Fort de Cavagnial, Kansas
This historical marker commemorates the first European settlement in the Kansas City vicinity
of northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri. The fort was established by the French to
serve as a trading post with Kansa Indians, to control Canadian voyageurs (fur traders),
and to explore a route to Santa Fe in Spanish America. The fort was in fact the commercial
and military center for a vast region in mid-America (Hoffhaus 1984). It existed for two
decades during the mid-1700s (1744-64).
Lewis and Clark saw remains of Fort de Cavagnial on July 2, 1804, but the exact whereabouts
of the fort are now lost. The marker is situated on a ridge overlooking the likely
location of the original fort, immediately north of present-day Fort Leavenworth.
Photo date 5/97; © J.S. Aber.