so ive been reading a lot over the past two days. lets not get into that whole I should have started my research weeks ago to do this paper, but seriously the more i read about zebulon pike's expedition into the southwest the less it smells like he was a spy and the more i suspect he was a dupe being used by a traitorous commanding officer. If, as there are claims, he was supposed to be launching an expedition into New Spain why would he be sent with such a small and poorly equipped command. It would seem while 20 men would be an adequate scouting mission into enemy territory that you'd send at least a full company with the majority of the troops stationed at the accepted border as a fall back point if you are found out. Pike sets out from St. Louis with 21 men, himself included, and is down to less than a third of that when he is caught by the Spanish with half his command caught in the mountains with frostbitten or gangrenous feet from the cold as they had been improperly supplied for a winter expedition. Considering that in crossing Kansas Pike found sign of the recent passage of a large body of Spanish troops and the later discovered complicity of his commander with the Spanish it would seem far more likely that rather than spying Pike was meant to either be captured by said party of Spanish or to find them and flee back to more established U.S. territories and in either event stir up conflict thus between the U.S. and Spain either by the capture of a lawful expedition of our military in our territory or by the violation of or territory by such a large body of Spanish troops inside our border.