First Postal Stop
— Davidsonville Historic State Park —
The U.S. Congress established post roads in the late 1700s, which were the routes that carried mail throughout the country and into the distant territories. Having a postal stop in one's town was very desirable, bringing people from surrounding communities.
Postal Route 407
Mail went regularly back and forth from the territorial capital of St. Louis to Washington, D.C. Davidsonville became the first postal stop in Arkansas, on Postal Route 407, on which mail traveled from St. Louis to Davidsonville, and on to Arkansas Post.
Davidsonville's first postmaster was Adam Ritchey, who was appointed in 1817. Rather than having a separate post office, as we do today, the mail was delivered to Ritchey at his home or business. People came to Ritchey's location to pick up their mail, and the postage was paid at that time.
The mail ran about once a month. Riders carried the mail in portmanteaus (leather cases) or saddlebags. Riders were hired on contract and sometimes faced difficulties - such as floods or bad roads - in getting mail delivered.
Alexis de Tocqueville,
Democracy in America, 1831-1832
Mail was delivered in a leather bag to the house of the postmaster. (Photo by: Joan L. Gould, Hart's Square, Hickory, North Carolina.)
The postmaster sorted letters into the desk's mail slots for pick up by county residents. (Photo by: Joan L. Gould, Hart's Square, Hickory, North Carolina.)
Alexis de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian who visited America in the early 1800s.
Erected by the State of Arkansas.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1817.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Private Residence / Post Office (a few steps from this marker); Decline and Abandonment (within shouting distance of this marker); House Lots (within shouting distance of this marker); Davidsonville's Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Archeology Uncovers the Past (within shouting distance of this marker); Courthouse Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Oldest Town Site in Arkansas (within shouting distance of this marker); County Seat Town (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Black Rock.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 13, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 13, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.