Synopses & Reviews
In lean, swift-moving prose, Across the Northern Frontier chronicles the compelling adventures of the Spaniards who ventured north from colonial New Mexico into the unknown, and their contacts and conflicts with Native Americans. The narrative takes the reader along on those dangerous frontier expeditions for diplomacy, trade, and war.
North of colonial New Mexico, the northernmost province of New Spain, loomed the region's highest mountains, seemingly limitless plains, moving black hills of buffalo, and a bewildering maze of mesas and canyons held by disparate and often hostile native peoples. Few journeys across the frontier were routine, for they included unpredictable encounters, with natives and exposure to the hazards of the wild. Water, and its scarcity, influenced every decision. Expedition leaders routinely kept journals of their often momentous travels, and those that survive provide rich detail on the new lands and strange peoples.
Spanish explorers exerted a profound influence on the subsequent history of the present-day states of New Mexico and Colorado -- a legacy not fully documented until now -- as well as Texas, Kansas, Arizona, and Utah. Colorado's people, their cultural practices, place names, and even occasional artifacts all attest to this early Spanish influence.