Poster – Greetings from New Spain
Pike’s description of the San Luis Valley stockade and its location, near Blanca Peak, in the Sangre de Christo Mountains, are captured nicely by retired Disney artist, Ed French.
Created on 12/6/17, this wonderful painting depicts the stockade (as described in Pike’s journals), in the correct, actual setting at McIntyre Spring, beside the Conejos River. You can see the 14,344′ tall Blanca Peak, and the Great Sand Dunes, on the horizon. The replica of this fort, today, is approximately 1 mile downstream on the Conejos, from the actual stockade site. A significant amount of research, and site visitations, were conducted, by Ed French, to create this painting.
- Medium: Ink
- Surface: Card Stock
- Size: 11″ x 14″
- 1 poster
Ed French is a retired Disney artist, who has brought his enormous talent to depict extraordinary moments in American history, through the eyes of Zebulon Pike.
February 27th 1807. Captain Zebulon Pike, and 18 of his men, had arrived at the Conejos River, a tributary of the Rio Grande in the San Luis Valley, south of today’s Alamosa, CO. It was the dead of winter.
Beginning, on February 1st, they built a stockade to protect themselves from attack by tribal peoples. The previous month they had endured a dangerous trip through the Wet Mountain Valley from Cañon City in below zero temperatures, snowy weather wearing less than adequate clothing. Three were left behind in the Wet Mountain Valley because of frostbitten toes.
On this day authorities from Spain arrived at the stockade and informed them that they were on the Rio Del Norte (the Rio Grande) and not the Red River, which Pike was seeking. They were escorted to Santa Fe (then New Spain), to Chihuahua and further south into Mexico.
Spanish Lieutenant Don Facundo Malgares led Pike from today’s Albuquerque to Durango Province in Mexico / New Spain. They became good friends.