Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/23

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CHAPTER II.


March from Texas to El Paso.—The Lipans.—Their Personal Appearance.—Sait-jah and the Picture.


In the year 1849, I was prevailed upon by Dr. Thomas H. Webb, Secretary of the Massachusetts Historical Society, to forego my position on the Boston Herald, and accept an appointment on the United States Boundary Commission, then being re-organized under the Hon. John R. Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett selected some thirty of the Commission, and determined to proceed by way of the Northern Route, which, up to that period, had been traveled only three times, and was, consequently, but little known. The most valuable information relative to the route was received from Judge Ankrim—a brave, courteous and handsome gentleman. In accordance with the directions pricked out on Mr. Bartlett's traveling chart by Judge Ankrim, one portion of the Commission directed their way, leaving the great body, under Col. John McClellan, U. S. Topographical Engineers, to come on by what is known as the Southern Route, a well beaten and frequently used road. Many portions of the way selected by Mr. Bartlett had never before been gone over by white men. There was no trail to direct our course, nor did we possess any satisfactory knowledge of its ability to afford wood, water and grass. The maps, however, showed that it was crossed by certain streams at stated distances, and the venture was boldly undertaken.

On arriving within a short distance of the South Con-