AMBITIOUS ADVENTURER WITH A HEAD FOR BUSINESS

By Bartee Haile

James Wiley Magoffin and four traveling companions were arrested as spies in New Mexico on Sep. 27, 1846 and detained for the duration of the Mexican War. Why the oldest of ten children left Kentucky in the early 1820’s is unclear. The most logical explanation is that he wanted to make his own way in the world without having to answer to a rich and overbearing father.

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