Fort Laramie starred Raymond Burr as cavalry captain Lee Quince, and aspired to be a realistic chronicle of military life on the frontier at Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory, circa 1875. The show was directed by Norman Mcdonnell, who brought his sound crew with him from Gunsmoke. Most of the excellent scripts were written by the versatile Kathleen Hite, who also wrote for Escape and other popular shows. Fort Laramie was short-lived, airing only from January through October of 1956. CBS decided not to renew it after Raymond Burr began his TV role as Perry Mason.
Fort Laramie was located at the Crossroads of a Nation Moving West. In 1834, where the Cheyenne and Arapaho traveled, traded and hunted, a fur trading post was created. Though it was not a military fort at first, it was called Fort William and soon became known as a place of safety, as settlers moved across the continent. By the 1840s, wagon trains rested and re-supplied here, bound for Oregon, California, and Utah.
In 1841, Fort John was constructed, replacing the original wooden stockade of Fort William. Constructed of adobe brick, Fort John stood on a bluff overlooking the Laramie River. It was named for John Sarpy, a partner in the American Fur Company, but was more commonly called Fort Laramie by employees and travelers.
Fort Laramie, the military post, was founded in 1849 when the army purchased the old Fort John for $4000, and began to build a military outpost along the Oregon Trail. For many years, the Plains Indians and the travelers along the Oregon Trail had coexisted peacefully. As the numbers of emigrants increased, however, tensions between the two cultures began to develop.
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In 1868 Cheyenne and Sioux chiefs (left to right: Spotted Tail,Roman Nose, Old-Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses, Lone Horn,Whistling Elk, Pipe, and Slow Bull) met at Fort Laramie with peace commissioners to negotiate closing the Bozeman Trail and creating the great Sioux Reservation.
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