History ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 3-17-1952


Through the acquisition of the Territory of New Mexico, the United States fell heir to a problem different from any that it had encountered in any previous advance of the frontier. During the settlement of the area east of the Mississippi River it made little difference where, or how many, military posts were established once the plenitude of navigable rivers made their supply and upkeep a relatively inexpensive matter. The fertile lands of the region soon enabled a settlement to develop near the post which provided protection and a market for the surplus of a growing community. Within a few years the settlers became numerous enough to defend themselves and the area developed enough to sustain its own economy, so the military post could be abandoned and the troops moved to a new frontier where the story would repeat itself.

General Kearny, carrying both gifts and the threat of force to the Indians, opened a new area in the history of United States-Indian relations. The gifts were quickly accepted, the threats as quickly forgotten, and the curtain was lifted on the life and death struggle which was to last until the Indian finally gave way to a persistent and stronger adversary. This study is concerned with the role played by Fort Union, New Mexico, in that deadly duel.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Frank Driver Reeve

Second Committee Member

George Winston Smith

Third Committee Member





Fort Union, New Mexico Territory, Stephen W. Kearny, Manifest Destiny

Document Type