Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
John C. Fremont
His name appears on almost any roll of Western pathbreakers. Fremont's expeditions were instrumental in opening the Southwest. He visited the fort on three of his first four expeditions to the West.
During her short stay, Susan Magoffin chronicled fort happenings. On July 30, 1846, she wrote "The fort is crowded to overflowing. Colonel Kearny has arrived and it seems the world is coming with him." Soon after she suffered a miscarriage. Once the troops departed, Susan confessed: "The fort is quite desolate."
At evening galas, Charlotte was the "grand center of attraction." An African-American woman, and Bent family slave, she was celebrated for her ability to dance at the Fandangos as much as for her pumpkin pies.
Christopher "Kit" Carson
A mountain man and guide of legendary repute, Carson weaved in and out of the stories of the Bents and the surrounding tribes. In the early 1840s he served as a buffalo hunter for Bent, St. Vrain & Company.
A lifelong friend of the Bents, Yellow Wolf led the Cheyenne into prosperity through the robe trade. By 1846, dwindling buffalo herds led Yellow Wolf to consider a return to agriculture. This choice was eliminated, however, when the tribe was forcibly removed to a reservation.
Lieutenant J.W. Abert
Lieutenant Abert's maps, drawings and diary entries from his fort visits in 1845 and 1846 are first-hand accounts still widely consulted by historians. His detailed sketches and notations facilitated the reconstruction of Bent's Old Fort in 1976.
Jim Beckwourth was of mixed African American and European descent. He was a Bent, St. Vrain & Company trader who possessed abundant survival skills, including a knack for languages.
Heroes on Your Doorstep
Today I watched One-eyed Juan break a wild pony. The horse bucked and kicked, but One-eyed Juan held on tight. Someday I will race my own pony across the prairie.