The historic Santa Fe Trail began in 1821 at Franklin, Missouri, a small town northwest of St. Louis. There had been some limited trade between Spanish-controlled New Mexico and the French in the Mississippi valley for more than a century. In 1792, Pedro Vial, a trusted French explorer living in Santa Fe, was directed by the City’s Spanish governor to open a road to St. Louis” (1).
Arnold, Sam’l. Eating up the Santa Fe Trail. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing,2001.Print.