Fort Laramie and the Plains Indian Culture


Until 1834 Americas vast buffalo plains were wild and untouched by eastern society and business. All that changed when William Sublette built the small, Fort William, on the Laramie and Platte Rivers of today’s Wyoming. Society and eastern business came west and stationed itself behind the 18 foot high stacked earth and cottonwood walls of the fort the trappers already called Laramie.
Much of the fur trade in America’s northwest and south were already controlled by far removed big business and now the great free trappers and traders of the plains and Rocky Mountains had eastern business in their midst.
White men had hunted and trapped this area for two decades, living, dressing, eating and hunting like their nomad brothers of the plains. Many married into the tribes, happy with the roaming freedom of the plains Indians.
Over the Laramie River from the Fort
With the building of Fort Laramie came a separation of cultures. The walls of the fort kept the Indians out and let the white men in. When allowed inside, Indians were treated more like intruders than guests, a most opposite approach from the tribes who had welcomed whites into their world a few years earlier.
Trapper and Trader at Fort Laramie

In the year 1834 and the west was going through a huge change, a change that would bring bloodshed to the plains for more than a half century. The east had come west.
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