The Postal West: A New Spatial History
Dr. Cameron Blevins

When the U.S. Civil War drew to a close in 1865, much of the American West remained a sparsely settled periphery with only tenuous connections to the rest of the country. Over the next three decades, the region underwent one of the most dramatic reorganizations of land, resources, and people in American history. How did this integrative project unfold so quickly and across such a massive area? “The Postal West” uses digital mapping to uncover the vast hidden infrastructure that made all of this possible: the U.S. Post. It uses these methods to advance a new spatial synthesis of some of the era’s defining processes, including western expansion, settler colonialism, and the formation of the American state.

Cameron Blevins received his PhD in History from Stanford University in 2015. He is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow in History at Rutgers University.