At the End of the Santa Fe Trail

At the End of the Santa Fe Trail
September 1st 1999 by University of New Mexico Press
Goodreads Rating:

Originally published in 1932 and long unavailable, this memoir by a strong-willed and resourceful nun is a valuable addition to the story of women in the West. Sister Blandina (1850-1941) served in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico from 1872 to 1894 as a member of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.

She possessed a singular determination to get things done, as in 1876 when she demolished a dilapidated building serving as a school. Having no funds to replace the structure, she declared, "Our assets are good-will and energy"--and her example inspired artisans to volunteer in building a new school. Sister Blandina dedicated herself to teaching Hispanic children, tending the sick, visiting prisoners, assisting orphans, and raising money to further missionary activities among Hispanics and Native Americans. She quickly recognized the essential injustice of the settling of the West and observed that the Native Americans' "right to the land we call America is unquestioned." The foreword by Marc Simmons includes a biographical sketch, and an afterword by Anne M. Butler addresses the historical contributions of nuns such as Sister Blandina. "A small classic in the category of eyewitness accounts."--Marc Simmons