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Home > History > The Santa Fe Trail - Independence (Stop 1)

The Santa Fe Trail - Independence (Stop 1)

This page describes Independence, Missouri - the first stop of the Santa Fe Trail.
Independence, Missouri

Independence

The Starting Point for Several Trails

Independence, named after the Declaration of Independence, was founded in 1827 and quickly became an important frontier town. As the farthest place west on the Missouri River that steamboats could carry cargo, it was essential as a transportation port, and would become the starting point for the Oregon, Santa Fe, and California Trails. In 1831, Joseph Smith and his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) attempted to construct their temple in the city. Because of tensions with the local population, however, they were expelled, and the Mormons would eventually settle in Utah. Today, the city of Independence holds the annual Santa-Caligon Days Festival, a celebration of the city's history as the starting point for the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails.

Next Stop: Great Plains

Santa Fe Trail Map

Santa Fe Trail Stops

Introduction
Independence
Great Plains
Arkansas River
Fort Dodge
Bent's Fort
Santa Fe

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