Magoffin, Susan Shelby (1827–1855)

Susan Shelby was born into a wealthy Kentucky family on June 30, 1827. As Howard R. Lamar noted in the Foreword to her diary, Susan came from a long line of pioneers and war heroes. She was raised at Arcadia, her father's home near Danville. She lived a privileged life, which included private tutors.

Eighteen-year-old Susan married Santa Fe trader Samuel Magoffin, a man much older than she, on November 25, 1845. The young bride was soon to accompany her husband on a trip down the Santa Fe Trail and begin the diary that would ensure her mark in history.

The newly married couple honeymooned for 6 months in New York and Philadelphia before starting their trip down the Santa Fe Trail into Mexico. The trip began ...

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