in California returned favorable profits, for mules were sold to the traders and trappers and New Mexico for $50 or more. The reputation of these California animals spread, and they became coveted by the trappers and freighters in the West and in Mexico. Rufus B Sage, in the Rockies about 13 years after the first New Mexican caravan, said that these hardy, trimly-built mules were "more durable under fatigue in the hardship." He said the choice mules in California costs $10 where as the ordinary price for prime selection of horses was $3-$5, mares being only two dollars, and for cattle $2-$4.

In 1846 the British traveler, George F. Ruxton, at even more praise for these California beasts. He bought a pair of California mules in Silao, Mexico, below Zacatecas, and these animals were the "most perfectly in during animals I ever traveled with- no day too long, no work too hard, no food to course for them." He also noted that here peddlers were selling beads of coral shelf from California. The reputation of these animals and the promise of a bright trade future for both New Mexico and California seemed at least to be in the offing.

On January 16, 1831, Antonio Santi-Estevan and 30 men received passports from "Josť Antonio Chavez Jefe Politico de N. Mexico." This second caravan, carrying wool products and other supplies from New Mexico, arrived in Los Angeles in April 1831. The same fall Peter Smith, the brother of Jedediah, went to California to purchase mules. Another brother, Austin, reassured his father of the safety of Peter's trip:

"I do not apprehend any danger in this trip it is often made with 8 to 10 men and no defeats or difficulties experienced."

Bus the annual New Mexican caravans to California and the American use of this route became firmly and confidently established.

The race for profits was on.

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Barring Interferences & Calamities

Successful Trading

Mission San Gabriel

This Illustrious Group

The Chastised Mohave

Another Band of Hunters


Movements through the Mojave

Finding a New Route

The Race for Profits

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