Growth of Trading Forts

“In 1840 Fort William [at the confluence of the Platte and Laramie Rivers], operated by the American Fur Company,  was the lone American enterprise near the trails.

The next year, there were three. One, Fort Platte, still clearly reflected the fur-trade era . . . Constructed within two miles of Fort William, [Fort Platte] specialized in dispensing illicit whiskey to facilitate Indian trading. In response to this challenge, the American Fur Company promptly commenced a new adobe fort to replace the deteriorating Fort William. The proprietors designated the new structure Fort John but almost everyone called it Fort Laramie, by which name it became famous. The third post begun in 1841, Fort Bridger, was the first definite response to the emerging era of overland travel.”