Fort Cavagnial (or Cavagnal)
(1744-1764) - Not a military post, this fortress was one
of many that was an early trappers and traders post.
Established before the
Louisiana Purchase, it was built by
French trader, Joseph Deruisseau, who, on August 8, 1744, was
granted a monopoly to trade with the
Missouri and Kansas Rivers. The fort was named for Louisiana
Governor Pierre François de Rigaud, Marquis de
Vaudreuil-Cavagnal and was the most western fort on the
Missouri River at the time.
fortress was small but substantial, including log buildings covered with
mud such as a commandant's house, guardhouse, powder house, trader's
house, and a building to house employees. It was surrounded by a stockade
and bastions at each corner. With plans to extend trade all the way to
New Mexico, the post thrived for several years until the advent
of the French and Indian War, which seriously affected the Indian trade.
However, the site continued to be utilized until the fort was abandoned by
France after Louisiana Territory was ceded to Spain in the treaties
concluding the French and Indian war.
exact location of the post is not known, but, it was thought to have been on the bluffs above
the confluence of Salt Creek and the Missouri River just north of modern