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Nineteenth-Century Trading Posts

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  • Bent's Old Fort, Reconstructed

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    Bent's Old Fort was built near present-day La Junta in 1833 by the trading partners Ceran St. Vrain and William and Charles Bent. The fort was the center of trade between whites, Native Americans, and Hispanics along the Santa Fé Trail until about 1850, when a combination of disease epidemics, a declining bison population, and escalating aggression between white Americans and Native Americans brought the Colorado fur trade to an end. This reconstruction of Bent's Old Fort was completed in 1976.
    Bent's Old Fort, Reconstructed



William B. Butler, The Fur Trade in Colorado (Lake City: Western Reflections, 2012).

Hiram Martin Chittendon, The American Fur Trade of the Far West (2 vols.) (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986 [1935]).

Donald Jackson, The Journals of Zebulon Montgomery Pike (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1966).

Janet Lecompte, Pueblo, Hardscrabble, Greenhorn: Society on the High Plains, 1832–1856 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1978).

Janet Lecompte, “Gant’s Fort and Bent’s Picket Post,” Colorado Magazine 41 (1964).

Cody Newton, “Native Place, Environment, and the Trade Fort Concentration on the South Platte River, 1835–1845,” Ethnohistory 59 (2012).

Roland G. Robertson, Competitive Struggle: America’s Western Fur Trading Posts, 1764–1865 (Boise: Tamarack Books, 1999).

Amos Stoddard, Sketches, Historical and Descriptive, of Louisiana (Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1812).

Chauncey Thomas, “The Spanish Fort in Colorado, 1819,” Colorado Magazine 14 (1937).