GEORGE BENT PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The collection comprises correspondence and manuscript drafts for the book, Life of George Bent, Written from His Letters. George Bent's letters to George Hyde described life with the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Comanches and other tribes of the Arkansas and Platte valleys. The letters include information on events such as the Indian wars, Sand Creek massacre, Julesburg raid, Platte bridge and also the Indians who took part in these and other battles. The letters George Bent and George Hyde exchanged document Bent's life. From these letters, George Hyde assembled a manuscript to document Indian life on the Plains prior to 1875. George Hyde considered himself the editor of George Bent's material. Both George Hyde and George Bent made marginal notes on the manuscript as Hyde continued to compile the letters he received from Bent.
It was not until nearly fifty years later that Savoie Lottinville, a historian, worked with George Hyde to have the manuscript published.
Collection also available on microfilm: Mflm174.
The series comprises correspondence between George Bent and George Hyde, which formed the book, Life of George Bent, Written from His Letters. The correspondence is primarily from George Bent, who recalls his life in the letters. George Hyde made notes on the correspondence. The series also contains transcripts of ten letters between George Bent and Francis Cragin.
The series consists of the manuscript drafts for the book, Life of George Bent, Written from His Letters. George Hyde compiled the book from the letters exchanged between George Bent and himself. Marginal notes made by both Bent and Hyde appear throughout the manuscript pages. The series contains two drafts of the manuscript. The first draft is incomplete.
The collection is open for research. Please use the copies of the letters in box 1, FF1-FF3. The originals are quite fragile.
George Bent Papers are the physical property of the Denver Public Library
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
George Bent was the son of the Indian trader, William Bent and his Cheyenne wife, Owl Woman. William Bent and his brother, Charles, traded with the Indians from the early 1820s and built the first Bent's Fort on the north side of the Arkansas River (now Bent County, Colorado). George and his younger brother, Charles Bent, were born and raised on the fort. Later they were sent to Westport and St. Louis for schooling. By 1849, trading had become less profitable, Charles Bent (William's brother) had died and William Bent destroyed the fort. He built a new one, which was named Bent's New Fort. In 1863, as the Indian wars in the Plains broke out, George and Charles Bent returned to live with their mother's people, the Southern Cheyenne. The brothers became separated in different camps. George went to the northern camp, while Charles remained in Kansas. From 1863 to 1868, George Bent lived with the Cheyenne and kept an account of what he witnessed. George Bent identified with the Cheyenne.
Later George Bent was employed as an interpreter for George Bird Grinnell when he visited the Cheyennes and Arapahoes. George Bent gathered a number of older Indians together for interviews and translated the answers to Grinnell's questions. During this project, Bent was introduced to George Hyde, a research assistant for Grinnell. George Bent and George Hyde began corresponding in 1905. The exchange of letters, which led to the book, Life of George Bent, Written from His Letters, continued until Bent's death in 1918. The book was not published until 1968.
2 Boxes (1 ln. ft.)
2 reels ilm (Mflm174)
Other Finding Aids
The papers were purchased from George Hyde in 1930.
Number of Boxes: 2 (1 ln. ft.)
Microfilm: 2 reels (Mflm174)
PROCESSED AND ENCODED BY:
- GEORGE BENT PAPERS
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