The Great Wagon Road to the Southwest

The Great Wagon Road to the Southwest (HMQUE)

Location: Larned, KS 67550 Pawnee County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 11.113', W 99° 13.14'

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Santa Fe Trail 1821-1880

It all started over trade that promised great profits. Once Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821 Americans were welcomed and encouraged to trade. Trade quickly flourished, creating opportunities and profits linking the economies of Missouri and Mexico.

The Santa Fe Trade developed into a complex web of international business, bringing together a cultural mosaic of individuals who cooperated - and at times clashed. Caught in the middle was the rich culture of the Plains Indian people.

The obstacles teamsters faced were 781 miles of semi-arid prairies, storms, flooded rivers, wildfires, dust, plaques of gnats and mosquitoes, mud, Comanches, Kiowas, Cheyennes, Arapahos, and Apaches. Freight wagons could make the trip one-way - with luck - in eight weeks.

For 60 years the Santa Fe Trail was one of the most important overland trade routes in the world.

The United States Army depended on freight shipments from the East to supply posts throughout the Southwest. Following the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) most of the American freight was military. Mexican freighters bound east dominated the civilian trade.

Fort Larned sits 20 days' travel west of the Missouri River steamboat landings. Troops here helped guard the tens of millions of dollars of Santa Fe Trail traffic that crossed the Great Plains each year.

The whole distance from the settlements on Missouri to the Mountains in the neighborhood of Santa Fe is a prairie country, with no obstruction to the route...A good wagon road traced out [with] a sufficient supply of fuel and all seasons, except in winter.
Alphonse Wetmore, Missouri gazetteer, 1824
Series This marker is part of the Santa Fe Trail series
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 11th, 2014 at 4:25pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 480820 N 4226388
Decimal Degrees38.18521667, -99.21900000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 11.113', W 99° 13.14'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 11' 6.78" N, 99° 13' 8.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)620
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 352-398 Unnamed Road, Larned KS 67550, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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