1835 - Fitzpatrick and Bridger buy Fort William

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.   

         Bridger spent 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 back.

      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.