Virtual Paired Lecture | The US Post, Native Networks, and the Making of the American West

An illustrated letter depicting an indigenous American scene.

Virtual Paired Lecture | The US Post, Native Networks, and the Making of the American West

Our current exhibit, Remington and Russell in Black and White, features some of the artists’ grayscale works done for the purpose of illustrations to accompany stories for publication. In fact, Remington gained popularity by readers of journals like Harper’s and Collier’s, with his illustrations seen by tens of thousands of subscribers of these magazines. One could argue that the US Post deserves some credit for Remington’s fame!

In this two-part virtual lecture, we’ll explore the development and impact of the US Post on the expansion of the American West and its many residents.

Part 1: As millions of settlers moved into the western United States between the 1860s and the early 1900s, they relied on a continent-spanning communications network to connect them to the wider world: the US Post. In the first part of this talk, Professor Cameron Blevins maps the spread of the US Post using a dataset of more than 100,000 post offices, revealing how this unassuming federal infrastructure helped weave together the colonization of the American West.

Part 2: Although the US government tried to separate, contain, and Americanize western tribal nations, Native Americans shrewdly used mechanisms of colonialism, notably education and the US Post, to spread information and express their thoughts outside of white control, as will be explored by Professor Justin Gage in the second part of this talk. In the last quarter of the 19th century, Native Americans wrote letters to communicate across reservation boundaries. Massive networks of correspondence tied Native Americans together. Through use of the US Post, Native Americans forged intertribal bonds while spreading advantageous knowledge and corresponded with white Americans to push for justice and self-determination.


  • Dr. Cameron Blevins, Associate Professor, History Department, University of Colorado Denver
  • Dr. Justin Gage, Assistant Professor, History Department, University of Arkansas


**Please note that this is a virtual program that will take place on Zoom and participants need only to register one attendee per household. Participants need to register for a free Zoom account in order to attend. Download Zoom on your computer, tablet, or smartphone in advance for the best user experience.**

Registration Required –  Click HERE to Register


Ages: 18+

Contact: Director of Adult Programs at or 817.332.6554 if you have any questions or would like to be added to the wait list when registration is full.


Jun 28 2024


Central Standard Time
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm






Director of Adult Programs