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'Communication on the SF Trail to be theme of Rendezvous
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"Communication on the Santa Fe Trail" will be the theme for the Rendezvous 2010 history seminar to be held in Larned Sept. 16–19. The seminar is sponsored by the Santa Fe Trail Center, Fort Larned National Historic Site and the Santa Fe Trail Association. Primary funding is provided by the Kansas Humanities Council. The seminar is open to the public.

This year’s theme will examine how individuals of various cultures on the Santa Fe Trail communicated with each other. Featured during the seminar will be talks on the evolution of the U.S. mail service between Missouri and Santa Fe, N.M. Presentations will show how the establishment of communication across the trail helped lead to statehood for Kansas and open communication throughout the southwest.

"Letters of Fort Dodge and the Santa Fe Trail" will be the program for the Rendezvous opening event at the Santa Fe Trail Center. This presentation will focus on the correspondence of Isadore Douglas and Post Commander Major Henry Douglas to Isadore’s mother in Pennsylvania.

Other sessions pertaining to the U.S. mail will include information about the mail stations at Bent’s Fort and Fort Larned as well as how mail delivery evolved during the decades of the Santa Fe Trail’s existence.

How other cultures along the Santa Fe Trail communicated with each other will be addressed through presentations such as "The Moccasin Telegraph." Otis Halfmoon, tribal elder of the Nez Perce and tribal liaison with the National Park Service, Santa Fe, will discuss communication between the tribes of the Santa Fe Trail both historically and today.

The presentation "Commission Merchants: Anglo-Hispano Joint Business Ventures" will discuss the Santa Fe Trail as a major commercial route bringing together individuals and businesses from a wide geographic area. Coordination and effective communication became a key factor in the success of these operations. The need to accommodate individuals from different ethnic backgrounds encouraged the establishment of multi-ethnic firms.

A busy afternoon at Fort Larned NHS will feature living history demonstrations, various wagons of the period, a special postal service cancellation and much more. "Escorting Mail on the Santa Fe Road" will be the program for the closing event at the fort. This first-person portrayal will follow dinner in the historic Quartermaster’s Storehouse.

The last day of the seminar will feature a bus tour from Larned to Dodge City following the Dry Route of the Santa Fe Trail which was used by the mail companies almost exclusively in preference to the Wet Route.

For more information on Rendezvous 2010 and a registration form, contact the Santa Fe Trail Center at 620-285-2054 or e-mail: