Westing: Personal Narratives of Life on the Rayado, New Mexico Frontier - Andrew Wahll. Rayado is central to understanding the history of the New Mexico frontier, and the fulfillment of manifest destiny by Americans heading southwest, to trade and then to invade and take lands from Mexico that would give the United States control of lands with year-round routes to California, just as the gold rush was getting underway. These pages preserve the story of this locale on the southwest frontier as recounted by women and men who were there and recorded their impressions and observations. Using a fine brush, historian Andrew Wahll has painted an engrossing picture of daily life by using the actual words of travelers of the region as they traveled to and from the settlement on the Rayado River. Readers get a detailed and colorful picture of the area: from an early Mexican outpost to an American farm and ranch. Most trail accounts focus on movement over a route, however Westing describes the frontier as it existed at one place, Rayado, Territory of New Mexico. Travelers came and went, including women who kept diaries, obituaries of leading citizens, soldier's records and orders, mountain men tales, and accounts of explorers in officials reports. There were naturalist's accounts of new flora and fauna, emerging settlement patterns, and clashes with local Indians, as well as growing border tensions between Mexico and the United States. Rayado became a locale on the major route between Mexico and the United States as trade grew to gigantic proportions between the two nations. This is not a broad brush approach but rather a detailed close up look at a locale and the daily life of people and events in the region. An index to full names, places and subjects; and a collection of thirty early photographs showing buildings, roads, bridges, physical features and personages enhances the narrative.
2010, 5½x8½, paper, index, 198 pp.