Walter Merryman was kidnapped in an Irish port in 1700 and brought to Boston, Massachusetts, where he was indentured to a shipbuilder in Portland, Maine. He married Elizabeth Potter and settled in Harpswell, Maine. Descendants and relatives lived in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Idaho and elsewhere. Includes Alexander, Curtiss, Hamilton, McManus, Stover, Webber and related families.
When Pike returned from his western expedition and related his experiences in Santa Fe and other places among the Spaniards, his accounts excited great interest in the east, which resulted in further exploits. In 1812, an expedition was undertaken by Robert McKnight, James Baird, Samuel Chambers, Peter Baum, Benjamin Shrive, Alfred Allen, Michael McDonald, William Mines, and Thomas Cook, all citizens of Missouri Territory; they were arrested by the Spaniards, charged with being in Spanish territory without a passport, and thrown into the calabazos of Chihuahua, where they were kept for nine years. In 1821, two of them escaped, and coming down Canadian and Arkansas rivers met Hugh Glenn, owner of a trading house at the mouth of the Verdigris, and told him of the wonders of Santa Fe. Inspired by the accounts of these travelers, Glenn engaged in an enterprise with Major Jacob Fowler and Captain Pryor for an expedition from the Verdigris to Santa Fe.