KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS
COMMERCE OF THE PRAIRIES, by Josiah Gregg




TABLE —
CHAPTER IX.


=====================================================================================Years | Amt. Mdse.| Wg's. | Men.| Pro’s.| T'nto Ch’a.|	Remarks.------|-----------|-------|-----|-------|------------|-------------------------------1822  |    15,000 |       |  70 |    60 |            | Pack-animals only used.1823  |    12,000 |       |  50 |    30 |            |    do.              do.1824  |    35,000 |    26 | 100 |    80 |      3,000 |    do.   and wagons.1825  |    65,000 |    37 | 130 |    90 |      5,000 |    do.               do.1826  |    90,000 |    60 | 100 |    70 |      7,000 | Wagons only henceforth.1827  |    85,000 |    55 |  90 |    50 |      8,000 |1828  |   150,000 |   100 | 200 |    80 |     20,000 | 3 men killed, being the first 1829  |    60,000 |    30 |  50 |    20 |      5,000 | 1st U. S. Es.-1 trader killed.1830  |   120,000 |    70 | 140 |    60 |     20,000 | First oxen used by traders.1831  |   250,000 |   130 | 320 |    80 |     80,000 | Two men killed.1832  |   140,000 |    70 | 150 |    40 |     50,000 | {Party defeated on Canadian1833  |   180,000 |   105 | 185 |    60 |     80,000 | { 2 men killed, 3 perished.1834  |   150,000 |    80 | 160 |    50 |     70,000 | 2nd U. S. Escort1835  |   140,000 |    75 | 140 |    40 |     70,000 |1836  |   130,000 |    70 | 135 |    35 |     60,000 |1837  |   150,000 |    80 | 160 |    35 |     80,000 |1838  |    90,000 |    50 | 100 |    20 |     40,000 |1839  |   250,000 |   130 | 250 |    40 |    100,000 | Arkansas Expedition.1840  |    50,000 |    30 |  60 |     5 |     10,000 | Chihuahua ExpeditIon.1841  |   150,000 |    60 | 100 |    l2 |     80,000 | Texan Santa Fe Expedition.1842  |   160,000 |    70 | 120 |    15 |     90,000 |1843  |   450,000 |   230 | 350 |    30 |    300,000 | 3d U.S. Es.-Ports closed.=====================================================================================

     The foregoing table is not given as perfectly accurate, yet it is believed to be about as nearly so as any that could be made out at thepresent day. The column marked “Pro’s.” (Proprietors), thougheven less precise than the other statistics, presents, I think, aboutthe proportion of the whole number engaged each year who wereowners. At first, as will be seen, almost every individual of each caravan was a proprietor, while of late the capital has been held by comparatively few hands. In 1843, the greater portion of the traders were New Mexicans, several of whom, during the three years previous, had embarked in this trade, of which they bid fair to secure a monopoly.
     The amount of merchandise transported to Santa Fe each year, is set down at its probable cost in the Eastern cities of the United States. Besides freights and insurance to Independence there hasbeen an annual investment, averaging nearly twenty-five per cent. upon the cost of the stocks, in wagons, teams, provisions, hire of hands, &c., for transportation across the Prairies. A large portion of this remaining unconsumed, however, the ultimate loss on the outfit has not been more than half of the above amount. Instead of purchasing outfit, some traders prefer employing freighters, a number of whom are usually to be found on the frontier of Missouri, ready to transport goods to Santa Fe, at ten to twelve cents per pound. From thence to Chihuahua the price of freights is six to eight cents — upon mules, or in wagons.
     The average gross returns of the traders has rarely exceeded fifty per cent. upon the cost of their merchandise, leaving a net profit of between twenty and forty per cent.; though their profits have notunfrequently been under ten per cent.: in fact, as has before been mentioned, their adventures have sometimes been losing speculations. (a)
     (a) Those who are familiar with Mr. Mayer’s very interesting work on Mexico, will observe that a portion of the preceding table corresponds substantially with one presented on page 318 of that work. In justice to myself, I feel compelled to stale, that, in 1841, I published, in the Galveston “Daily Advertiser,” a table of the Santa Fe trade from 1831 to 1840 inclusive, of which that of Mr. Mayerembraces an exact copy. I have since made additions, and corrected it to some extent, but still the correspondence is such as seemed to require of me this explanation.



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