Fort Larned National Historic Site in Pawnee County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Great Wagon Road to the Southwest
Santa Fe Trail 1821-1880
It all started over trade that promised great profits. Once Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821 Americans were welcomed and encouraged to trade. Trade quickly flourished, creating opportunities and profits linking the economies of Missouri and Mexico.
The Santa Fe Trade developed into a complex web of international business, bringing together a cultural mosaic of individuals who cooperated - and at times clashed. Caught in the middle was the rich culture of the Plains Indian people.
The obstacles teamsters faced were 781 miles of semi-arid prairies, storms, flooded rivers, wildfires, dust, plaques of gnats and mosquitoes, mud, Comanches, Kiowas, Cheyennes, Arapahos, and Apaches. Freight wagons could make the trip one-way - with luck - in eight weeks.
For 60 years the Santa Fe Trail was one of the most important overland trade routes in the world.
The United States Army depended on freight shipments from the East to supply posts throughout the Southwest. Following the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) most of the American freight was military. Mexican freighters bound east dominated the civilian trade.
Fort Larned sits 20 days' travel west of the Missouri River steamboat landings. Troops here helped guard the tens of millions of dollars of Santa Fe Trail traffic that crossed the Great
The whole distance from the settlements on Missouri to the Mountains in the neighborhood of Santa Fe is a prairie country, with no obstruction to the route...A good wagon road can...be traced out [with] a sufficient supply of fuel and water...at all seasons, except in winter.
Alphonse Wetmore, Missouri gazetteer, 1824
Erected by National Park Service.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Santa Fe Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 11.113′ N, 99° 13.14′ W. Marker is in Fort Larned National Historic Site, Kansas, in Pawnee County. Click for map. Marker is at the parking lot kiosk, off Kansas Highway 156. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1767 Kansas Highway 156, Larned KS 67550, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Soldier Town (here, next to this marker); Doesn't Every Fort Have a Wall? (a few steps from this marker); Well, Adobe Hospital and Hospital Steward's Quarters (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Soldiers Who Died At Fort Larned (about 700 feet away); Third Infantry Honored Dead (approx. Birthplace of Farm Credit (approx. 5.8 miles away); Site of Original Cash Store (approx. 6.5 miles away); Site of the Larned House (approx. 6.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Larned National Historic Site.
Also see . . .
1. Santa Fe National Historic Trail.
2. Santa Fe Trail Association.
3. The Interactive Santa Fe Trail.
4. Fort Larned National Historic Site.
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers • War, Mexican-American •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 987 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.