Becknell, William

Becknell, William

(?1796–1865) fur trader, explorer; born in Amherst County, Va. He moved to Missouri and became the first American trader to do business in Santa Fe, N.M. (1821). He pioneered the Cimarron cut-off and the Santa Fe Trail (1822). He moved to Texas, fought in the Texas Revolution (1836) and later joined the Texas Rangers.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.