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Thomas Tate Tobin
|Died||1904 (aged 81)|
|Occupation||Mountain man, adventurer, US Army scout, bounty hunter|
Tom Tobin (1823–1904) was an American adventurer, tracker, trapper, mountain man, guide, US Army scout, and occasional bounty hunter. Tobin explored much of southern Colorado, including the Pueblo area. He associated with men such as Kit Carson, "Uncle Dick" Wootton, Ceran St. Vrain, Charley Bent, John C. Fremont, "Wild Bill" Hickok, William F. Cody, and the Shoup brothers. Tobin was one of only two men to escape alive from the siege of Turley's Mill during the Taos Revolt. In later years he was sent by the Army to track down and kill the notorious Felipe Espinosa and his nephew; Tobin returned to Ft. Garland with their heads in a sack.
Thomas Tate Tobin was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on May 1, 1823 to Bartholomew Tobin, an Irish immigrant, and Sarah Autobees. Sarah, believed to have been a Lenape, had been widowed before marrying Tobin.[ citation needed ] She brought her son Charles Autobees (later Autobee) into the marriage. A year later, the couple had a daughter Catherine together.
In 1828, Charles Autobees, then 16 years old, went west to work as a beaver trapper. He returned to St. Louis in 1837. That year, his half-brother Tom Tobin, then 14 years old, left with Charles and his colleague Ceran St. Vrain to return to Taos. Tom worked as a trapper and scout at Bent's Fort and in Taos. Along with his brother, Tobin worked at Simeon Turley's store, mill, and distillery at Arroyo Hondo. He accompanied his brother Charles on trips to deliver supplies and whiskey to trappers in trade for furs. The men took the pelts to St. Louis to trade for more supplies for Turley's store. Autobees and Tobin made regular stops in places such as Fort Jackson, Fort Lupton, Bent's Fort, and El Pueblo.
By 1846, Tom had married Pascuala Bernal. They lived in Arroyo Hondo, near Taos. He continued working for Turley, and delivered dispatches to Fort Leavenworth for Gen. Stephen Kearny.
On the morning of January 19, 1847, insurrectionists opposed to American rule began a revolt in Don Fernando de Taos (present-day Taos, New Mexico). They were led by Pablo Montoya, a Mexican, and Tomás Romero, a Pueblo also known as "Tomasito" (Little Tomas).
The Pueblo, led by Romero, went to the home of Governor Charles Bent, broke down the door, shot Bent several times with arrows, and scalped him in front of his wife and children. They murdered and scalped several other government officials. Among them were Stephen Lee, acting county sheriff; Cornelio Vigil, prefect and probate judge; and J.W. Leal, circuit attorney.
The next day a large force of approximately 500 Mexicans and Pueblo attacked and laid siege to Simeon Turley's Mill, where Autobee and Tobin were working. Seeing the crowd approach, Autobee rode to Santa Fe to inform the occupying American forces about the revolt and to try to get help, leaving eight to ten mountain men, including his brother Tom, to defend the mill. After a day-long battle, only two of the men, Johnny Albert and Tobin, survived; they escaped the burning mill separately on foot during the confusion of night fighting.
After his escape, Tobin and Autobee served as scouts for a company led by Capt. Ceran St. Vrain, to find and capture the insurrectionists. Those perpetrators who were not killed in battle were tried and mostly hanged. Romero was assassinated while in jail by a US dragoon, John Fitzgerald.
In 1847, Tobin farmed on land bordering the San Carlos River southeast of El Pueblo, selling his crops to Lt. Col. William Gilpin, who was camped with his troops near Bent's Fort. The next year, Gilpin asked Tobin to scout for him during a planned spring campaign against the Indians. Gilpin asked Tobin to serve as a courier, carrying dispatches from the Canadian River valley of Oklahoma to Bent's Fort.
Just before the Civil War, Maj. B.L. Beall hired Tobin as a scout to guide an expedition to find a railroad route to California. Beall described Tobin as "having a reputation almost equal to Kit Carson's for bravery, dexterity with his rifle, and skill in mountain life."[ citation needed ]
In November 1868, Gen. Penrose appointed Tobin as chief scout on an Indian-hunting campaign. Other scouts hired were Tobin's half-brother Charles Autobee, and "Wild Bill" Hickok.
In the early 1860s, the Mexican national Felipe Espinosa (along with two cousins) moved to the San Luis Valley from New Mexico. The Espinosas went on a killing spree beginning in 1863, murdering more than 30 Anglos in the area in retaliation for relatives killed in the Mexican–American War. A detachment of soldiers from Ft. Garland, as well as several posses, attempted to capture the brothers, but succeeded only in killing one brother, who was quickly replaced by a cousin. Eventually, Colonel Sam Tappan, the commanding officer of Ft. Garland, requested Tobin's help in bringing Espinosas' reign of terror to an end. He provided Tobin with a detachment of fifteen soldiers, but Tobin left them at camp, as they made too much noise on the trail. Tobin tracked the Espinosas to a camp and shot them. He cut off their heads and carried them in a sack back to Ft. Garland as proof of his success. When asked by Tappan how his trip had gone, Tobin reportedly replied, "So-so", then rolled the heads out of the sack and across the floor. The government had posted a reward for several thousand dollars (Dead or Alive) for the Espinosas, but Tobin never collected the full amount. The governor of Colorado gave him a coat like Kit Carson's and the Army gave him a Henry rifle.
In 1878, Tobin's daughter Pascualita married William (Billy) Carson, a son of Kit Carson. Some years later, Tobin tried to stab Carson for abusing Pascualita; the younger man hit Tobin in the head with a sledge hammer and shot him in the side. Tobin and his son-in-law apparently reconciled a few days later, but Tobin never fully recovered from the shooting. He did outlive Billy Carson.
Christopher Houston Carson, better known as Kit Carson, was an American frontiersman. He was a fur trapper, wilderness guide, Indian agent, and U.S. Army officer. He became a frontier legend in his own lifetime via biographies and news articles, and exaggerated versions of his exploits were the subject of dime novels. His understated nature belied confirmed reports of his fearlessness, combat skills, tenacity, and profound effect on the westward expansion of the United States.
John David Albert was a mountain man.
Charles Bent was appointed as the first civilian Governor of the newly acquired New Mexico Territory by military Governor Stephen Watts Kearny in September 1846.
Bent's Old Fort is an 1833 fort located in Otero County in southeastern Colorado, United States. A company owned by Charles Bent and William Bent and Ceran St. Vrain built the fort to trade with Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Plains Indians and trappers for buffalo robes. For much of its 16-year history, the fort was the only major white American permanent settlement on the Santa Fe Trail between Missouri and the Mexican settlements. It was destroyed in 1849.
Ceran St. Vrain, born Ceran de Hault de Lassus de Saint-Vrain, was the American son of a French aristocrat who immigrated to the United States in the late 18th century; his mother was from St. Louis, where he was born. To gain the ability to trade, in 1831 he became a naturalized Mexican citizen in what is now the state of New Mexico. He formed a partnership with American traders William, George and Charles Bent; together they established the trading post of Bent's Fort. It was the only privately held fort in the West.
William Wells Bent was a frontier trader and rancher in the American West, with forts in Colorado. He also acted as a mediator among the Cheyenne Nation, other Native American tribes and the expanding United States. With his brothers, Bent established a trade business along the Santa Fe Trail. In the early 1830s Bent built an adobe fort, called Bent's Fort, along the Arkansas River in present-day Colorado. Furs, horses and other goods were traded for food and other household goods by travelers along the Santa Fe trail, fur-trappers, and local Mexican and Native American people. Bent negotiated a peace among the many Plains tribes north and south of the Arkansas River, as well as between the Native American and the United States government.
Mora or Santa Gertrudis de lo de Mora is a census-designated place in, and the county seat of, Mora County, New Mexico, United States. It is located about halfway between Las Vegas, and Taos on Highway 518, at an altitude of 7,180 feet. The Republic of Texas performed a semi-official raid on Mora in 1843. Two short battles of Mexican–American War were fought in Mora in 1847, where US troops eventually defeated the Hispano and Puebloan militia, effectively ending the Taos Revolt in the Mora Valley. The latter battle destroyed most of the community, necessitating its re-establishment.
The Taos Revolt was a popular insurrection in January 1847 by Hispano and Puebloan allies against the United States' occupation of present-day northern New Mexico during the Mexican–American War. In two short campaigns, United States troops and militia crushed the rebellion of the allied Hispanos of New Mexico and Taos Pueblo. The rebels, seeking better representation, regrouped and fought three more engagements, but after being defeated, they abandoned open warfare. While US troops were overwhelmingly victorious, it did result in the New Mexico Territory forming with proper representation and recognition for Santa Fe de Nuevo México's citizenry in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
Manuel Antonio Chaves or Chávez, known as El Leoncito, was a soldier in the Mexican Army and then became a rancher who lived in New Mexico. His life was full of incident, and his courage and marksmanship became literally legendary in his own time. In documented history, as an American soldier he helped win the American Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass and was in command during an important fight in the Navajo Wars. As a Mexican soldier he probably negotiated the surrender of a large part of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition.
Fort Saint Vrain was an 1837 fur trading post built by the Bent, St. Vrain Company, and located at the confluence of Saint Vrain Creek and the South Platte River, about 20 miles (32 km) east of the Rocky Mountains in the unorganized territory of the United States, in present-day Weld County, Colorado. A historical marker notes the place where Old Fort St. Vrain once stood, today at the end of Weld County Road 40, located about seven miles north of Fort Vasquez, Colorado. Among those who helped to establish the fort was Ceran St. Vrain, after whom it was named.
Marcelino Baca was a 19th-century Mexican fur trader who helped to establish the fur trade in the American Southwest.
The Trapper's Trail or Trappers' Trail is a north-south path along the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains that links the Great Platte River Road at Fort Laramie and the Santa Fe Trail at Bent's Old Fort. Along this path there were a number of trading posts, also called trading forts.
The Taos Mountain Trail was the historic pathway for trade and business exchanges between agrarian Taos and the Great Plains (Colorado) from pre-history through the Spanish Colonial period and into the time of the European and American presence. The Taos Mountain Trail, between northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, connected the high mountain traders and their trading partners north and south of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Also called the Trapper's Trail, the pathway was only wide enough for people on foot or horses in single file, but it shortened a trip from Taos to the plains farther north from nearly two weeks to three days in good weather. The Taos Mountain Trail was also known as the Sangre de Cristo Trail and the Aztec Trail.
The Governor Bent House is the historic home of Governor Charles Bent who served as the first United States territorial governor of New Mexico.
The early history of the Arkansas Valley in Colorado prior to the Colorado Gold Rush of 1859 saw a number of trading posts and small settlements established in the Arkansas and South Platte valleys including Bent's Fort and Fort Pueblo
Lewis Hector Garrard wrote an enduring book, Wah-to-yah and the Taos Trail, about his visit to the southwestern United States in 1846-1847.
Bent, St. Vrain & Company was a fur trading and Indian trading business active from 1830 to 1849, in the Republic of Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and in the unorganized territory of the United States.
Autobees, Colorado, also called Autobees Plaza, is an extinct town in Colorado. It was the county seat of Huerfano County, Colorado from 1861 to 1868. At that time, the county seat moved to Badito, which was on a main trail along the foothills. When Autobees was the county seat, Huerfano County was almost the entire southeastern portion of the state. Now, the site of the former settlement is within Pueblo County, Colorado.
Charles Autobees (1812–1882), whose last name was also spelled Urtebise and Ortivis, was a fur trader and pioneer in the American Old West. He was the founder of Autobees, Colorado.
El Pueblo, also called Fort Pueblo, was a trading post and fort near the present-day city of Pueblo in Pueblo County, Colorado. It operated from 1842 until 1854, selling goods, livestock, and produce. It was attacked in 1854, killing up to 19 men and capturing three people. A recreation of the fort is located at the El Pueblo History Museum at the site of the original fort.