Governor Bent House and Museum

Governor Bent House and Museum is located at 117 Bent Street in Taos.

Governor Bent House and Museum is located at 117 Bent Street in Taos.

Governor Bent House- Charles Bent's History

  The Governor Bent House and Museum is tucked just behind some shops on the north side of Bent Street in Taos. This was the residence of Charles Bent and his family. Bent was an American trader married to Mexican citizen Maria Jaramillo. Bent and his brother George and their partner Ceran St. Vrain, established several trading posts along the Santa Fe Trail including Adobe Walls in the Texas panhandle, Bent’s Fort in southeastern Colorado, and trading posts in Santa Fe and Taos. The trade was quite lucrative as manufactured goods were brought west from Missouri, and buffalo hides and beaver skins were shipped back east. The Bent wagon trains hauled these goods back and forth across the frontier.

Governor Bent House- American Governor Charles Bent

  In the war with Mexico in 1846, American troops invaded and conquered Santa Fe without firing a shot. The new American territory of New Mexico then needed a governor, and loyal American citizen Charles Bent of Taos was appointed. Bent went to Santa Fe to tend to the government. On January 14, 1847 Bent traveled back to Taos with the intention of bringing his wife and children to Santa Fe. He encountered angry mobs in Taos consisting of Taos Pueblo Indians and Mexican citizens who wanted no part of the American takeover.

Governor Bent House- Taos Revolt

  On January 19, 1847 the mobs attacked the home of Charles Bent who was inside with his wife, children, and his wife’s sister Josefa Carson who was the wife of Kit Carson. Bent held off the intruders long enough so that the women and children could escape through a hole they dug in the adobe wall into the adjoining home. The mob broke into the home and killed and scalped Charles Bent. Several more Americans were killed in the melee.

 This “Taos Revolt” was quelled when Colonel Sterling Price of the U.S. Army marched north from Santa Fe with 335 soldiers through deep snow over the mountains to Taos. With information that the insurgents were taking shelter in the church at Taos Pueblo, the Army bombarded the church, destroying it and killing many innocent civilians. Alleged perpetrators of the Revolt were rounded up and brought to trial in Taos. They were found guilty and hanged in Taos Plaza. The trial and its results were probably a foregone conclusion since the judge was Charles Beaubien who was the father of one of the victims of the Revolt, and the jury foreman was George Bent, brother of murdered Governor Charles Bent.

  The Governor Bent House and Museum is most noteworthy as an important historical site where events occurred which still reverberate through Taos and New Mexico. You can read more about the Taos Revolt in Mike Butler's book High Road To Taos:

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