Independence and the Opening of the West, Thomas Hart Brown
The art used for this stamp design was painted by Thomas Hart Benton. The first permanent white settlement in what is now Missouri was made by the French at Sainte Genevieve in 1732. French settlements were based on lead mining and fur trading, for which St. Louis was a center. France ceded the region to Spain in 1762, but the Spanish never exercised any real control. The Spanish did permit settlement from east of the Mississippi, and by 1800 most of the new settlers were from Kentucky and Tennessee. Spain ceded the region to France in 1802, and in the following year the French sold it to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Missouri was made a territory in 1812. Statehood came in 1821 as a result of the Missouri Compromise, which permitted Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state. In 1837 the Platte Purchase, the six northwestern counties, was purchased from the Indians and added to the state.