Bent, Charles, 1799–1847, American frontiersman, b. St. Louis. He entered the fur trade of the Missouri River and became one of the mountain men. His interests turned to the Southwest, and he led expeditions on the Santa Fe Trail. Charles Bent was the senior partner of a trading firm that included Ceran St. Vrain as well as William Bent and others of the seven Bent brothers. The company was one of the most prominent on the frontier, and Bent's Fort was one of the most famous American trading posts. Because of his high standing, Charles Bent was chosen as governor of New Mexico after the American occupation in the Mexican War. He was murdered at Taos in an uprising of Native Americans and Mexicans.
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