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American National Biography
William Bentfrontiersman and trader
(23 May 1809-19 May 1869), frontiersman and trader, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. William and his brother Charles constructed Bent's Fort to initiate increased trade of blankets, furs, and other items with the Arapaho, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Shawnee in the region. The brothers engaged in trade also with northern Mexican merchants and drove sheep back to Missouri, where they traded these for mules and horses. William Bent managed the fort for the company throughout its successful years of operation.