Henry Leavenworth (1783-1834)
Leavenworth was an American soldier active in the War of 1812 and early military expeditions against the Plains Indians. He established Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, and also gave his name to Leavenworth, Kansas, Leavenworth County, Kansas, and the Leavenworth Penitentiary. He was born at New Haven, Connecticut. He was appointed a captain in the 25th U. S. infantry. A few months later he was made major; was wounded at the Battle of Niagara on July 25, 1814, and the following November was brevetted colonel. He then served in the New York State Assembly, and then he went to Prairie du Chien as Indian agent, and on February 10, 1818, was made lieutenant-colonel of the Fifth U. S. infantry. In 1820 he began constructing Fort St. Anthony from the Cantonment New Hope stockade. In 1823, he led U.S. Army troops in the Arikara War, the first U.S. military expedition against a Great Plains Indian nation. While on duty in the West he built several military posts, one of which was Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, established May 8, 1827 as Cantonment Leavenworth, now one of the leading military establishments of the country. In 1825 he was made brigadier-general by brevet, and in 1833 received the full rank of brigadier-general. In 1834 he commanded the 1st United States Dragoons during its expedition from Fort Gibson, IT to the Wichita Mountains. They hoped to meet and open formal relations between the United States and the Comanche, Kiowa, and Wichita peoples. He died in the Cross Timbers, in the Indian Territory, July 21, 1834, of either sickness or an accident while buffalo-hunting, while leading an expedition against the Pawnee and Comanche.