Fort William (later to become Fort Laramie) was purchased by Fitzpatrick and Bridger when they took over the Rocky Mountain Fur Company.
Thomas Fitzpatrick and Jim Bridger
purchased Fort William as a principal trading post for their new
Rocky Mountain Fur Company.
the winter on the Snake, but Fitzpatrick hauled pelts back to St.
Louis and returned the following spring with a small caravan of
overland pioneers. These vanguards of society, incuding Dr.
Marcus Whitman and Samuel Parker, were the first to use the Oregon
Trail as a road to the Oregon Territory. The company included
60 men, 6 wagons and 200 horses.
After unloading and reloading
wagons with provisions to be traded at the rendezvous of mountain
men and Indians, Fitzpatrick took charge of the caravan and pressed
on across the contiental divice to Green River. Here, during
the rendevous, Dr. Whitman performed surgery on Jim Bridger's back
and extracted a three inch long iron arrowhead that had been
embedded in a bone. Bridger had endured the Blackfeet
arrowhead for three years and thousands of miles of travel on horse
This rendezvous also introduced
the small, taciturn, and bandy-legged Kit Carson to western
lore. Carson accepted the boastful challenge of a French
bully named Shunar and came out victorious in the ensuing
duel. A legend was born.