By Donald J. Blakeslee
Booklet via Blakeslee, Donald J.
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Extra info for Along ancient trails: the Mallet expedition of 1739
A single page of the official expedition journal survives. Given by an Indian to the French commander at Fort des Chartres a few months later (Villiers 1923), it tells of the last days leading up to the battle and of how the Spanish force traveled up an Indian trail, across the Loup, and down the north bank of that stream before retreating the day prior to the massacre. The debacle ended Spain's plans to extend its influence across the Plains to counter the French. There was some talk of erecting a new presidio among the Jicarillas or even at El Cuartelejo, but it was not to be; New Mexico had lost nearly a third of its military strength.
For instance, in 1634 one Gaspar Pérez led an expedition onto the Plains and traded with Apaches. We know this only because his son, Diego Romero, who led a similar expedition in 1660, was charged with heresy during the struggle between Governor Bernardo López de Mendizábal and the missionaries (Blakeslee 1981; Kessell 1979: 138, 194-196; Scholes 1942). Accounts of both expeditions survive only in the records of the Inquisition. Both were undertaken at the behest of governors in order to obtain skins and hides to ship to Mexico in the annual caravan, and both appear to have followed the route from Pecos to the Canadian River that Spaniards and Pueblo Indians had used at least since the time of Oñate.
THE CHARACTERS Frenchmen Alarie, Jean-Baptiste: a member of the expedition of 1739. There was an Alary family in Canada by 1678 (Alvord 1907: 631 n. 89), and an Illinois branch (that spelled the name Alarie) shows up in the Cahokia census of 1787 (Alvord 1907: 631). Thus, it is likely that Alarie, like all but one of the other men in the expedition, was a French Canadian. Alarie chose to stay in Santa Fe, where he married Maria Francisca Fernández de la Pedrera, a widow, on March 24, 1741 (Chávez 1954: 122).