Western Expresses | L

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Western Expresses | L 2017-11-03T13:01:42+00:00

Western Expresses | L

Western Expresses Alphabetically

Western Expresses

Lamping & Co’s. Express – Nov, 1865 to Aug, 1866

P. A. Lamping operated an express between Marysville and Downieville, from which he supported the local mines. He initially connected with Wells Fargo at Marysville and later with Langton. After Samuel Langton’s death, he purchased that express from the Langton family; however, Wells Fargo refused to honor the old Lamping franks and he eventually sold out to them.

Lamping & Co.'s Express Sierra Valley to "Mr. Hyman, Watchmaker, Downieville"

By Lamping & Co.’s Express Sierra Valley to “Mr. Hyman, Watchmaker, Downieville”. This is the only known example of a Lamping’s marking from Sierra Valley.

Early sketch of Downieville.

Early sketch of Downieville.

Western Expresses

Langton’s Express – Feb, 1850 to 1864

Samuel W. Langton had various partners throughout his tenure in the express business. Responding to opportunity and competition, he also added and eliminated routes numerous times. Langton sold out to Adams & Company in Feb, 1855, only to have that company fail two days later. He took back the company and formed “Langton’s Pioneer Express”, extending his express line to Sacramento and San Francisco. He gave up the run from Marysville to Sacramento and San Francisco in 1857, instead connecting with Wells Fargo & Co at Marysville.

Langton's Pioneer Express Downieville to Marysville

By Adams & Co. Express San Francisco California Free in their printed envelope; exchanged with Newell & Co.’s Express San Francisco for delivery to “Moqulumne Hill”. Newell & Co. advertised that they connected with Adams & Co. in San Francisco. They operated from Oct 22, 1851 until selling out to Adams in July, 1853.Click edit button to change this text.

Early sketch of Downieville.

Western Expresses

Langton’s Express – Feb, 1850 to 1864

Langton's Express Downieville to Marysville

By Langton’s Express Downieville to Marysville; by post office Marysville, Cal Jan 28 (1852) to Corsica, France. Overpaid 26. rate with two 12. and one 3. 1851 issue adhesives. The only known example of a western express cover with the 12. 1851 issue adhesive (per Jim Allen).

Langton's Express Downieville to Marysville (Back)

Western Expresses

Langton’s Express – Feb, 1850 to 1864

Langtons Pioneer Express Camptonville to Long Bar

By Langtons Pioneer Express Camptonville to Long Bar, with enclosed letter datelined Camptonville, Jan 14, 1855 transcribed, in part, below.

Dateline: Camptonville, Jan 14, 1855
…I rec’d your letter last evening which by neglect of our Mountain Express has lain in the office I perceive several days…
An early view of Camptonville's main street

An early view of Camptonville’s main street

Western Expresses

Langton & Brother’s Express – Nov, 1853 to Feb, 1855

Samuel W. Langton operated as an express man, either alone or in various partnerships from 1850 until 1864. He formed Langton & Brother’s Express with his brother in November 1853. They operated from Marysville up the Yuba River to Nevada City and Downieville. The brothers sold out to Adams Express on Feb 21, 1855, just two days before Adams collapsed.

Langton & Bro's Express Nevada (City) to "New Orleans Flat, Alta Cal."
Rocky Hill, Ky 20th July (1854) by government mails to Nevada City two 3¢ 1851 issue adhesives prepaying the 6¢ rate in effect for distances >3000 miles; Forwarded by Langton & Bro’s Express Nevada (City) to “New Orleans Flat, Alta Cal.”
Forwarded by Langton & Bro's Express Nevada Handstamp
Map showing the route from Nevada City post office to New Orleans flat

Map showing the route from Nevada City post office to New Orleans flat

Western Expresses

Langton’s Express – Feb, 1850 to 1864

Langton's Pioneer Express San Juan (North San Juan) to Nevada
By Langton’s Pioneer Express in their printed franked envelope from Langton’s Pioneer Express San Juan (North San Juan) to Nevada; by Wells, Fargo & Co. Nevada May 5 to San Francisco.
Map of route from North San Jaun to Nevada City

Western Expresses

Langton’s Express – Feb, 1850 to 1864

Langton's Pioneer Express in their franked envelope from Timbuctoo with manuscript Feb 21 to Yuba City.

By Langton’s Pioneer Express in their franked envelope from Timbuctoo with manuscript Feb 21 to Yuba City.

Timbuctoo in the early 1860's (California State Library)

Timbuctoo in the early 1860’s (California State Library)

Western Expresses

Latta’s Mountain Express – 1866 to 1867

Robert Wallace Latta ran an express operation from Nevada City to Washington, Alpha, and Omega. He connected with Wells Fargo at Nevada City.

Latta's Mountain Express PAID in their franked envelope from Washington Cal. Feb 4 to Nevada City

By Latta’s Mountain Express PAID in their franked envelope from Washington Cal. Feb 4 to Nevada City; by Wells Fargo & Co. Nevada Feb 4 (1867) to San Francisco. Note – Williams does not show the Washington marking used as a postmark; thus, it is believed to be a Latta’s agent marking, as the only examples reported are on Latta’s covers.

Map of route from Washington Cal. to Nevada City

Western Expresses

Leavenworth City & Pikes Peak Express – Feb, 1859 to Jul, 1859

The Leavenworth City & Pike’s Peak Express Company was formed in Feb, 1859 by William Russell and John Jones. It operated between Denver City and Leavenworth City, Kansas Territory with the inaugural trip arriving in Denver on May 7, 1859 over the Platte Valley route. Amos Streck arrived at Denver City Jul 19, 1859 with the “Jones & Russells Pike’s Peak Express Company” handstamp that saw use thereafter.

Leav'n City & Pikes Peak Express Co. Jul 2 handstamp for delivery to Denver City "Kansas Ty"

By United States Post Office from Farmington Me. June 27 (1859) to Leavenworth City, where the sender’s manuscript routing instructions were honored: Leav’n City & Pikes Peak Express Co. Jul 2 handstamp for delivery to Denver City “Kansas Ty”

Pike's Peak -- The Leavenworth City & Pike's Peak Express Company's Office, Denver City, E. T.

Western Expresses

Leland’s Express – Jul, 1854

George Leland and John McCombe ran an express service from 1853 to Jun 28, 1854 using ships to connect San Francisco to Humboldt Bay and Crescent City. An overland route connecting Santa Clara and San Jose was established from San Francisco. The partnership dissolved on Jun 28, 1854 after which Leland took on a new partner, David McComb, in Aug, 1854. This express operated over the same routes as the former partnership, adding ship service to Southern California. In Oct, 1855 Leland and McComb’s Express dissolved.

Leland's Express San Jose with their fancy eight-pointed star handstamp to San Francisco

By Leland’s Express San Jose with their fancy eight-pointed star handstamp to San Francisco with Collect in diamond. This marking was possibly produced during the short period Leland was on his own, in July 1854 when he was in between partners McCombe and McComb.

San Jose in 1858

San Jose in 1858

Western Expresses

Leland & McCombe’s Express – 1853 to Jun, 1854

Leland & McCombe's Express San Francisco to College Ranch, Trinidad north of San Francisco

By Leland & McCombe’s Express San Francisco to College Ranch, Trinidad north of San Francisco along the coast. One of only three known examples of this marking, two of which are in black ink.

Apr 11, 1854 Leland & McCombe's ad from the Daily Alta California
Jun 23, 1854 Leland & McCombe's ad from the Daily Alta California

The earliest and latest Leland & McCombe’s ads from the Daily Alta California, dated Apr 11, 1854 (left) and Jun 23, 1854 (right); both mention their route from San Francisco to Trinidad.

Western Expresses

Leland & McComb’s Southern Express – Aug, 1854 to Oct, 1855

George Leland and David McComb formed a new partnership in August 1854 connecting San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Pedro, Los Angeles and San Diego by steamers and was termed “Leland & McComb’s Southern Express” to differentiate it from their Crescent City Express between San Francisco, Humboldt Bay and Crescent City. The firm was out of business in October 1855.

Leland & McComb's Southern Express route map from San Francisco to Santa Barbara

Leland & McComb’s Southern Express route

Leland & McComb's Southern Express with PAID; double-rate letter by post office from San Francisco Cal. Dec 1 (1854) to Walden, NY
To San Francisco by Leland & McComb’s Southern Express with PAID; double-rate letter by post office from San Francisco Cal. Dec 1 (1854) to Walden, NY:
  • Red Paid 6 San Francisco post office marking partially beneath adhesive prepaying in cash the first ½ oz. rate for distances >3000 miles
  • The 3¢ 1851 issue adhesive represents partial payment of the rate for the second ½ oz.
  • Marked Due 5 at San Francisco for remaining unpaid postage for the second ½ oz. (rates for distances >3000 miles were 6¢ paid and 10¢ unpaid per ½ oz.; basically, the second ½ oz. was half paid with the 3¢ 1851 adhesive, and 5¢ unpaid)

Western Expresses

Leland & McComb’s Southern Express – Aug, 1854 to Oct, 1855

eland & McCombs Southern Express with their diamond Collect handstamp to San Francisco

By Leland & McCombs Southern Express with their diamond Collect handstamp to San Francisco; postmarked San Francisco Cal. Nov 27 (1854) for delivery to the post office box.

"Leland & McComb's Southern Coast Express" from the Nov 11, 1854 Daily Alta California

The earliest ad for “Leland & McComb’s Southern Coast Express” from the Nov 11, 1854 Daily Alta California

Western Expresses

Leland & McComb’s Southern Express – Aug, 1854 to Oct, 1855

Leland & McComb's Express San Francisco to Columbia, California

By Leland & McComb’s Express San Francisco to Columbia, California. The notation Adv Chgs 25¢ must also denote the unpaid express fee, as 25¢ would have been far too high for advertising the letter vs the normal 1-2¢ fee.

Leland & McComb's Express San Jose with PAID to San Francisco

By Leland & McComb’s Express San Jose with PAID to San Francisco on folded business letter datelined San Jose Nov 2d 1854.

Dateline: San Jose Nov 2d 1854.

Western Expresses

Lewis’s Cherokee Flat Express – (1864) to (1877)

Lewis’s Cherokee Flat Express was a small, possibly one-man, operation that ran between Oroville and the claims in and around the Cherokee diggings, a distance of only about 14 miles. The express connected with Well Fargo at Oroville.

Lewis's Cherokee Flat Exp. Paid from the Cherokee diggings to Oroville.

By Lewis’s Cherokee Flat Exp. Paid from the Cherokee diggings to Oroville.

Gold Camps of the Feather River - Map of diggings from Cherokee Flat to Ophir (Oroville)

Western Expresses Alphabetically