ZEB PIKE HAD NOTHING TO FEAR FROM SPANIARDS

By Bartee Haile.
 
Lt. Zebulon Pike spent another sleepless night on Feb. 25, 1807 worrying whether hostile Spanish troops might at any moment overrun his makeshift fort. Lewis and Clark were homeward bound from the Pacific Northwest in 1806, when 28 year old Zeb Pike embarked on his own inspection tour of the Southwest. His secret mission was to slip into New Mexico from the north, analyze the economic potential of the thriving colony and pinpoint the weak spots in the Spanish defenses. And he was to accomplish all without creating an international incident. Before the expedition even began, Spanish spies in St. Louis tipped off Santa Fe to the imminent intrusion. The royal governor sent hundreds of soldiers to intercept the trespassers, but a four-month canvass of the countryside failed to find any sign of Pike and his party.
 

 

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