Fort John - The 'Second Fort Laramie'

Fort John - The 'Second Fort Laramie' (HM1MPZ)

Location: Fort Laramie, WY 82212 Goshen County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 12.065', W 104° 33.544'

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Fort Laramie National Historic Site

. . . the articles of trade consist, on the one side, almost entirely of buffalo robes; and, on the other, of blankets, calicoes, guns, powder, and lead, [and] . . . cheap ornaments such as glass beads, looking-glasses, rings, vermillion for painting, tobacco, and . . . spirits, brought into the country in the form of alcohol, and diluted with water before sold . . .
John C. Frémont, July 1842
Pierre Chouteau and Company, then owners of Fort William, constructed a new fort on this site in 1841 to better compete with nearby rival trading posts. Built of adobe by Mexican craftsmen, Fort John cost $10,000 to complete.Fifteen-foot-high walls, measuring 121 by 167 feet, protected living quarters, shops for blacksmiths, and warehouses. Towers - called bastions - positioned at opposite corners of the fort and large double main doors gave the fort an impressive appearance.Indian tribes, especially the Lakota, traded tanned buffalo robes at Fort John for a variety of manufactured goods. Throughout the 1840s the take of buffalo robes declined and Fort John's role soon changed.In 1841, the first of many westward-bound emigrants arrived at Fort John. Thousands of emigrants bound for Oregon, California, and the Salt Lake Valley would eventually stop at the adobe fort. Traders at Fort John did a brisk seasonal business catering to the needs of the emigrants.A few busy weeks of summer emigrant trade, however, did not make up for poor returns in the fur business. When the U.S. Army offered to purchase Fort John in 1849, the owners jumped at the opportunity and sold it for $4,000 on June 26. The army used the "old" fort largely as a corral and warehouse until its demolition in 1862.
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, August 10th, 2015 at 2:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 536401 N 4672196
Decimal Degrees42.20108333, -104.55906667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 12.065', W 104° 33.544'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 12' 3.9" N, 104° 33' 32.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Unnamed Road, Fort Laramie WY 82212, US
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