Wisconsin Historical Society

Drawing

Wilkins 18: Fort Laramie

Wilkins 18: Fort Laramie | Drawing | Wisconsin Historical Society
Original wash drawing of Fort Laramie, Wyoming (actually Fort John; see note below). Sketched by Wilkins on his 151-day journey from Missouri to California on the Overland Trail (also known as the Oregon Trail). Wilkins stayed here for a few days to stock up on supplies and rest before another long leg of their journey.  Wilkins writes in his diary: "Arrived this morn by 8 o'clock at Fort Laramie where we shall stay a day or two to fix up, get our tires cut and other repairings. This is a great resting place for emigrants. Most of them by this time have seen enough of the elephant to know what they really want, and what they can dispense with. Wagons, especially heavy wagons, can be bought here for an old song. A great many parties abandoning their wagons at this point and take to mule packing on account of the rumours of no grass and bad rocky roads, their object being to get thro' at some price and as quickly as possible."
DESCRIPTION
Original wash drawing of Fort Laramie, Wyoming (actually Fort John; see note below). Sketched by Wilkins on his 151-day journey from Missouri to California on the Overland Trail (also known as the Oregon Trail). Wilkins stayed here for a few days to stock up on supplies and rest before another long leg of their journey. Wilkins writes in his diary: "Arrived this morn by 8 o'clock at Fort Laramie where we shall stay a day or two to fix up, get our tires cut and other repairings. This is a great resting place for emigrants. Most of them by this time have seen enough of the elephant to know what they really want, and what they can dispense with. Wagons, especially heavy wagons, can be bought here for an old song. A great many parties abandoning their wagons at this point and take to mule packing on account of the rumours of no grass and bad rocky roads, their object being to get thro' at some price and as quickly as possible."
RECORD DETAILS
Image ID:3935
Creation Date:June 24 1849
Creator Name:Wilkins, James F., d. 1888
City:
County:
State:Wyoming
Collection Name:Wilkins, James F., -1888 : James F. Wilkins Overland Trail drawings, 1849
Genre:Drawing
Original Format Type:drawings
Original Format Number:PH 374B.18 (5)
Original Dimensions:10 x 8 inches
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
From the Fort Laramie Official National Park Handbook (#118), p 40-41: "Fort Laramie's soft cottonwood logs were rotting. Instead of trying to patch the decay, the American Fur Company decided to outdo Fort Platte by erecting, at a cost of $10,000...a whitewashed adobe fort of its own. The site chosen was the top of a low bluff bordered south and east by the coiling Laramie. It was a little more than a mile upstream (south) from Fort Platte and a short distance from the original Fort Laramie. The company named the new structure Fort John after John Sarpy, an influential stockholder. Everyone else continued calling it Fort Laramie. Fort John (Laramie) was somewhat larger than Fort Platte. Its walls, surmounted by pickets to make scaling difficult, stretched to approximately 121 feet by 167 feet. Each of the 18 rooms inside the stockade was equipped with one door and one window opening, as usual, onto the courtyard. Across the courtyard from the main gate was a two-story structure whose upstairs room housed the post's chief trader and his family. The usual horse corral occupied the eastern part of the plaza."
SUBJECTS
Cities and towns
Fortification
Trails
Travel
Wagons
Rivers
Shorelines

How to Purchase a Copy

For Your Personal Use

Such as home display or a gift.

For Commercial or Non-Profit Use

Such as publication, web, public display or film.

By clicking "BUY" you agree to our Terms of Use.

10-percent discount for Society Members.

Image-purchasing questions? Please Contact Us.

RIGHTS AND PERMISSIONS
This image is issued by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Use of the image requires written permission from the staff of the Division of Library-Archives. It may not be sold or redistributed, copied or distributed as a photograph, electronic file, or any other media. The image should not be significantly altered through conventional or electronic means. Images altered beyond standard cropping and resizing require further negotiation with a staff member. The user is responsible for all issues of copyright. Please Credit: Wisconsin Historical Society.
Reference Details
Location:Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, 4th Floor, Madison, Wisconsin

How to View in Person

To view this image, visit the Archives Research Room on the 4th floor at the Society Headquarters building in Madison, WI. Print out this index page and present it to the librarian. Use the links below to plan your visit to the Society's Archives.

Checking Out Materials

Visual materials in the Archives do not circulate and must be viewed in the Society's Archives Research Room.

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

Wisconsin Historical Society Citation
Wisconsin Historical Society, Creator, Title, Image ID. Viewed online at (copy and paste image page link).
Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research Citation
Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, Creator, Title, Image ID. Viewed online at (copy and paste image page link).

Have Questions?

Contact our Archives staff by email.