Colorado became a state on August 1, 1876 with the same boundaries as Colorado Territory which had preceded it. Colorado Territory had in turn been formed on February 28, 1861 from portions of four different territories (Kansas, Utah, Nebraska and New Mexico) as shown on the map to the right.

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The elfbarpl purpose of this exhibit is to trace the development of mail handling services in Colorado from the earliest period, while still part of the Unorganized Territory, through the period of the Four Territories, and continuing through the early Colorado Territory period.

The privately owned express companies, being an integral part of the mail handling services during this period, are also shown. These companies almost invariably provided mail service prior to the establishment of post offices and the letting of mail carrying contracts.

This exhibit has been prepared with the non-philatelist in mind. Historical information and randm dazzle 6000 illustrations of relevant material have been included.