The Bent brothers, George, Charles, William, and Robert, were in at the start of trade route development between St. Louis and Santa Fe. They were private traders and mountain men who became key agents for the expansionist United States during the Mexican War. Charles Bent was the first colonial governor of New Mexico after the war. The sons of William Bent were half Cheyenne and fought alongside the Cheyenne, Sioux and Arapaho against the soldiers, settlers, telegraphs and railroads in the 1870s. At anytime between 1830 and 1880 some member of the Bent family was making history in Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.
David Lavender's family were early settler/ranchers in the Four Corners area of southwest Colorado. In Canyon Lands National Park Lavender Canyon is named after his ancestor who ranched there. He became an historian, a friend and colleague of Bernard De Voto, and an excellent storyteller. His book (one of several), Bent's Fort, was source material for James Michener's Centennial. In places it looks as if Michener did little more than change the names and disconnect the characters from their historical context.
If you're interested in the fur trade, mountain men, the Mexican War, Santa Fe, Taos, the Taos Rebellion, the plains indians, Kit Carson, Uncle Dick Wooten, Old Bill Williams, Brokenhand Fitzpatrick, Stephan Watts Kearney, George Crook you'll be fascinated by this book. I've bought it five or six times. I keep lending it and not getting it back. What can I say? My friends are as taken with it as I am, and maybe (probably) I told them they could keep it.