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Fatherhood in America is changing in important and sometimes surprising ways.Today, fathers who live with their children are taking a more active role in caring for them and helping out around the house.

But the ruddy trail, the imprint on the road they created from Missouri to Chihuahua, had a decisively negative impact on women and children who were not like Doña Gertrudes Barceló, owners of large homes or of gambling saloons.Communities of Spanish-speaking Tejanos, Nuevomexicanos, Californios and Mission Indians have existed in the American southwest since the area was part of New Spain's Provincias Internas.The majority of these historically Hispanophone populations eventually adopted English as their first language as part of their overall Americanization.The same practices also allowed women to retain their family names in marriage.Barceló's action seems unusual only in the context that in the mid-1840s, more documents such as hers were being filed than ever before. As more merchants and traders arrived from the United States, some legally entitled by both the U. and Mexican governments to enter Northern Mexican territory — Santa Fe, in this case — they began to change the economic climate of the place.