Fort Laramie in Goshen County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Between Two Worlds . . . the American Métis
Fort Laramie National Historic Site
“French, Spanish and Indian and mixed are very common here and all languages are being jabbered in promiscuous interchange.”
June 28, 1849
Métis (ma-tes’) – of mixed race, particularly, mixed Native American and French ancestry.
All but forgotten, the mixed-blood peoples of the plains trace their origins to the heyday of the fur trade. Fur traders, predominately of French and French-Canadian ancestry, entered into “trade marriages” with Native American women, giving them social status within the tribes and trade advantages. Children produced by these unions, the “American Métis,” reflected the fusion of two rich cultures. Their mixed traditions and command of both European and Indian languages made them perfect intermediaries between two worlds.
As the fur trade declined in importance, the Métis adapted to change, finding work as interpreters, guides, and scouts for the government. There were social changes as well. As cities and towns sprang up, Victorian society no longer tolerated “squaw men” and “half breeds,” as the Métis were derisively called. Interethnic marriages, once seen as a proud social asset became a badge of disgrace. Instead of being the elite of plains society, the
Ward-Guerrier Trading Post
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 42° 12.057′ N, 104° 33.512′ W. Marker is in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, in Goshen County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 160, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is located at Fort Laramie National Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Laramie WY 82212, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort John – The ‘Second Fort Laramie’ (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort William and the Fur Trade (within shouting distance of this marker); Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic (within shouting distance of this marker); Captain’s Quarters The “Government Workhouse” (within shouting distance of this marker); Administration Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Refinement at Fort Laramie (about 400 feet away); Military Justice: Punishment Harsh and Certain (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Laramie.
More about this marker. A large photograph on the left side of the marker depicts a Mixed Blood Camp, Fort Laramie, 1868.
Also see . . . Fort Laramie National Historic Site. (Submitted on August 11, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Hispanic Americans • Native Americans •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 152 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.