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First Name: Henry

Last Name: Leavenworth

Birthplace: New Haven, CT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Date of Birth: 10 December 1783

Date of Death: 21 July 1834

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served:
Henry Leavenworth


Henry Leavenworth
Brigadier General, U.S. Army

Henry Leavenworth was born on 10 December 1783 in New Haven, CT, son of Colonel Jesse and Catharine Conklin Leavenworth. Soon after his birth, his parents became alienated and his father moved with the children to Danville, VT, where he was educated. He then read law with General Erastus Root of Delhi, NY; and upon being admitted to the bar, formed a partnership with his preceptor which lasted until 1812.

Military Career

Leavenworth was appointed a Captain in the 25th U. S. Infantry. A few months later he was promoted to Major and was wounded at the Battle of Niagara on 25 July 1814. The following November he was brevetted Colonel. He then served in the New York State Assembly. He later went to Prairie du Chien as Indian Agent and, on 10 February 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, KS. Established on 8 May 1827 as Cantonment Leavenworth, it is 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 U.S. Regiment of Dragoons during its expedition from Fort Gibson, Indian Territory to the Wichita Mountains. They hoped to meet and open formal relations between the U.S. and the Comanche, Kiowa, and Wichita (tribe) peoples. But he died on the expedition.


In addition to the Fort, Leavenworth, KS, Leavenworth County, KS, the Leavenworth Penitentiary, and Leavenworth Streets in Omaha and San Francisco are named after him.


He was married three times, first to Elizabeth Eunice Morrison, with whom he had two children, and divorced, then to Electa Knapp, who died within the year, then to Harriet Lovejoy, with whom he had another child. Lake Harriet in Minneapolis is named for Harriet Lovejoy.

His son, Jesse Henry Leavenworth, was also a career soldier.

Death and Burial

Brigadier General Henry Leavenworth died on 21 July 1834 in the Cross Timbers, in the Indian Territory, of either sickness or an accident while hunting buffalo. This occurred while leading an expedition against the Pawnee and Comanche. His regiment erected a monument at Cross Timbers; he was first buried in Delhi, with his remains later reinterred at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery at Fort Leavenworth, KS.

Honoree ID: 2745   Created by: MHOH




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