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Fort Laramie was one of the most important frontier outposts of the American West. Founded as the trading post Fort William in 1834, the fort became a U.S. military post in 1849. Beginning in 1841, emigrants stopped at Fort Laramie while traveling the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails. Fort Laramie served as a gathering place for thousands of Native Americans and hosted the 1851 and 1868 treaty councils. When the treaties failed, the post became the staging area for campaigns that eventually led to the tribes’s confinement on reservations. Fort Laramie was abandoned by the military in 1890; the buildings were auctioned and served private interests during the homestead period from 1890 to 1937. Fort Laramie was acquired by the state of Wyoming in 1937, and the fort became a unit of the National Park System in 1938. Fort Laramie National Historic Site is open daily except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The restoration of many structures to their historical appearance provides visitors with a glimpse of the past.
About the Author
Starley Talbott is a Wyoming native, freelance writer, and former newspaper reporter. This is her second book in the Images of America series. Photographs in this book are from the Fort Laramie National Historic Site, state and national archives, and the author.
Table of Contents
1 The Trappers, Traders, and Early Emigrants 9
2 The Military, Natives, Treaties, and Emigrants 17
3 The Homesteaders 75
4 The National Historic Site 93