Between Two Worlds . . . the American Métis

Between Two Worlds . . . the American Métis (HM1MQP)

Location: Fort Laramie, WY 82212 Goshen County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 12.057', W 104° 33.512'

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Inscription

Fort Laramie National Historic Site

"French, Spanish and Indian and mixed are very common here and all languages are being jabbered in promiscuous interchange."
Charles B. Darwin, Fort Laramie,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 "American Métis" were now outside looking in.
Ward-Guerrier Trading Post
Across the Laramie River from where you are now standing, Seth Ward and William Guerrier operated a small trading post in the early 1850s. Typical of a plains trader, Guerrier married a Cheyenne woman and conducted his business in a broad area between Bent's Fort and the Powder River country north of Fort Laramie. Guerrier died in 1858 while trading with the Lakota after accidentally igniting a keg of gunpowder in his wagon.
Details
HM NumberHM1MQP
Tags
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 at 9:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 536445 N 4672182
Decimal Degrees42.20095000, -104.55853333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 12.057', W 104° 33.512'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 12' 3.4200" N, 104° 33' 30.7200" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Unnamed Road, Fort Laramie WY 82212, US
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