Western Expresses | P

Submitted by: The Red Cloud Collection

Western Expresses | P 2017-11-03T15:23:47+00:00

Western Expresses | P

Western Expresses Alphabetically

Western Expresses

Pacific Express Company – Mar, 1855 to Apr, 1857

Russell G. Noyes and other employees of Adams & Company formed the Pacific Express Company, following Adams’ failure in Feb, 1855, with most of Adams’ offices quickly becoming Pacific Express offices. They continued to try to compete with Wells Fargo, even though they lacked the funds and leadership of their rival. As a result, they failed after about two years, despite the established field locations. Several members of the failed Pacific Express quickly re-formed into Alta Express.

Pacific Express Co. blue shield handstamp (ca1856) to White Sulphur Springs

By Pacific Express with their Forwarded by the Pacific Express Co. blue shield handstamp (ca1856) to White Sulphur Springs. The 3¢ rate for distances less than 3000 miles became effective Apr 1, 1855.

Pacific Express Co. Building

Western Expresses

Pacific Express Company – Mar, 1855 to Apr, 1857

Pacific Express Company Big Oak Flat PAID to San Francisco

By Pacific Express Company Big Oak Flat PAID to San Francisco, with manuscript in sender’s hand Big Oak Flat 10.3.56.

Pacific Express Co Chinese (Camp) to San Francisco

By Pacific Express Co Chinese (Camp) to San Francisco on black printed frank “horse and rider” Pacific Express envelope on first issue Nesbitt entire.

Western Expresses

Pacific Express Company – Mar, 1855 to Apr, 1857

Pacific Express Co. El Dorado with PAID in oval to San Francisco

By Pacific Express Co. El Dorado with PAID in oval to San Francisco on first issue Nesbitt with seal on backflap. The 3¢ rate for distances less than 3000 miles became effective Apr 1, 1855.

Pacific Express Company Grass Valley to San Francisco

By Pacific Express Company Grass Valley to San Francisco. The 3¢ rate for distances less than 3000 miles became effective Apr 1, 1855. The 6¢ Nesbitt government envelope represents 2x the single rate.

Western Expresses

Pacific Express Company – Mar, 1855 to Apr, 1857

Pacific Express Co. Gold Hill May 4 to San Francisco

By Pacific Express Co. Gold Hill May 4 to San Francisco in their paid handstamp franked envelope Pacific Express Co. Placerville Paid that the sender mailed from Gold Hill. One of only two known examples of Pacific Express with a Gold Hill marking.

Map showing location of Gold Hill

Western Expresses

Pacific Express Company – Mar, 1855 to Apr, 1857

Pacific Express Co. Negro Hill PAID to Sacramento

By Pacific Express Co. Negro Hill PAID to Sacramento on first issue Nesbitt government stamped envelope.

Pacific Express Co. Sacramento Sep 26 (ca1855) to Oroville

By Pacific Express Co. Sacramento Sep 26 (ca1855) to Oroville in Pacific’s “horse and rider” printed frank envelope in scarce blue color.

Western Expresses

Pacific Express Company – Mar, 1855 to Apr, 1857

Pacific Express Co. Santa Clara with boxed PAID to San Francisco

By Pacific Express Co. Santa Clara with boxed PAID to San Francisco; transferred within Pacific Express Co. San Francisco Feb 7 to “Colorado Hill Humbug” (one of the mining camps) “near Nevada, Cal”.

Pacific Express Co. Sonora with boxed PAID to Sacramento

By Pacific Express Co. Sonora with boxed PAID to Sacramento on first issue Nesbitt government issued envelope.

Western Expresses

Pacific Express Company – Mar, 1855 to Apr, 1857

Pacific Express PAID from Strawberry Valley Cala to Santa Cruz

By Pacific Express PAID from Strawberry Valley Cala to Santa Cruz. Speculation is that the Strawberry Valley postmark (without date slugs) was likely used by the (former) postmaster as an express agent’s marking.

Pacific Express Volcano Jan 14 (1857) to Sacramento.

PAID Adams & Co., Over our California and Coast Routes with Adams & Co. San Francisco Aug 26 (1854) hand stamp to San Jose. Only known example with the frank printed vertically at left used during Adams period of operation.

Dateline: "Volcano Jan 13th 57"

Western Expresses

Pacific Union Express Company – 1868 to 1869

Pacific Union Express Company was incorporated in California Dec 18, 1867 with stockholders A. K. Grim and Lawrence W. Coe appointed as managers for the express on the West Coast with A. K. Tilton in New York. When service commenced on Jun 1, 1868, it was announced to include express matter and letters by every steamer via Panama and similar service to Hawaii, China and Japan. The company was set up “on the Wells, Fargo plan” to compete with them. Service to Nevada and Arizona was begun in 1869. On Dec 1, 1869 the company discontinued operations and its business transferred to Wells, Fargo.

Pacific Union Ex. Co. Sant. Clara Jan 13 (1869) to San Francisco

By Pacific Union Ex. Co. Sant. Clara Jan 13 (1869) to San Francisco; exchanged with Bamber & Co’s Express S.F. Jan 14 for delivery to Oakland.

Dec 30, 1869 advertisement in the Daily Alta California announcing Pacific Union Express Co.'s closure.

Dec 30, 1869 advertisement in the Daily Alta Californiaannouncing Pacific Union Express Co.’s closure.

Western Expresses

Palmer & Co.’s Express – Mar, 1850 to Dec, 1851

Palmer & Co’s Express was founded by Cyrus S. Palmer in New York on Mar 7, 1850. The express operated between coasts and briefly advertised offices in Sacramento and Marysville. The last mention found appears in the New York Weekly Herald of Dec 6, 1851 thanking the company for papers received.

Palmer & Cos Express Nov 12, 1850 from San Francisco to New York
By Palmer & Cos Express Nov 12, 1850 from San Francisco to New York, endorsed to be carried by a friend on the George Law’s Pacific Line steamer Antelope (first return voyage); instead, carried by Palmer’s agent:
  • PSMC steamer Tennessee, depart San Francisco Nov 15, 1850, arrive Panama City Dec 1, 1850
  • Nine days across the isthmus of Panama to Chagres
  • USMSC steamer Pacific, depart Chagres Dec 10, 1850, arrive Havana Dec 15, 1850
  • USMSC steamer Ohio, depart Havana Dec 18, 1850, arrive NY Jan 5, 1851
Dateline: San Francisco Nov 12, 1850
…I wish you never so entrust letters to individuals as their heads are so full of excitement upon arriving in California they seem to forget everything. It is different sending letters to the States. The most certain means of conveyance are the Post Office and Expresses…Mr. Harry B. McIlvain…The Steamer by which he goes, the Antelope leaves this afternoon at 3 o’clock…The Cholera has raged to no alarming extent and is now fast disappearing…you will be surprised to hear of the intended departure of William P. Harden for home. He will leave here some time next week in the vessel assigned to him for passage to Panama then across the isthmus home…Thos. Whaley

Western Expresses

Palmer & Co.’s Express – Mar, 1850 to Dec, 1851

Palmer & Co.'s Express route from San Francisco to San Jose by steamer and land.

circa Feb, 1851 by Palmer & Cos Express with their FREE handstamp from San Francisco to Governor McDougal in San Jose. John McDougal was governor of California from Jan 9, 1851 to Jan 8, 1852, during which time the state capital was at San Jose. Palmer briefly operated a route between San Francisco and San Jose by steamboat and overland.

Palmer & Co.'s Express route from San Francisco to San Jose by steamer and land.

Palmer & Co.’s Express route from San Francisco to San Jose by steamer and land.

Western Expresses

Pauly & Nohrman’s Express – 1864 to 1868

Nicholas O. Pauly and G. H. Nohrman combined their businesses to form an express operation that served the mining camps along Gibsonville Ridge. They are thought to have connected with Pacific Express Company.

PAID Pauly & Nohrman's Express from an undisclosed location in the Gibsonville Ridge area to Port Wine

PAID Pauly & Nohrman’s Express from an undisclosed location in the Gibsonville Ridge area to Port Wine. One of only about three known covers from this express.

PAID Pauly & Nohrman's Express from the Gibsonville Ridge to Gibsonville

PAID Adams & Co., Over our California and Coast Routes with Adams & Co. San Francisco Aug 26 (1854) hand stamp to San Jose. Only known example with the frank printed vertically at left used during Adams period of operation.

Sutter, Yuba, Sierra, Nevada, Placer and El Dorado Counties map

Western Expresses

N. O. Pauly’s Express – 1868

Nicholas O. Pauly and G. H. Norman (Nohrman) formed Pauly & Nohrman’s Express in 1864 to serve the mining camps along Gibsonville Ridge. They are thought to have connected with Pacific Express Company. In 1868, they parted ways with Pauly continuing along the same route under his name for a short time.

N. O. Pauly’s Express PAID from an undisclosed location in the Gibsonville Ridge area to Taylorville

By N. O. Pauly’s Express PAID from an undisclosed location in the Gibsonville Ridge area to Taylorville. The only reported example of this type printed frank, and one of only about four known N. O. Pauly cover of any kind.

Map location of Taylorville

Western Expresses

R. Penman’s Express – 1869 to 1882

Penman’s Express operated from Truckee to Jamison, Mohawk, and Eureka Mills in Plumas County. It was one of hundreds of “feeder” expresses that functioned throughout the Mother Lode in the northern Sierra Nevada. Penman connected with Wells, Fargo and Company at Truckee. Penman advertised his express and stage line in the Quincy “National” from 1869 to 1872 and in the Truckee “Republican” in the 1870’s.

R. Penman's Express Truckee, Jamison, Mohawk, & Eureka Mills from Randolph to Truckee

By R. Penman’s Express Truckee, Jamison, Mohawk, & Eureka Mills from Randolph to Truckee; exchanged with Wells, Fargo & Co. Truckee Nov 18 to Red Bluffs. Enclosed letter datelined Truckee, Sierra County Nov 17, 1874.

Dateline: Truckee, Sierra County Nov 17, 1874.
…Please find inclosed check for Sixty dollars & seventy five cents 60.75. I will try and send you the Bal in thirty days Money is very tight All most impossible to collect one dollar …Yours truly, E. Gates

Western Expresses

Pescadero & Half Moon Bay Stage Co.’s Express – 1865 to 1866

This short-lived express operated from San Francisco to the Half Moon Bay area and south to Pescadero, CA. They also acted as a forwarder of express material for Wells Fargo.

Pescadero and Half Moon Bay Stage Co.'s Express (likely from San Francisco) to San Mateo

By Pescadero and Half Moon Bay Stage Co.’s Express (likely from San Francisco) to San Mateo. One of only about ten known examples from this express and the only one not addressed to San Francisco.

Aug 12, 1865 advertisement from the San Francisco Daily Alta California.

Aug 12, 1865 advertisement from the San Francisco Daily Alta California.

Western Expresses

Peterson’s Lower California Express – Mar, 1863 to Jul, 1863

Using coastal steamers, Charles M. Peterson ran an express service between San Francisco and La Paz, Mexico. He established an office in Henry Payot’s Book Store in San Francisco. Peterson may also have operated a pony/mule service between the cities of Cape San Lucas and La Paz in Mexico.

Peterson's Lower California Express from (Cape) San Lucas Baja California (Mexico) to San Francisco with Free notation

By Peterson’s Lower California Express from (Cape) San Lucas Baja California (Mexico) to San Francisco with Free notation. Docketed Cape St. Lucas Apr 11, 1863 at left. The handstamp Estafeta de Baja California translates as “Express of Lower California.” One of only two known Peterson’s label covers.

Lower California Map

Western Expresses

Phillip’s Express – 1860 to 1861

Phillips Express operated from Nevada City to the Dutch Flat, Alpha and Washington area. Some records indicate that there was a Phillips operating as an expressman in the Nevada City area as early as 1856.

Pr Phillips Express manuscript to Nevada, California

Pr Phillips Express manuscript to Nevada, California. Docket at right notes “Letter dated March 21, Rec’d March 23/60.” One of only three known examples from this express, two of which are manuscripts. The area served by Phillip’s Express is shown on the map below.

The area served by Phillip's Express is shown map

Western Expresses

Pioneer Express – 1853 to Late 1850’s

Little is known about the Pioneer Express. It is believed to have operated from Georgetown in El Dorado County to the mining camps along the Middle Fork of the American River.

Pioneer Express Due 2/8 to Georgetown, El Dorado County, California

By Pioneer Express Due 2/8 to Georgetown, El Dorado County, California. Notation on back indicates that this cover was sacrificed to obtain the 10¢ adhesive (Type IV, position 55L1) it once held! Apparently mailed from some post office in the eastern US to Georgetown, with carriage from there to the addressee by the Pioneer Express. Prepayment of 10¢ postage for letters to/from the Pacific Coast became effective Apr 1, 1855.

Map of American and Feather Rivers

Western Expresses

Pony Express – Apr 3, 1860 to Oct 26, 1861
Second Rate Period – Westbound

California Pony Express New York Dec 15 (1860)

From New York to St. Joseph via regular U.S. mail with California Pony Express New York Dec 15 (1860); then by The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company St. Joseph, Mo. Dec 20 Pony Express from St. Joseph to Sacramento by pony; by post office Sacramento City, Cal Jan 4, 1861 to Vallejo. The Pony Express rate was $2.50 per quarter ounce from Aug 14, 1860 to Apr 14, 1861 (second rate period). (Ex-FDR, Haub)

Map of route from San Francisco to St. Joseph

Western Expresses

Pony Express – Apr 3, 1860 to Oct 26, 1861
Fourth Rate Period – Westbound

Pony Express Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company St. Joseph Mo. Sep 12 in franked envelope

By U.S. post office New York Sep 4 (1861) to St. Joseph, Mo.; by Pony Express Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company St. Joseph Mo. Sep 12 in franked envelope with ½ Ounce PAID from St. Joseph to Placerville per Pony Express and Agent of Pony Express St. Joseph, Mo to Virginia City, Nevada Territory. The sender would have paid $1.20 for this envelope (20¢ for government franked envelope plus $1.00 pony fee). The Pony Express rate was $1.00 per half ounce from Jul 1, 1861 to Oct 31, 1861 (fourth rate period).

San Francisco Evening Bulletin ad of Jun 26, 1861

San Francisco Evening Bulletin ad of Jun 26, 1861 which reads, in part: “Connecting with the Overland Mail Company’s Pony Express at Placerville. Letters must be enclosed in our twenty cent government franked envelopes and charges from Placerville prepaid at the rate of one dollar for each half ounce, or any fraction thereof. All letters not enclosed as above will be charged at the rate of 25 cents each.”

Western Expresses

Prindle’s Express – 1860 to 1867

Charles W. Prindle started in the express business as an agent for Crooks Express. Prindle purchased Crooks operation in 1860 and began operating over the same general area from a base at Yreka, providing service to the mines in the mountains west of Yreka and along the Klamath and Scott Rivers. Both Jacobs and Meamber have been referenced as partners for short periods of time. Prindle’s Express may have connected with Wells Fargo at Yreka.

Prindle's Express from Yreka to Scott & Klamath Rivers into Yreka

Prindle’s Express from Yreka to Scott & Klamath Rivers into Yreka; Rec’d July 19, 1861 docketing. Advertisement below from the Yreka Weekly Union of May 5, 1860.

Advertisement from the Yreka Weekly Union of May 5, 1860.

Western Expresses

Prindle’s Express – 1860 to 1867

Prindle's Express to Scott & Klamath Rivers into Yreka

Three-line printed frank of Prindle’s Express to Scott & Klamath Rivers into Yreka; Rec’d Mch 19/67 docketing.

Early sketch of Yreka

Early sketch of Yreka

Western Expresses Alphabetically