1787/881865, Apr 30
an American soldier, politician, and freight operator who is credited with opening the Santa Fe Trail in 1821, which became an early major transportation route through central North America that connected Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. It served as a vital commercial highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in 1880. Becknell had used long-established trails made by Native Americans and Spanish and French colonial explorers and traders for years before his trip.
 Gallery (1)

 Timeline (1)
11/16/1821-William Becknell opens trade on the Santa Fe Trail
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