501. Kearny’s Gap (Cimarron Route)

William Becknell and fellow Missouri traders passed through this spot on November 13, 1821. It was here that they were met by Mexican militia under the command of Captain Pedro Gallego. Becknell officially learned that Mexico was no longer controlled by Spain. The militia escorted the traders into Santa Fe and thus started the international trade route between the United States and Mexico. In 1846, during the Mexican-American War, General Stephen W. Kearny’s famed Army of the West also passed through this area. They were on their way to declare Santa Fe as part of the United States.