Western Expresses | L

Submitted by: The Red Cloud Collection

Western Expresses | L 2021-06-20T03:14:43+00:00

Western Expresses | L

Western Expresses Alphabetically

Western Expresses

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

Downieville banker Peter A. Lamping purchased Langton’s Express Nov 21, 1865. Headquartered in Downieville, Lamping maintained offices in the mountainous regions of Sierra County, expanding to Yuba and Nevada Counties. Lamping’s express matter was usually carried from Downieville to Marysville, where it was exchanged with Wells, Fargo & Co. However, this arrangement only lasted a short time. Wells, Fargo & Co. opened their own office in Downieville Aug 8, 1866 and terminated their agreement with Lamping. With no other connecting express available, Lamping sold his Downieville to Marysville route to Wells, Fargo & Co., with the announcement appearing Aug 25, 1866. Lamping attempted to continue his other routes, but his final ad appeared Sep 8, 1866, marking the end after only nine months in operation.

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.

Downieville Mountain Messenger Notice Nov 25 1865

Nov 25, 1865 Downieville Mountain Messenger

Lamping & Co.'s Express Advocate Ad

Last ad Sep 8, 1866 Downieville Sierra Advocate

Western Expresses

Langton’s Express – Mar, 1851 to Sep, 1852

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 & Bro’s Express – Sep, 1852 to Feb 16, 1855

Samuel W. Langton operated as an express man, either alone or in various partnerships from 1850 until 1864. The express business continued after his death Aug 24, 1864, finally being sold to Lamping Nov 21, 1865. He formed Langton & Brother’s Express in partnership with his brother, Alexander T. Langton. Langton & Bro’s Express was sold to Adams & Co. Feb 16, 1855, just a week before their failure.

Langton & Bro's Express Nevada (City) to "New Orleans Flat, Alta Cal."

By post office Rocky Hill, Ky 20th July (1854) Nevada City; Forwarded by Langton & Bro’s Express Nevada (City) to “New Orleans Flat, Alta Cal.” Two 3¢ 1851 issue adhesives prepaying the 6¢ rate in effect for distances >3000 miles.

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 Pioneer Express – Feb 23, 1855 to Nov 21, 1865

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’s Pioneer Express – Feb 23, 1855 to Nov 21, 1865

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 a week later. He took back the company and formed “Langton’s Pioneer Express,” at first connecting with the newly formed Pacific Express at Marysville. Langton later gave up the route between Marysville and San Francisco, agreeing to connect with Wells, Fargo & Co. at Marysville and Nevada City. Langton’s Pioneer Express was ultimately sold to Lamping & Co. Nov 21, 1865.

Langton's Pioneer Express Downieville to Marysville

By Langton’s Pioneer Express Downieville to Marysville; exchanged with Wells Fargo & Co Marysville May 25 to Sacramento.

Early sketch of Downieville.

Western Expresses

Langton’s Pioneer Express – Feb 23, 1855 to Nov 21, 1865

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.
Lagnton Pioneer Express Daily to and from Press

Nov 20, 1858 North San Juan Hydraulic Press

Western Expresses

Langton’s Pioneer Express – Feb 23, 1855 to Nov 21, 1865

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 – Feb, 1866 to Apr, 1872

Robert Wallace Latta was the proprietor of Latta’s Mountain Express. He initially owned and operated a stage line which ran from Nevada City to the mining towns of Washington, Alpha, and Omega. In Feb, 1866 he purchased Joseph English’s express which ran to the same locales. He connected with Wells, Fargo & Co. and Pacific Union at Nevada City. Latta sold his “stage and express line” to Thomas Marker in Apr, 1872, whom had been running in opposition to him over the same route “for many years.”

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.

Nevada City Daily Transcript June 03 1869

First ad for Latta’s Mountain Express, June 3, 1869 Nevada City Daily Transcript

Western Expresses

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

George Leland and John McCombe ran an express service from Dec, 1853 to Jun 28, 1854 using ships to connect San Francisco to Humboldt Bay and Crescent City. They connected with Wells, Fargo & Co. in San Francisco. An overland route connecting Santa Clara and San Jose was added from San Francisco in Apr, 1854. 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. Leland and McComb’s Express suspension in Oct, 1855 coincided with Wells, Fargo & Co.’s establishment of an office in Crescent City. George H. Leland operated as sole proprietor for a very short time following.

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 Crescent City Express – Aug, 1854 to Oct, 1855

Leland & McCombs Express Not Paid

By Leland & McCombs Express Humboldt Bay with Not Paid handstamp to San Francisco; mansucript “Leland & McComb Collect” at left and pencil notation “Mr. G. Aldrich Letter Aug 24/54”. This handstamp very likely read “McCombe” with an “e” which was excised when McComb (no “e”) took the former’s place.

Leland & McCombs Crescent City Express Advertisement

Advertisement for “Leland & McComb’s Crescent City Express” from the Aug 24, 1854 Daily Alta California

Western Expresses

Leland & McComb’s 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

Leland’s San Jose Express – Oct, 1855

Leland and McComb’s Express suspension in Oct, 1855 coincided with Wells, Fargo & Co.’s establishment of an office in Crescent City. George H. Leland operated as sole proprietor for a very short time following.

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 Oct, 1855 after the suspension of Leland & McComb’s Express.

San Jose Express Bulletin

Leland’s San Jose Express ad run from Oct 12, 1855 to Oct 24, 1855 in the San Francisco Bulletin

Western Expresses

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

John L. Lewis was the proprietor of Lewis’s Cherokee Flat Express, the apparent successor to the Cherokee Express. His primary route was from Oroville to the mining town of Cherokee, a distance of only about 12 miles. He ran his express in conjunction with his stage line over the route. No ads or other references mention his express operation, only staging. The express connected with Wells, Fargo & Co. at Oroville, based on one of the two known covers.

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.

Lewis Stage Line Ad

First ad for Lewis’ Stage, May 21, 1864 Oroville Weekly Union Record. Ad continued through Jul 23, 1864

Western Expresses Alphabetically