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Sisneros, Raymond

About | Abstract


Discusses the history of Jose Maria Sisneros (born 1809) from central New Mexico. Jose Maria was a buffalo hunter and an entrepreneur. He took sheep to California in 1849, and also traded along both the Santa Fe Trail and Camino Real. He also held government contracts to supply military forts with corn and other food products. Mr. Raymond Sisneros learned of Jose Maria's exploits from his father and from the storytellers, the resolaneros, when he was a child

Interviewee Raymond Sisneros, male, born in 1926
Date Range 1926-1998
Date & Location February 27, 1998, Belen Public Library, NM
Project Farm and Ranch Folks
Region Central New Mexico
Number of Tapes 1
Transcribed November 30, 1998
Download Abstract


Tape 1, Side A

The focus of the interview is Jose Maria Sisneros, born in 1809. The Sisneros family came to New Mexico with Oñate. Over time, they migrated south from Santa Fe to Casa Colorado.

Jose Maria took sheep to the gold miners in California in 1849. The journey west took 11 months. A new crop of lambs was born along the way.

Jose Maria not only traded on the California Trail, but he was a ciboleros, buffalo hunter.

Casa Colorado was a trade center where the buffalo meat was brought from the Llano Estacado. From Casa Colorado, Jose Maria would take the meat, and salt and furs down the Camino Real to trade in Mexico. He also took trade goods on the Santa Fe Trail to Independence, Missouri.

Jose Maria held a contract with the United States government to supply corn to army forts in the New Mexico/Arizona Territory.

He discusses how his family lost their property after New Mexico was surveyed, and the workings of the land grants.

Raymond Sisneros learned these stories through the oral tradition that was a part of his culture.