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JEFFERSON CITY — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced this week a Thursday Evening Speaker Series program examining early postal service in Territorial Missouri.

The program will be 7 p.m. May 16 at the Interpretive Center of the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, the location of the Secretary of State's State Archives.

As Americans moved west into new lands opened to settlement following the Louisiana Purchase, establishing communication channels with the rest of the country became increasingly important. The postal service was crucial to linking new settlers on the frontier to their family, friends and business interests back east, as well as emerging markets along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

In his book, "Postal Service in Territorial Missouri, 18041821," author Robert G. Schultz examines the growth and development of such service operating across the intervening miles of wilderness in the area that was to become the state of Missouri.

Schultz will share his research on this fascinating and little-examined subject.

The State Archives is the official repository for state documents of permanent historic value, and is at 600 W. Main St. in Jefferson City. All archives programs are free of charge and open to the public, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on this and other archives programming, contact Tracy Wegman, 573-526-5296 or [email protected]

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