Western Expresses | C

Submitted by: The Red Cloud Collection

Western Expresses | C 2021-07-27T00:03:58+00:00

Western Expresses | C

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Western Expresses

COC&PP – Feb 13, 1860 to Mar 21, 1862

The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak (COC&PP) Express Company was the parent company of the famed Pony Express and was formed by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell on Feb 13, 1860 when they bought out the assets of Jones & Russell’s express. They ran the first weekly government mail from Denver to Leavenworth on Aug 14, 1860 and from St. Joseph in early September. COC&PP assumed the Butterfield mail service on Jul 1, 1861. COC&PP sold out to Ben Holladay on Mar 21, 1862.

COC&PP with a partial strike of their provisional straight-line DENVER CENTRAL OVERD. CAL. & PIKES PEAK EXPRESS marking to Denver City, Kansas Territory

Mannheim Center [New York] April 6 (1860) to St. Joseph, Missouri; then by COC&PP with a partial strike of their provisional straight-line DENVER CENTRAL OVERD. CAL. & PIKES PEAK EXPRESS marking to Denver City, Kansas Territory. Sender’s notation to route via Leavenworth and PP Express could not be honored, as that express had been defunct since July, 1859. Clear strike of the straight line marking shown below (enlarged for detail).

Clear strike of the straight line marking

Western Expresses

COC&PP – Feb 13, 1860 to Mar 21, 1862

The Central Overland Califoni & Pikes Peak Express Company Denver City K.T. Aug 21 (1860) to St. Joseph
By The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company Denver City K.T. Aug 21 (1860) to St. Joseph, with the COC&PP St. Joseph, Mo. Aug 27 backstamp; entered the mail at St. Joseph, Mo. Aug 28, 1860 for delivery to Manchester, N. H.
New York Herald (Aug 28, 1860) article from St. Joseph, Mo.
COC&PP St. Joseph, Mo. Aug 27 backstamp
New York Herald (Aug 28, 1860) article from St. Joseph, Mo., noting, “The Pike’s Peak express arrived this morning [August 27, 1860] with Denver City dates to the 21st inst.”, documenting the trip of this cover.

Western Expresses

Chase’s Express – May, 1857 to Jul, 1862

George. W. Chase began his express and “daily passenger wagon” operating over a route that ran from Yreka to Deadwood and Indian Creek. Chase’s office was with Wells Fargo, with whom he connected, in Yreka. The Yreka Union newspaper of May, 1860 stated that Chase would connect with Wyck’s Scott Valley Express at Indian Creek. In July, 1862 Chase sold his express to Charles Prindle.

Chase's Express/Paid in their franked envelope to Yreka

By Chase’s Express/Paid in their franked envelope to Yreka; by post office from Yreka, Cal Aug 17, 1858 with PAID 10 in arc via Panama to Minnesota.

Chase's Express Deadwood & Ind. Creek to Yreka

By Chase’s Express Deadwood & Ind. Creek to Yreka. The 3₵ 1857 issue adhesive pays government postage, required by law of Aug 31, 1852, even though this cover never entered the U.S. mails.

Western Expresses

Chase’s Express – May, 1857 to Jul, 1862

Chase's Express/Yreka/Deadwood &/Indian Creek/Paid with their albino embossed express frank at upper left to Yreka

By Chase’s Express/Yreka/Deadwood &/Indian Creek/Paid with their albino embossed express frank at upper left to Yreka.

Jan 29, 1860 Yreka Journal ad for Chase’s Express.

Jan 29, 1860 Yreka Journal ad for Chase’s Express.

Western Expresses

Cherokee Express – 1862 to 1865

The proprietors of this express have never been confirmed, but speculation is that it could have been Henry A. Moore and Thomas McDanel, prominent Oroville businessmen of Cherokee, who were partners in a store and hotel. T. McDanel was listed as an express agent in Cherokee in Bancroft’s 1864 Handbook and Almanac for the Pacific States. All but two of the ~20 known covers are addressed to M. H. Darrach, and were carried from Cherokee to Oroville, a distance of about 12 miles. Darrach served in various county administrative positions, including County Clerk. The express letters addressed to him likely contained correspondence relative to mining activities, thus the urgency to send by express.   The dates of operation for Cherokee Express (1862-1865) are based solely upon docketing on known covers, as no articles or advertisements have been found to confirm the operational period.

Cherokee Express from Cherokee to Oroville

By Cherokee Express from Cherokee to Oroville; Wells Fargo & Co. Oroville Jan 6 for delivery to Mr. Darrach.

Map of Gold Camps of the Feather River

Western Expresses

Cramer’s Express – Feb, 1868 to Aug, 1870

Charles Cramer’s Express and Stage Line ran from Susanville, California to Reno, Nevada “by way of Janesville, Milford, Long Valley, Summit House, and Pea Vine.” Cramer’s connected with Wells Fargo at Reno. Seven partnerships were noted in Susanville’s weekly newspaper The Sage Brush from Feb, 1868 to Aug, 1870, at which time Thomes & Skadan’s Stage Line purchased Cramer’s Susanville/Reno line.

Paid Cramer's Express. Connecting with Wells Fargo & Co.

PAID Cramer’s Express Connecting with Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank envelope, by Cramer’s to Reno; exchanged with Wells Fargo at Reno for delivery to San Francisco

Likely a used leftover of Cramer's Express

Likely a used leftover of Cramer’s Express, carried by US Post Office from Susanville, Cal. Feb 27, 1871 to San Francisco.

Western Expresses

Cram, Rogers, & Co’s Express – 1851 to Mar 27, 1855

Cram Rogers & Co. was the major express operator in northern California and southern Oregon during the early 1850’s. Robert B. Cram of Shasta and Frank A. Rogers of Yreka formed the nucleus of this operation in 1851. They added partners A. E. Raynes (of Raynes & Company) and Richard Dugan (of Dugan & Company) in 1853. These later additions gave Cram, Rogers, & Co. control of the area from Jacksonville, Oregon to Shasta, California and to Crescent City, California. They connected with Adams, Gregory and Newell & Company. Cram Rogers & Co. failed on Mar 27, 1855, as a result of their close affiliation with Adams & Co., which had failed a few days earlier.

Cram Rogers & Cos Express Yreka to Shasta

By Cram Rogers & Cos Express Yreka to Shasta; exchanged with Adams & Co. Express Shasta for carriage to San Francisco. Folded letter written in French datelined Yreka City 11 Decbr 1853.

An Express has been established at Trinidad

First mention of Cram, Rogers Express (above) July 1, 1851 from the San Francisco Daily Alta California.

First advertisement (right) Mar 20, 1852 from the Shasta Courier.

Cram, Rogers & Co.'s Express To Sacramento City.

Western Expresses

Cram, Rogers, & Co’s Express – 1851 to Mar 27, 1855

Cram, Roger's & Co Express Yreka to Shasta

ca Jan, 1854 by Cram, Roger’s & Co Express Yreka to Shasta; exchanged with Adams & Co Jany 18 Shasta to Marysville; again by Adams & Co. Jan 20 Marysville to San Francisco. The manuscript pre-canceled 3¢ 1851 issue adhesive was probably applied by Adams in Shasta.

Route Map showing Cram Rogers Express route in blue; Adams Express route in red

Cram Rogers Express route in blue; Adams Express route in red

Western Expresses

Cram, Rogers, & Co’s Express – 1851 to Mar 27, 1855

Cram, Roger's & Co Express Weaverville with their PAID oval to Shasta

By Cram, Roger’s & Co Express Weaverville with their PAID oval to Shasta; exchanged with Adams & Co Augst 7 Shasta to San Francisco.

Cram, Rogers & Co.'s Express and Passenger Train from Shasta to Weaver

Shasta Courier Jan 13, 1855

Western Expresses

Crary’s Stage & Express Co. – Aug, 1873 to Nov, 1873

The June 11, 1873 Nevada (City) Daily Transcript announced that Leroy Crary had purchased the Nevada and Dutch Flat Stage Line from J. R. Bordwell. The same issue contained ad an noting Crary’s “Stage Line.” A modified ad first appeared beginning Aug 21, 1873 in which his tri-weekly service was noted as being a “Stage and Express Line”. Crary operated between Nevada City and Dutch Flat, with stops at You Bet and Little York, connecting with Wells, Fargo & Co. at Nevada City. Crary’s Stage and Express Line was sold back to J. R. Bordwell, as reported in the Dec 2, 1873 Transcript.

Leroy Crary's Nevada and Dutch Flat Stage and Express Line to Nevada City

By Leroy Crary’s Nevada and Dutch Flat Stage and Express Line to Nevada City; by Wells Fargo Nevada Jan 23 (1874) for delivery to Smartsville. The only known example from this short-lived express, albeit used after Crary had re-sold his stage and express line back to J. R. Bordwell.

Nevada City from the west (1866)

Nevada City from the west (1866)

Western Expresses

Crawford’s Middle Fork Express – 1859 to 1860

Ellison Lassel Crawford operated Crawford’s Middle Fork Express from a base at Greenwood and served the mining camps along the Middle Fork of the American River. Crawford’s connected with Wells, Fargo & Co. at Greenwood.

Crawford's Middle Fork Express Oct 9 from the mining camps to Greenwood

By Crawford’s Middle Fork Express Oct 9 from the mining camps to Greenwood; by Wells, Fargo & Co. Express Greenwood to San Francisco.

Crawford's Middle Fork Express with their red handstamp

By post office from Big Oak Flat, Cal Oct 12 to Greenwood; then by Crawford’s Middle Fork Express with their red handstamp (one of only five known examples of this marking) for delivery to the mining camps.

Western Expresses

Crooks Express – Sep, 1856 to Feb, 1860

Andrew D. Crooks and J. B. White dissolved their partnership on Sep 21, 1856 after which Crooks carried on the business alone under the name “Crooks’ Express.” Crooks connected with Wells Fargo in Yreka in the latter half of its existence. The express sold out to Chas. W. Prindle in Feb, 1860.

Crooks Express Scotts River from Klamath River to Yreka

By Crooks Express Scotts River from Klamath River to Yreka; by the US mails from Yreka, Cal Jun 16, 1858 to Alexandria, Virginia. Interesting letter dated May 6, 1858 from Klamath River transcribed on the following page. Note that it took over five weeks to get to Yreka!

Nov 20, 1856 ad for Crooks’ Express from the Yreka Siskiyou Chronicle

Crooks' Express Scotts River and Klamath

Western Expresses

Crooks Express – 1858 to Feb, 1860

Klamath River, Klamath County, Cal.

Friend Miner,
Dear Sir,
With feelings of the deepest gratification I received your welcome letter and am thankful for the interesting news which it contains. I only regret that I cannot give you more general information concerning the Eldorado which our present isolated locality prevents us from doing. The only communication to Crescent City or Trinidad at the coast (100 miles) is by pack mules. This added to the danger of landing goods without harbors, makes provisions &c five times as high as in any of the other States. Owing to the mountains and bluffs I do not think we have five miles of wagon road in this Country. Our greatest facilities for traveling is bestride a mule, up hill and down, going at the rate of twenty five miles a day. In Oregon all the rivers flow through fertile flats which produce almost anything. At times when packing is cheap we get flour from there, which is equal to any we have ever seen. On small flats along the rivers we produce all the vegetables we require here. In all the northern Counties the population is very small and scattered over magnificent distances, even on mining rivers often from five to ten miles without a single inhabitant.

Klamath County was divided two years ago the northern portion forming Del Norte with Crescent City, containing about 500 inhabitants, as the county seat. This portion retains the original name, with a small mining hamlet, containing, say, 150 inhabitants. 35 miles below here, on the Klamath River, for the county seat, in and about these towns reside from 2 to 4 lawyers the county judge and sheriff. The salary of the county judge has been reduced from 3000$ to 1500$ a year. The office of sheriff in worth in the vicinity of 8000$ a year; he is elected after the real Whig and Democratic style; all prior sheriffs have gambled off the county funds and left the county in arrears. The office of the district attorney is worth so little that no lawyer would give bonds and take it. In fact our whole county organization is very imperfect, with very little legal business, nearly all disputes are settled by arbitration. The mines in this portion of the state are not paying on an average of One dollar a day for all the labor expended; notwithstanding some few do well, but that few is fast diminishing. It is our intention to wind up mining as soon as possible, as the labor is hard and the chances distant. The climate is mild – in the summer dry – in the winter wet, and at all times superior to any part of the Eastern States. The country is healthy and the water good, beyond description. Just imagine the reminiscences you awake in ones bosom when you speak of being in love with two ladies, when our eyes have not enjoyed the sight of one for two and a half years. Notwithstanding the disadvantages of California life, it would be preferred by persons fond of adventure to any other. From the best information, Southern California is far superior to this portion, resembling in a manner the Western States with a greater consolidation of money. To write a minute description would be repeating what we have written often, so by conversing with my brother he will give you all information.

As regards a man’s chances here for advancement I have not one word to say, we cannot see one moment in advance. The brightest prospects are blighted, and day dawns on the darkest instantaneously, as far as future prospects go, “Truly this is a land of darkness”. In some portions of this State the business of law is called good. I am much pleased to hear of your elevation to the bar particularly with the “honest”, which I believe very few have ever accomplished. I must now conclude by assuring you that it would give me the greatest pleasure to meet and render you any service in my power, but the miners here are in no fixed place. I intend leaving as soon as possible.
With kind regards to all,
I remain your affectionate friend,
F. W. Miner, Atty at Law, Hiel Camp
Alexandria
Va.
6th May 1858

Western Expresses Alphabetically