Jeffords, Thomas Jonathan
- John Sugden
Jeffords, Thomas Jonathan (01 January 1832–19 February 1914), frontiersman and Indian agent, was born in Chautauqua County, New York, the son of Eber Jeffords and Almira Wood, occupations unknown. Although a man of some education, Jeffords was reticent about his earlier career. He served as a sailor on the Great Lakes, for which he was later called “Captain,” and went west in 1858, laying out the road from Leavenworth, Kansas, to Denver, Colorado. After prospecting in New Mexico, he carried army dispatches from Mesilla to Tucson, Arizona, in 1862 and is believed to have then accompanied James H. Carleton’s California Column from Tucson to Fort Thorn, New Mexico. Further prospecting followed, but in 1868–1869 Jeffords supervised part of the Southern Overland U.S. Mail and Express Line Company’s run between Socorro, New Mexico, and Tucson. On 20 December 1869 he was appointed a trader to the Mimbres Apaches at Cañada Alamosa (now Monticello, N.M.) but had his license revoked the following April after a disagreement with the reservation Indian agent....