1821 - Opening the Santa Fe Trail

        William Becknell leaves Franklin, Missouri with a pack train of mules loaded with trade goods for Comanche country.  Becknell succeeds in opening upa trade route to Santa Fe, where he made hefty profits for his troubles. 

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         The only problem with this route was the 800 miles of open country controlled by the Comanche, Kiowa, and Wichita.  A few years later, famed explorer and mountain man, Jedidiah Smith, would be killed by Comanche on his first trip over the trail.