Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
- Colorado History -
Bent's Fort: Founders, Photos, Plans, and More
Charles and William Bent
Left: Charles Bent. Right: William Bent.
Charles Bent was a trader who practiced medicine without
pay. His epitaph in the National Cemetery reads:
was a man of kind and gentle manners; of true benevolence of heart;
of untarnished probity and lofty carriage; he laid down his life to
save those dearer to him han life itself."
William Bent built and operated Bent's Forts. William
was respected by whites and the Indians alike. The US government chose
William Bent as an Indian agent in 1859.
An early artist's depiction of Bent's Fort on the Arkansas
Exterior view of the reconstructed Bent's Fort.
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site was created in
1963, but it was 13 years before the reconstruction of the structure
was completed by the US Park Service and opened to the public in 1976.
Interior of Bent's Fort after the reconstruction.
"Fort William." Interior view of Old Bent's
Fort sketched by W. M. Boggs from memory.
Boggs had spent the winter of 1844 at the fort. Click
the sketch for an enlargement.
Inside Bent's Fort: On the left, doors open into the
council room, the dining room,
and the cook's quarters. St. Vrain's room is on the second level.
A sketch of Bent's Fort 1844 to 1849 from memory by
William M. Boggs who was a trader there.
Click the drawing for an enlargement.
Monument marker at the site of Bent's New Fort.
Click to see an enlargement and
photo taken in 1932.
Fort Wise / Fort Lyon
Within a few years, Bent's New Fort was known as Fort
Fauntleroy, Fort Wise, and eventually Fort Lyon. Fort Wise was the
site of the 1861 Indian Council to negotiate a new treaty to replace
the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. Albert Gallatin Boone was the chief
government negotiator, while Black Kettle and Little Raven spoke for
the Cheyenne and Arapaho. The post was renamed Fort Lyon in 1862 in
honor of Nathaniel Lyon, the first officer killed during the Civil
Left: George Bent (a son of William Bent) and his Cheyenne
wife Magpie in 1867.
Magpie was the niece of Chief Black Kettle. Right: Charley Bent, half-breed
son of William Bent.
Charley Bent was a notorious killer. Charley returned
to Bent's Purgatory Ranch intent on killing his father, who was fortunately
in New Mexico at the time.
Bent's Fort drawn by George Bent for George Bird Grinnell
in 1908. Click the plan for a
St. Vrain, Reynolds, Gunnison and Fremont
Left: Ceran St. Vrain . Right: Albert E. Reynolds,
pictured in 1883.
Ceran St. Vrain was a trapper, trader, and partner of
the Bent brothers. He teminated his interest in Bent's Old Fort in
1848 when he assumed control of the Taos and Santa Fe stores. Albert
E. Reynolds arrived at Fort Lyon in 1867. This post trader and mining
investor would later have a vested interest in Bent's Old Fort.
Left: John W. Gunnison. Right: John Charles Fremont.
John Fremont chose winter to follow Gunnison's route
across the San Juan Mountains. Fremont wanted to prove that he could
cross the Rocky Mountains in the winter, since his 1848 attempt had
been a disaster. He stopped at Bent's New Fort on his way. When Fremont
later passed Bent's Old Fort, he thought that Indians had destroyed
An early sketch from 1853 by an artist with the Gunnison
survey shows the Wah-Ha-Ta-Gas or Spanish Peaks.
Fremont may not have lived up to his nickname "The
Great Pathfinder," but as a promoter, he wielded immense influence
in the develpment of the West. His expeditions were always guided,
often by his loyal friend, Kit Carson, and he always followed the
trails blazed by others.
Left: Captain John Charles Fremont. Right: Kit Carson
(standing) and John C. Fremont.
Kit Carson was chief scout in Fremont's expeditions
of the West in 1842, 1843-44, and 1845-46. Fremont's reports made
Kit Carson famous.
Back to the top of page
- Colorado History In Depth
Lecture Notes, Reading, and Information:
| The Cheyenne Migration
to Colorado |
| The Gratlan Affair, Massacre, Fort Laramie
The Cheyenne Social Club
| A Cheyenne War Story: Wolf Road, the Runner
| Cheyenne Traditions and Beliefs, Sacred
| Horses, Warriors, War Pipe, Sweatlodge
| Cheyenne War Parties and Battle Tactics
| The Scalp Dance and Other Cheyenne Dances
| The Sante Fe Trail and Fort Union |
| Sumner - Ninth Military Department / The
First Fort Union |
| Early Arrivals to Fort Union, Daily Life
at Fort Union |
| Captain Grover - The New Fort Union, the
Confederate Threat |
| Fort Union Arsenal, William Shoemaker,
End of Fort Union |
Americans from the East
| Thomas Jefferson, the Louisiana Purchase
| The Expedition of Zebulon Pike |
| Pikes Peak or Bust / Colorado Gold Rush
Colorado's Role in the US Civil
| The Civil War, Fort Wise / Fort Lyon
| Mace's Hole, Colonel Canby, F.C.V.R.
| Fort Weld |
| The Pet Lambs, John Chivington |
| General Henry Sibly, Battle of Valverde,
Fort Union |
Cripple Creek District Labor Strikes
| The Western Federation of Miners / State
| The 1893 - 1894 Strike | The
Strike of 1903 - 1904 |
| The Mine Owners Association |
| Crimes and Military Rule in the Cripple
Creek District |
| Marshall Law in Cripple Creek District
/ End of the Strike |
Early Cripple Creek District
| Photos, Fire, and Life in Cripple Creek
| Other Colorful Towns in the Cripple Creek
Gillett - Colorado's Only Bullfight, Victor, Independence |
| A Guide to the Miners' Gritty Lingo
More Colorado History
| Bent's Fort Photos, Personalities, Plans,
and More |
| What Was Easter Like at Bent's Fort?
| Colorado Trivia,
Miscellaneous Old Photos,
Western Personalities, Forts, and More |
| Lullabies for Jittery Cows - Cowboy Ballads
| Heraldry of the Branding Iron |
Aims to Clear Infamous Cannibal, Alferd Packer |
| Lead Gives Alferd
Packer's Story More Weight |
Colorado Love Stories: Baby Doe Tabor & More
| Colorado Pioneer Women: Elizabeth Byers
| Early Denver Jokes / The History of April
Fools' Day |
Back to the top of page