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after the Mexican War. The "Mexicans" actually were descendants of Spanish colonists who had lived under three flags, never moving from their homes.

They killed Gov. Charles Bent, the sheriff and as many other Americans and Mexican collaborators as they could find. They attacked Turley's mill and distillery. Tobin and another American, Johnnie Albert, were the only ones to escape with their lives from the burning building.

After his escape, Tom his brother,
Charles Autobee, were first to join a detachment led by Capt. Ceran St. Vrain to find the insurrectionists. Autobee, a noted mountain man in his own right, and Tobin served as scouts for the army company. Those perpetrators who were not killed in battle were tried and put to death.

Tobin then engaged in a season of farming on land bordering the San Carlos River southeast of El Pueblo, selling his produce to Lt. Col. William Gilpin, who was camped with his troops near Bent's Fort. Soon after, in 1848, Gilpin asked Tobin to scout for him during his planned spring campaign against the Indians. Then, while searching for Indians in the Canadian River valley of Oklahoma, Gilpin asked Tobin to serve as a courier, carrying dispatches from the field to Bent's Fort.

Likened to Kit Carson


Tobin was described by Maj. B.L. Beall, on an expedition to find a railroad route to California, as "having a reputation almost equal to Kit Carson's for bravery, dexterity with his rifle, and skill in mountain life." He hired Tobin as a scout to guide the expedition. It was this trip that led to the importation of camels from Egypt to use in crossing the Mojave Desert, an idea that died after only one expedition because of the Civil War.

In November 1868, Tobin was appointed by Gen. Penrose as chief scout on an Indian-hunting campaign. Other scouts hired were
Charles Autobee and a character named "Wild Bill" Hickok. Tobin was a friend and contemporary of Kit Carson, but Carson was only one of many historic figures from the western frontier with whom he was associated. Others were John C. Fremont, the Shoup brothers, the Bent brothers and a young scout, William F. Cody.

In 1878, Tobin's daughter, Pascualita, married William "Billy" Carson, Kit's son. Later, after abusing his wife, Billy shot Tobin when the old frontiersman went after him to avenge his daughter's beating. Tobin never fully recovered from his wound, but did outlive Billy by many years.

This is the definitive book about Tom Tobin. It is an exciting narrative, extremely well researched and extensively documented, with footnotes following each chapter. The author also weaves into the biography other historical events that occurred during that period in Colorado and New Mexico history."

(Herodotus Press is at P.O. Box 7001, Pueblo West, Colo. 81007)

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