Western Expresses | G

Submitted by: The Red Cloud Collection

Western Expresses | G 2017-11-02T13:18:46+00:00

Western Expresses | G

Western Expresses Alphabetically

Western Expresses

Garland’s Express – 1854 to 1872

Richard E. Garland started his express in 1854, perhaps with a partner named Dean, to serve mining camps between Oroville and Quincy, California. His routes were expanded in 1864 to include service to Taylorsville and Crescent Mills. In the same year, he purchased J.P. Wharton’s Express serving La Porte and Gibsonville. One reference indicates he bought out Whiting’s Express in 1868. Garland sold out to Wells Fargo in 1872.

Garland's Express PAID in their franked envelope to Quincy, Long Valley, Beckwourth Road
By Garland’s Express PAID in their franked envelope to Quincy, Long Valley, Beckwourth Road. Pencil notation on verso Letter enclosed dated March 25, 1865 (letter no longer present). Beckwourth Road went through Beckwourth Pass, the lowest summit of the High Sierras, making it a favorite route of wagon trains and expressmen. The only reported used example from this express company.
Plumas House, Quincy, Cal.

Western Expresses

Gibbs Express – 1854 to 1859

William T. Gibbs operated an express in an area around Georgetown, most likely running between Georgetown and Bottle Hill. He connected with Wells Fargo at Georgetown (and later at Placerville). The Western Living Center website notes that Spanish Flat was six miles from Georgetown on the stage road between Placerville and Georgetown.

Wm T. Gibbs Express PAID from Spanish Flat to Placerville

By Wm T. Gibbs Express PAID from Spanish Flat to Placerville; with Spanish Flat Cal. circular handstamp being a Gibbs’ marking. Wells Fargo & Co Express Placerville with Nov 1 straight line from Placerville to San Francisco. Likely late 1854 usage.

Map of the Feather & American Rivers with route from Placerville to Spanish Flat to Georgetown

Western Expresses

Gibbs Express – 1854 to 1859

Wm T. Gibbs Express PAID from Georgetown to Placerville

By Wm T. Gibbs Express PAID from Georgetown to Placerville, with political enclosure datelined Georgetown Nov 6th, 1859 transcribed, in part, below. This cover proves that Gibbs operated well beyond the previously believed end-date of 1855. The act of Aug 31, 1852 required payment of government postage on private conveyance.

Datelined Georgetown Nov 6th, 1859
…I am placed under obligations to you, as others of the Central Committee, for the manifestations of your choice for a representative…My opinions on some subjects are well known, first a more perfect system of common schools one that will insure an English education to all, next a Central Rail Road, as my preference, and state and in making a good road from our county seat to Carson Valley, or the state line, it would be my pride to lend my hand to every healthy measure, for the good of the state and El Dorado County, and cooperate with the democracy in all political matters, even so far as to agree to support the nominee of the Charleston Convention, believing as I do that the wisdom of the Nation will be able to heal any real divisions, and all cause for complaint, and save the Union of the States…Very respectfully,
A.D. Rock

Western Expresses

Gillpatrick’s Express – Sep, 1874 to Feb, 1878

Isaiah W. Gillpatrick advertised that he would run a daily express service through the use of the Steamer Parthenius. The express provided a service from San Francisco and the river ports of Vallejo, Benicia, Martinez, Black Diamond Landing, Pittsburg Landing, and Antioch. He also connected inland to the coal mining towns of Somersville, Nortonville, and Clayton, CA.

Gillpatrick's Express in their Type 2 printed frank envelope to San Francisco
By Gillpatrick’s Express in their Type 2 printed frank envelope to San Francisco; by post office from San Francisco Cal. Jan 28 to Jackson, Cal.
The earliest known ad for Gillpatrick’s Express is shown below, taken from the Sep 26, 1874 Sacramento Daily Union; the latest found is from Feb 19, 1878
Earliest known ad for Gillpatrick's Express - Sep 26, 1874 Sacramento Daily Union
The Antioch Wharf Building, with a sign for Gillpatrick's Express

The Antioch Wharf Building, with a sign for Gillpatrick’s Express

Western Expresses

Grays California Express – 1850 to 1851

Very little is known about “Gray’s Cal Express”, other than it operated between San Francisco and Sacramento in the 1850-1851 period. Only five covers are known to survive from this early express: two examples having a manuscript 1.10 (express fee of $1.00 plus 10¢ US postage due), one example with a 2.00 manuscript, and the example below with no rate indicated.

Gray's Cal Express from San Francisco to Sacramento City

By Gray’s Cal Express from San Francisco to Sacramento City; by post office to Mr. Sanger with Sacramento Cal 15 July postmark. Mailed in 1851, based on known examples of Sacramento postmarks.

Lithograph of Sacramento in 1850

Lithograph of Sacramento in 1850

Western Expresses

Greathouse & Slicer – Fall 1855 to 1857

George and Ridgely Greathouse started a pack mule line out of Shasta into Callahan in Aug, 1854. Hugh Slicer was added as a partner in late 1855, at which time the express extended from Yreka to Shasta. They exchanged express material with Wells Fargo at Shasta.

Greathouse & Slicer Yreka Connecting with Wells Fargo & Co from Yreka to Shasta

By Greathouse & Slicer Yreka Connecting with Wells Fargo & Co from Yreka to Shasta; exchanged with Wells Fargo & Company at Shasta for delivery to San Francisco.

Map of route from Yreka to Shasta to San Francisco

Western Expresses

Greene’s Copper City Express – 1864 to 1865

Thomas Greene formed his express line in 1864 to operate between Shasta and Copper City, California. His office is reported to have been located at Barber & Isman’s Saloon in Copper City.

Greene's Copper City Express from Copper City to Shasta

By Greene’s Copper City Express from Copper City to Shasta; by post office from Shasta Cal May 27 to Weaverville. One of only two reported examples from this express, the other being in the Wiltsee collection.

Thomas Greene in marriage notice in the Sacramento Daily Union on Oct 29, 1867

Thomas Greene apparently continued to live in the area after shutting down his express operation, as evidenced by this marriage notice in the Sacramento Daily Union on Oct 29, 1867 stating that he was from Shasta.

Western Expresses

Greenhood & Newbauer – 1856 to 1867

Herman Greenhood and Joseph Newbauer started an express operation from a base in Weaverville in late 1856. They purchased W. F. Rowe Express in 1858, connecting with Wells Fargo at Marysville. Greenhood & Newbauer’s banking operation failed in Aug, 1867 taking the express operation with it. Grant I. Taggart’s stage operation between Shasta and Marysville took over the express business.

Greenhood & Newbauer Express Weaverville, Cal with manuscript May 24 applied at Weaverville

By Greenhood & Newbauer Express Weaverville, Cal with manuscript May 24 applied at Weaverville; likely exchanged with Wells Fargo at Marysville for delivery to San Francisco.

Greenhood & Newbauer Express Weaverville, Cal with manuscript 5 applied at Weaverville

By Greenhood & Newbauer Express Weaverville, Cal with manuscript 5applied at Weaverville. Spelling error in frank of Newbaner.

Western Expresses

Greenhood & Newbauer – 1856 to 1867

Greenhood & Newbauer, Northern Express, Weaverville, California from Weaverville to Marysville

By Greenhood & Newbauer, Northern Express, Weaverville, California from Weaverville to Marysville; from Marysville to Sacramento City by Wells Fargo (although no Wells Fargo exchange marking is present…Greenhood & Newbauer did not run into Sacramento, but they did exchange mails with Wells Fargo at Marysville). Enclosed political letter datelined Weaverville, May 28th, 60 transcribed, in part, below indicates that politics were a lot more physical in 1860! The only reported example of this type Greenhood & Newbauer printed frank.

Dateline Marysville Sep 3, 1851
…I have now been at home some two weeks or more, and begin to realize the fact that I am again one of the simple sovereigns being of course virtually divested of the Legislative toga….Judge Miller and Pitzer had a passage at arms one day last week: the lie passed, and Miller pitched into Pitzer with his cane, after a few blows they were separated – cause: Judge Miller charging Pitzer with double dealing in the last election…A. C. Lawrence

Western Expresses

Green’s Express – 1850 to 1854

E. A. Green operated his express from Nevada City, providing service throughout the South and Middle Forks of the Yuba Rivers.

Green's Express to Nevada City

By Green’s Express to Nevada City; by post office from Nevada City, Cal. Jul 28 integral rate postmark for carriage to Plymouth Hollow Connecticut. The prepaid rate of 6¢ for distances >3000 miles was in effect from Jul 1, 1851 to Apr 1, 1855. One of only six known examples of any Green’s Express cover, two of the others residing in the Wiltsee collection. John William’s California Postmarks indicates a range of dates of use for this Nevada City marking from Feb 20, 1853 to Mar 21, 1855, dating this cover to either 1853 or 1854.

Nevada City

Western Expresses

Gregory’s Express – Apr, 1850 to Nov, 1852

Gregory’s Atlantic & Pacific Express was founded by Joseph W. Gregory initially as an ocean-to-ocean express. His advertisement as “Gregory’s New York Express” of Apr 18, 1850 in Daily Alta California notes that he had secured W.S. Sloan to act as a messenger to New York. By August 1850, Hitchcock is listed as agent in New York City and on Oct 31, 1851, G. E. Clark is listed as an agent in Sacramento. His service eventually expanded within California to Marysville and his ocean service was advertised as the only express on the Nicaragua route. Gregory quietly sold his express business to Wells Fargo & Co. in 1852 and his last advertisement appeared in the Nov 20, 1852 Daily Alta California.

Gregory's Express New York & California from Marysville to San Francisco

By Gregory’s Express New York & California from Marysville to San Francisco. Folded business letter datelined Marysville Sep 3, 1851 transcribed, in part, below.

Dateline Marysville Sep 3, 1851
…oblige us by sending 2000 lbs No.9 zink [nails or wire?] as soon as convenant, as we are now waiting for it. We thought we could get it for 7 or 8 cts consequently we made an estimate on laying a roof at those prices, but we have taken the job & must have the zink at some price. Please let us have it at the lowest market price and we will try to forward the amount due on the zink in a few weeks….Yours respectfully,
Shepard & Combs
PS We would like the widest zink in the market

Western Expresses

Gregory’s Express – Apr, 1850 to Nov, 1852

Gregory's Express San Francisco Office with Paid in oval to New York. Out of San Francisco
By Gregory’s Express San Francisco Office with Paid in oval to New York. Out of San Francisco “Per Gold Hunter” steamer. The Gold Hunter was an independent steamship that made numerous trips out of San Francisco to Astoria and two to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua…but only one to Panama when she left San Francisco on Mar 22, 1851 and arrived Panama May 4. The Gold Hunter was sold to the US Government in 1852 and became the Active of the Coast and Geodetic Survey.
  • Per Gold Hunter, depart San Francisco Mar 22, 1851; arrive Panama May 4
  • Probably about six days transit across the isthmus
  • Next steamer from Chagres was USMSC Empire City; depart May 24; arrive NY Jun 3, 1851
Only known photograph of the Gold Hunter

Only known photograph of the Gold Hunter, when it was the US Coast and Geodetic Survey steamer Active (1852)

Western Expresses

Gregory’s Express – Apr, 1850 to Nov, 1852

Gregory's Express with PAID from Shasta to San Francisco

By Gregory’s Express with PAID from Shasta to San Francisco on 1852 folded letter sheet. Taylor’s Express connected with Gregory’s Express in Sacramento before Taylor gave up the business in April of 1852. Gregory then opened an office in Shasta in the same building in which Taylor had his office before retiring. Business letter enclosed reads in part….I have a claim to work here that may take me five or six weeks (apparently a legal claim, as the letter appears to be between lawyers).

Dateline

Western Expresses

Gregory’s Express – Apr, 1850 to Nov, 1852

Gregory's Express Trinidad with Not Paid to San Francisco

By Gregory’s Express Trinidad with Not Paid to San Francisco on folded letter datelined July 24th, 1851 transcribed, in part, below.

Dateline July 24th, 1851
…Let Democrats vote for Whig candidates if they will, but have it pretty well understood that Whigs vote for Whigs. You will readily see that we are in no way to remit you any of the “Sinews of War.” Indian difficulties have engrossed public attention to such an extent that ordinary questions are not thought of…Walter van Dyke
Sacramento Daily Union advertisement from Jun 12, 1851

Sacramento Daily Union advertisement from Jun 12, 1851 listing Gregory’s agents in Trinidad as “Gifford & Linsley”

Western Expresses

Gregory & English’s Express – Apr, 1866 to Mar, 1868

Formed in April 1866, this express operated from Nevada City to North Bloomfield, Lake City, Woolsey’s Flat, Moore’s Flat, and Eureka. It connected with Wells Fargo at Nevada City.

Gregory & English's Moore's Flat and Eureka Express from Moore's Flat to Nevada

By Gregory & English’s Moore’s Flat and Eureka Express from Moore’s Flat to Nevada with their Moore’s Flat Express “spread eagle” handstamp; by Wells Fargo Nevada Jan 13 (likely 1868) to San Francisco. Only two reported examples of this type printed frank.

Feb 26, 1867 article from the Sacramento Daily Union
Mar 21, 1868 article from the Sacramento Daily Union

These articles (Feb 26, 1867 and Mar 21, 1868) from the Sacramento Daily Union relate the difficulties encountered by Gregory & English’s Express in running their route during the winter months, resorting to carriers on snow shoes.

Western Expresses Alphabetically