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KEARNEY'S MARCH TO SANTA FE. 153

farther south has been surveyed along the valley of the Cimarron, joining the traders' route near Vegas, eighty miles south of the line of Kanzas. The greatest height on the traders' route, as observed by Lieut. Emory when he crossed with Gen. Kearney, is seven thousand five hundred feet. He thus describes the pass, beginning at an encampment of which the height was five thousand eight hundred and ninety-six feet: – “August 6. Colonel Kearney left Colonel Doniphan's regiment and Major Clarke's artillery at our old campground of last night, and scattered Sumner's dragoons three or four miles up the creek, to pass the day in renovating the animals by nips at the little bunches of grass spread at intervals in the valleys. This being done, we commenced the ascent of the Raton, and, after marching seventeen miles, halted with the infantry and general staff within a half mile of the summit of the pass. Strong parties were sent forward to repair the road, which winds through a picturesque valley, with the Raton towering to the left. Pine trees here obtain a respectable size, and lined the valley through the whole day's march. A few oaks (Quercus olivaformis), big enough for axles, were found near the halting-place of to-night. When we first left the camp this morning, we saw several clumps of the pinón (Pinus edulis). It bears a resinous nut, eaten by Mexicans and Indians. We found, also, the lamita in

great abundance. It resembles the wild currant, and is, probably, one of its varieties; grows to the height of several feet, and bears a red berry, which is gathered, dried, pounded, and then mixed with sugar and water, making a very pleasant drink, resembling currant cordial. We were unfortunate in not being able to get either the fruit or flower. Neither this plant, the pinón, nor any of the plum trees nor grape vines, had any fruit on them, which is attributable to the excessive drought. The stream, which was last year a rushing torrent, is this year dry, and in pools. “The view from our camp is inexpressibly beautiful, and reminds persons of the landscapes of Palestine. Without attempting a description, I refer to the sketch. “The rocks of the mountain were chiefly a light sandstone, in strata, not far from horizontal; and the road was covered with many fragments of volcanic rocks, of purplishbrown color, porous, and melting over a slow fire. “The road is well located. The general appearance is Something like the pass at the summit of the Boston and Albany railroad, but the scenery bolder, and less adorned with vegetation. “An express returned from the spy-guard which reported all clear in front. Captain Cooke and Mr. Liffendorfer have only reached the Canadian river. It was reported to me that, at Captain Sumner's camp, about seven miles above where we encamped last night, and twelve miles from the summit, an immense field of coal crops out, the seam

THE RATON. 155

being thirty feet deep. To-night our animals were refreshed with good grass and water. “Nine observations on Polaris give, for the latitude of the place, 37° 00' 21". Seven on Arcturus, in the west, and seven on Alpha Aquilae, in the east, give the chronometric longitude 6h. 57m. 01.35s. Height above the sea, seven thousand one hundred and sixty-nine feet. “August 7, camp 36. We recommenced the ascent of the Raton, which we reached with ease, with our wagons, in about two miles. The height of this point above the sea, as indicated by the barometer, is seven thousand five hundred feet. From the summit we had a beautiful view of Pike's Peak, the Wattahyah, and the chain of mountains running south from the Wattahyah. Several large white masses were discernible near the summits of the range, which we at first took for snow, but which, on examination with the telescope, were found to consist of white limestone, or granular quartz, of which we afterwards saw so much in this country. As we drew near, the view was no less imposing. To the east rose the Raton, which appeared still as high as from the camp, one thousand five hundred feet below. On the top of the Raton the geological formation is very singular, presenting the appearance of a succession of castles. As a day would be required to visit it, I was obliged to forego that pleasure, and examine it merely with the glass. The mountain appears to be formed chiefly of Sandstone, disposed in strata of various shades of color, dipping gently to the east, until you reach near the Summit, where the castellated appearance commences, the sides here being perpendicular and the seams vertical. The valley is strewed with pebbles and fragments of trap rock, and the fusible rock described yesterday, cellular lava, and some pumice. “For two days our way was strewed with flowers; exhilarated by the ascent, the green foliage of the trees in striking contrast with the deserts we had left behind, they were the most agreeable days of the journey. Af “There is said to be a lake about ten miles to the east of the summit, where immense herds of deer, antelope, and buffalo congregate, but this may be doubted. “The descent is much more rapid than the ascent, and for the first few miles through a valley of good burned grass and stagnant waters, containing many beautiful flowers. But frequently you come to a place where the stream (a branch of the Canadian) has worked itself through the mountains, and the road has to ascend and then descend a sharp spur. Here the difficulties commence; and the road, for three or four miles, is just passable for a wagon; many of the train were broken in the passage. A few thousand dollars judiciously expended here would be an immense

Saving to the government.”

These various routes of travel westward are all which have been in fact followed by persons crossing with goods or heavy stores from the one ocean to the other,

ROUTES FOR A PACIFIC RAILROAD. 157

A southern route contemplates a line drawn from St. Louis to the south-west corner of Missouri, thence westerly to the neighborhood of Bent's Fort, where it would unite with that already described. The various southern routes, converging from various directions in Upper Texas, propose to pursue a route almost west, through El Paso and the strip of territory purchased of Mexico by the treaty of December 30th, 1853, to San Francisco. But these routes, though explored, have not been travelled on by emigrants or merchants. The great practicable routes, thus far used, lead through Kanzas, or the valley of Nebraska river. There are various detailed questions already agitated as to the route which a railroad should follow on leaving the valley of the Missouri, and at what point of that valley it should begin. . The Hannibal and St. Joseph's railroad, running through the State of Missouri, from the Mississippi river to the Missouri, nearly westward, is already in progress of construction. The friends of this enterprise are eager in pressing its continuation westward, through Kanzas, as the beginning of a railway to the Pacific. Eurther south the “Pacific Railroad,” so called, of Missouri, which is open about forty miles westward from St. Louis, is to run to Kanzas City, at the mouth of Kanzas river. Col. Benton and Col. Fremont, in proposing what is

called “Fremont's line of railroad,” suggest that it should

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