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Van Ann
Van Ann Susan Magoffin - First Lady of the Santa Fe Trail
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Susan Shelby Magoffin (1827 - 1855) was only a young bride when she set out with her husband, Samuel Magoffin, from Independence Missouri to Chihuahua Mexico on one of the most memorable frontier journeys ever made by an American woman along the Santa Fe and Chihuahua Trails.

This journey was an extended "honeymoon safari" since Susan was only a bride of eight months when they departed in June of 1846. This rugged journey took the Magoffin wagon train across the great plains of Kansas and Colorado, down through the mountains of New Mexico to the capitol of Santa Fe, where Susan stayed for six weeks. Their journey continued along the Rio Grande river to El Paso del Norte, and then south to Chihuahua for a stay of several months. Susan Magoffin rejoined her family in Kentucky fifteen months later, and was hailed as the first Anglo woman to ever traverse the Santa Fe trail. However, the rigors of losing two babies, coming down with the yellow fever, and the severe conditions of travel on the trail took a toll on her health, and Susan magoffin passed away at the age of twenty-eight.

We have in-depth information about this wonderful journey because Susan kept an excellent journal of her travels. She took her famous journey at a very critical time in our growing history because the year between 1846 and 1847 was one of the busiest years of trade from the Eastern United States to the West, and most especially because this was the time of the great Mexican-American War. Susan Magoffin wrote about the people and events that would change the course of history and make Manifest Destiny a reality. The Magoffins traveled under the protection of the advancing Army of the West which would conquer the Mexican provinces of New Mexico all the way to California.

Susan Magoffin is willing to travel down the trail once again to visit with you, and share her wonderful journey. Her tale is told with an Anglo woman's perspective as a personable, warm drama with music.