Filatelic Facts and Fallacies
THE ONLY PHILATELIC MAGAZINE PUBLISHED ON THE PACIFIC COAST.
VOL. I. SAN FRANCISCO, APRIL, 1893. No. 7.
THE GREAT REVOLUTION THEY AIDED IN EFFECTING IN THE
Few, if any, United States local stamps have as interesting and important a history as those issued by the express companies previous to the reduction in postal rates and the Government issue of stamps. The origin of the first letter express, its wonderful and rapid growth in popular favor, its exciting and successfull competition with the Government postal service, the great and beneficial results indirectly accomplished by it toward improving the mail service of the United States, its adoption and issuance of adhesive stamps and the ultimate surrender of its entire mail service to the Government are herewith related with historical accuracy.
In 1841, Henry Wells, the agent of Harnden’s Express at Albany, N.Y., suggested to George Pomeroy that it would pay to start an express from Albany west to Buffalo. The idea was acted upon and with Crawford Livingston as a third partner the Pomeroy & Co’s Express was started between Albany and Buffalo, running weekly trips and requiring four nights and three days to go through by rail, stage and private conveyance.
Pomeroy & Co. soon commenced running a river express on the Hudson between Albany and New York in conjuction with their western express. The latter had opposition; first, by the express of Pullen & Copp, then, in 1843, by Bailey & Howard, and later by Bailey & Jacobs, none of which remained long in the field, and all may now be classed with the long list of little known expresses of the United States that were engaged in the letter carring business in conjuction with their other express business.
The firm name, in the course of a year or two, was altered from Pomeroy & Co. Livingston, Wells & Pomeroy, and later when Pomeroy retired from the business, to Livingston, Wells & Co., which continued until the latter part of 1846, when, upon the death of Crawford Livingston, the style of the firm titls was changed to Wells & Co.
On April 1st, 1845, an express from Buffalo to Chicago was organized by Henry Wells, William G. Fargo and Dan Dunning, under the name of Well’s & Co.’s Western Express. This combination continued in existence about one year, when Henry Wells sold out his interest in the Western Express to William A. Livingston, and that concern assumed the name of Livingston & Fargo.
In 1849, John Butterfield and others organized an express to operate on the line of the New York Central Railroad. It was a joint stock concern and was styled Butterfield, Wasson & Co.’s Express.