The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Thirteen ways to think about Fort Laramie

Thirteen ways to think about Fort Laramie

Quiz Yourself

Here are some questions to ask before you visit Fort Laramie, while you’re there, and again after you return:

  1. Who lived at Fort Laramie?
  2. Was there ever a wall around Fort Laramie?
  3. How many different Fort Laramies were there? (Hint: this question does make sense.)
  4. What was life like at Fort Laramie for Indian, white and mixed-blood people during the fur trade?
  5. What was life like at Fort Laramie when pioneers were heading west in their wagon trains?
  6. What was the Oregon Trail? The California Trail? The Mormon Trail? What connection do they have with Wyoming?  With Fort Laramie?
  7. What did Fort Laramie do for stagecoaches carrying passengers and U.S. mail? What was the journey like for the passengers? For the stage drivers?
  8. What did Fort Laramie do for the Indian people of the high plains and Rocky Mountains?
  9. Why did the U.S. Army buy Fort Laramie?
  10. What was life like for soldiers at the fort? For their officers? For the officers’ wives and families?
  11. Did any famous Indian people spend time at Fort Laramie? White people? Mixed-blood people? Who were they?
  12. Who could march faster, foot soldiers or horse soldiers? Where did the horse soldiers keep their horses? What did the horses eat?
  13. When did the army leave? What happened to Fort Laramie afterwards?

THERE ARE HUNDREDS of more good questions a person could ask about Fort Laramie.

SEND US three interesting Fort Laramie questions of your own. Be sure to identify your school and classroom teacher or note if you are home schooled when you send in questions. Contact editor@wyohistory.org for information on a 2014-2015 contest for submitting the most questions.

Note to teachers:

This lesson addresses a number of the Wyoming State Social Studies Standards detailed in the 2013 draft of Wyoming Social Studies Content and Performance Standards, benchmarked for the ends of grades 2, 5, 8 and 12. All are available at http://edu.wyoming.gov/sf-docs/publications/DRAFT_2013_Social_Studies_Standards.pdf?

More specifically, the lesson addresses Content Standard 4, Time, Continuity and Change, under which students analyze events, people, problems, and ideas within their historical contexts, and Content Standard 5, People, Places and Environments, under which students apply their knowledge of the geographic themes (location, place, movement, region, and human/environment interactions) and skills to demonstrate an understanding of interrelationships among people, places, and environment.

Under Content Standard 4, the lesson addresses standards SS5.4.4. SS8.4.4 and SS12.4.4, which call for students to discuss, identify or describe historical interactions between and among individuals, families, and cultural/ethnic groups, and standards SS5.4.5, SSD8.4.5 and 12.4.5, which call for students to understand the difference between primary and secondary sources, and how to use them in their research.

Under Content Standard 5, this lesson addresses the Human Place and Movement standards SS2.5.3, SS5.5.3 (which specifically mentions American Indians and the Oregon Trail), SS8.5.3 and SS12.5.3, and the Environment and Society standards SS2.5.4, SS5.5.4, SS8.5.4 and SS12.5.4, which call on students to understand how people in Wyoming adjust and have adjusted to their physical and geographical environment.