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Near La Junta in Otero County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

A Babel-Tongued Multitude

— Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site —

 
 
A Babel-Tongued Multitude Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Armstrong, July 16, 2021
1. A Babel-Tongued Multitude Marker
Inscription.  
We have here a happy intermixture of nations and languages. French, Spanish, Indian and English salute your ears at one and the same time, and I am often at my wit's end to understand all the appeals made to me by such a Babel-tongued multitude. ~Alexander Barclay, Fort Superintendent~

The Spirit of a Place
At Bent's Fort, everyone worked to keep the fort running and make it successful as a commercial enterprise. For some the fort was home; for others it was a welcome respite from the rigors of the Santa Fe Trail. After enduring trail hardships, visitors came face-to-face with a fort brimming with the trappings of society! Tables, chairs, tablecloths, plates, silverware, chandeliers, glass window panes, musical instruments, billiard, plentiful dry goods and liquor-each item was calculated to impress, each element set Bent, St. Vrain & Company apart. With all the dancing, gambling, and toasting, Theodore Davis later wrote that Bent's Fort was "the very merriest of all the trading posts on the frontier."

Peace, Security & Wealth
From the fort's Council Room to the tepees on the plains,
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peace was pursued as good business practice. Even the fort's placita, or plaza, functioned not only as a center of trade, but as the center of a diverse frontier community. When the Cheyenne danced, with onlookers encircling the plaza, it became a spiritual center.

Kids at Work
I have a lot of chores to do every day. It is not very much fun to grind corn into flour, clean chamber pots and scoop animal manure. While I work I sing songs of prairie, sky and buffalo in my native tongue.

 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraForts and CastlesNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 38° 2.617′ N, 103° 25.893′ W. Marker is near La Junta, Colorado, in Otero County. Marker is on Colorado 194 south of State Highway 194. Marker is located in Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site in a informational kiosk next to the parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 35110 CO-194, La Junta CO 81050, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. An Adobe Outpost (here, next to this marker); No Fur, No Fort (here, next to this marker); Mountain Men to Merchants (here, next to this marker); Welcome to the Borderlands
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(here, next to this marker); A Cast of Colorful Characters (a few steps from this marker); Trading Post on the Trail (a few steps from this marker); Edward Dorris (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bent's Fort on Santa Fe Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in La Junta.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 12, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 11, 2022, by Jason Armstrong of Talihina, Oklahoma. This page has been viewed 91 times since then and 8 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on February 11, 2022, by Jason Armstrong of Talihina, Oklahoma. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the marker within its surroundings • Can you help?

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Apr. 25, 2024