Collector Coin – San Luis Valley Stockade


This coin is a stamped penny depicting the San Luis Valley Stockade.

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Jan 31 to Feb 26

Pike and 10 men had just traveled about 34.5 mi in three days SW from near Zapata Falls down into the San Luis Valley presumably attracted to the steam rising above McIntire Spring on the Conejos River. They began work on the stockade while hunting for food. This location is about 5 miles of the confluence of the Conejos with the Rio Grande which matches Pike’s words on the 31st.

They remained there for 27 days until they were discovered by the Spanish and brought to Santa Fe.

At two separate times during these 27 days, a rescue party was sent back to retrieve (successfully) the three frostbitten members left in the Wet Mountain Valley and the two left in Cañon City (with their cache and horses.)

31st January, Saturday: “As there was no timber here we determined on descending until we found timber, in order to make transports to descend the river with, where we might establish a position that four or five might defend against the insolence, cupidity, and barbarity of the savages, whilst the others returned to assist the poor fellows who had been left behind at different points. We descended 18 miles, when we met a large branch [Rio Conejos], emptying into the main stream, about five miles up which branch we took our station. Killed one deer. Distance 18 miles.”

Their ‘arrest’ by the Spanish (Lt. Don Ignatio Saltelo) on February 25th is somewhat curious.

  • They were not brought back east to the United States but brought to further south into New Spain to Santa Fe, Chihuahua, Torreón and Spanish Texas.
  • They were allowed to keep their arms and ammunition.
  • While in New Spain they were wined and dined by their captors, allowed to mix with the curious common folk. Pike even resided with a Spanish cartographer while in Chihuahua.
  • On their trip through today’s Mexico and Texas – nine fandangos were thrown for them.

Additional information

Weight 3 oz
Dimensions 6.25 × 3.5 in