Most of the books written about the Santa Fe Trail 1821 to 1880 focus on the history, the people, the economics, and the landscape of the Santa Fe Trail and Trade. Phyllis S. Morgan, in: " As Far as the Eye could Reach: Accounts of Animals along the Santa Fe Trail 1821-1880", provides a new perspective to the study of the Santa Fe Trail. Using eyewitness accounts from letters, diaries, and journals from people who actually traveled the historic trail, Ms. Morgan presents a very interesting narrative about the animals, both the wildlife encountered, and the domestic animals taken, along the trail to Santa Fe.
The narrative presents vivid eyewitness accounts of the buffalo, the pronghorn, the wolf, grizzly and black bears, prairie dogs, prairie chickens, mustangs, and rattlesnakes; along with the natural characteristics of the wildlife species, the interactions of these species with the human travelers on the trail, and the effects of human contact upon the wildlife during the era of the Santa Fe Trail. In addition to the wildlife encountered, Ms.
Morgan focuses upon the domestic animals: the oxen mules, burros, horses, and dogs, that were important components of the overland caravans to Santa Fe.
Ms. Morgan's skillful use of eyewitness accounts, combined with interesting background information and observations, evoke fascinating images that bring the old Santa Fe Trail to life for the reader. This excellent book, well-written, interesting, and informative, provides a valuable new
perspective and contribution to the history and literature on the Santa Fe Trail.