The Denizens of Manifest Destiny: An Archaeological Examination of Life on the Military Site of Fort Garland, Colorado
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The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo granted the United States government a large sum of land consisting of what is now currently the American Southwest. This land was inhabited by a combination of Hispanic settlers and Native tribes. To maintain order in the region, the United States established a series of military posts garrisoned with troops who would be able to mobilize against any threats in this region. Fort Garland, situated in the San Luis Valley in south central Colorado, was one such fort. Though soldiers took part in various conflicts in the area, the site of Fort Garland saw no direct conflict with the local populations. The overarching goal of this thesis is to present a non-conflict military site such as Fort Garland as another form of settlement of the American West through the archaeological record. Additionally, this thesis looks to examine who is represented through the archaeology as well as gauge the effect the local populations had on the soldiers settling this region via the fort.