In 1854, funded by a syndicate of San Francisco businessmen, Charles D. Poston and a party of twenty-five men launched an expedition from San Francisco to Sinaloa and Sonora, Mexico, before trekking north into Arizona and returning to California. Reconnaissance in Sonora brings to light Poston’s handwritten report to the syndicate about the journey, published here for the first time.
Poston led his party through Sonora and the territory of the 1854 Gadsden Purchase, which today encompasses southern Arizona and a portion of southern New Mexico. The syndicate’s charge to the young adventurer was to acquire land in Mexico in anticipation of the Gadsden Purchase and the building of the transcontinental railroad. Reconnaissance in Sonora details Poston’s expedition, including the founding of the town of Colorado City at the site of present-day Yuma, Arizona.
C. Gilbert Storms explores the American ideas of territorial expansion and Manifest Destiny, the national debate over a route for a transcontinental railroad, the legends of rich gold and silver mines in northern Mexico, and the French and American filibusters that plagued northern Mexico in the early 1850s.
|Publisher:||University of Arizona Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
C. Gilbert Storms taught American literature and writing for twenty-nine years at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He now lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he researches and writes about Arizona history.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
Chapter 1 Starting Out in Kentucky 9
Chapter 2 San Francisco and the Customs House 15
Chapter 3 The Government Boarding House 21
Chapter 4 Expansionist Dreams and Private Conquests 34
Chapter 5 Planning the Expedition to Sonora 44
Chapter 6 Navachiste and Sonora 49
Chapter 7 A Port on the Gulf 58
Chapter 8 The Sand Desert 71
Chapter 9 The Gila Trail and Colorado City 80
Chapter 10 Deals and Disappointments 95
Chapter 11 Stories of the Sonoran Expedition 106
Postscript: Poston's Story 115
Appendix: Charles D. Poston, "Reconnoisance in Sonora" 123