The Deed to Fort Bridger

  In 1855 the legendary mountain man Jim Bridger and his partner Louis Vasquez sold Fort Bridger to Louis Robison, who was acting on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and thus the fort passed into Mormon control.  The following document provides the terms of the sale. 

  It was undoubtedly written by our William A. Hickman, who talked Bridger into the deal, and also acted as a witness to the signing.  Jim Bridger could neither read nor write, but yet he had to understand the implications hidden in the legal language of this instrument before he would apply his "x" to it.  Imagine the discussion that must have taken place as it was being explained to him! 

  If you can read, this is your chance to match wits with the famous Jim Bridger.  What are the terms of this agreement?
Fort Bridger, Utah Territory  
Green River Co. Aug 3, 1855

  This indenture made and entered into this day and date above written witnesseth
That Bridger and Vascus of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of Eight thousand dollars, one half in hand paid, and the other half to be paid in fifteen months from this date have this day Bargained sold and conveyed and by these presents do Bargain Sell and Convey to Lewis Robison of the second Part all the Right title and interest Both real and personal to which we have any claim in said Green River County, Utah Territory consisting of the following property, to wit: twenty miles square of land (more or less) upon which is situated the hereditaments and appurtenances the Buildings known as Fort Bridger Buildings consisting of the Ranch and Herd Ground, together with all the right title and interest of the said Party of the first part to all and every article of property belonging to said Post including Cattle, Horses, Goods, Groceries, etc.

  Now if the said Party of the second Part shall well and duly pay to the said party of the first part the sum of four thousand dollars in fifteen months from this date, then this Bond to be in full force and effect in Law, otherwise to be null and void and the property above described to revert Back to the said Party of the first Part.

  In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals this day and date above written.

JAMES BRIDGER, his    x   mark (Seal)
LOUIS VASQUEZ--Per. H. F. Morrell, Agent

In the presence of
Alinerin Grow and
Wm. A. Hickman
Recorded Oct. 21, 1856

--Kate B. Carter, ed., Our Pioneer Heritage, Daughters
of Utah Pioneers, Vol 16, 1973, pp. 326-327.

To learn more about Jim Bridger, click here.
To learn more about Fort Bridger, click here or here or here or here.
To learn more about Louis Robison, click here.
To learn more about William A. Hickman, click here.
To overdose on Hickman-related land transactions click here or here.
To return to the Hickman Family index page, click here.

Picture is from Historical Record, Vol. 9 No. 6, Jun 1896, p.102.