Santa Fe, in the early 1800s, was a part of Mexico, and the city's landed gentry, the haciendados, had developed an appetite for the good life. Matthew Collins, an entrepreneurial American, sees opportunity there. He bankrolls a wagon train filled with fine goods from St. Louis and, with a partner, succeeds in transporting everything, despite storms and fierce bands of Comanches, across the Great American Desert to a ready market in Santa Fe.
Soon, Matt and his partner become prosperous and respected men. Matt profits from the trapping and selling of hundreds of beaver skins just before the London market for them collapses. Welcomed into the home of Moses Mendoza, one of the leading haciendados, Matt eventually marries Moses's daughter Celestina.
By the mid-1840s, war looms between the United States and Mexico. Matt is called to Washington by President Polk. The urgent matter: how to arrange the turnover of New Mexico and Santa Fe to the United States without causing great bloodshed. Matt develops a plan...
Mixing a fascinating and exciting cast of characters with the adventure and uncertainty of the times, Santa Fe Passage is a remarkable story full of rich detail and vivid imagery of life in then Mexico in the early nineteenth century.