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Missouri's bid for statehood reflected the struggle to extend the southern slave culture onto the western frontier of settlement. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and the Missouri Compromise set specific geographic boundaries for the extension of slavery, which in turn created distinctive patterns of migration and settlement on the frontier. The Platte Purchase region of northwest Missouri is one of the areas that reflect slavery's influence on settlement. This paper will discuss slave ownership, the need for slavery, and explain the geographic distribution of slaves in the Platte region.