///Western Express Usages of Ten Cent Stamps And Entires
Western Express Usages of Ten Cent Stamps And Entires 2017-06-21T20:03:00+00:00

Western Express Usages of
Ten Cent Stamps And Entires

Submitted by: Michael Perlman

The private express companies operating on the West coast were the pioneers in the rapid transport of mails in the period before the completion of the trans-continental rail road in 1869. This exhibit is limited to private mail usages of the ten cent stamps and ten cent postal entires between 1855 and 1862. The usage of ten cent stamps and entires was very limited because the domestic postal rates in effect only required ten cent rates for letters sent over 3,000 miles and for some foreign rates. Private mails were required to be enclosed in government stamped entires.

This exhibit is organized into three main categories of express usages that entailed the use of ten cent rate as listed below. Included are four rare examples used to foreign destinations and six examples that were carried entirely outside of the mails. The local post to the mails usage shown below is not strictly an express usage, but was carried privately.

  1. The Trans-Continental Expresses. This group of expresses carried mail in closed bags from California to the East using steamers from San Francisco, via Panama, to New York.
  2. The California Expresses. This group operated between the mining areas of California and the nearest post office. Some operated in conjunction with Wells Fargo to provide Trans-Continental service privately.
  3. The Pony Express. This express was operated by Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company as a private operation before becoming a contract mail service of Wells Fargo in 1861.
San Francisco City Letter Express - A local post usage to the mails of San Francisco.

San Francisco City Letter Express – A local post usage to the mails of San Francisco.

Trans-Continental Expresses
Wells Fargo & Co.

Wells Fargo & Co. was the leading Express operator in the period. In addition to their large service area in the West, they operated by steamer and overland coach to the East.

Wells Fargo illustrated cover of San Francisco office, from their agent in San Francisco to New York City. Delivered in New York with Mc Intire's Post 2 Maiden Lane handstamp and

Wells Fargo illustrated cover of San Francisco office, from their agent in San Francisco to New York City. Delivered in New York with Mc Intire’s Post 2 Maiden Lane handstamp and “Collect”. Handled entirely outside the mails.

Wells Fargo red franked from Yankee Jims. Entered the mails in New York City with steamship postmark for New Lisbon, New York.

Wells Fargo red franked from Yankee Jims. Entered the mails in New York City with steamship postmark for New Lisbon, New York.

Wells Fargo red franked entire used from Sacramento. Entered the mails in New York City as short paid cover to Germany.

Wells Fargo red franked entire used from Sacramento. Entered the mails in New York City as short paid cover to Germany.

Wells Fargo red franked envelope with two adhesives (type I and type II) from San Francisco. Provisional use of stamps when their stock of entires was depleted. Delivered directly by Wells Fargo in New York City with their

Wells Fargo red franked envelope with two adhesives (type I and type II) from San Francisco. Provisional use of stamps when their stock of entires was depleted. Delivered directly by Wells Fargo in New York City with their “COLLECT” handstamp. Handled entirely outside of the mails.

Trans-Continental Express, Conjunctive Usages With Wells, Fargo & Co.
Salmon River & Nez Perces Express / F.W. Blake’s Express

The Salmon River & Nez Perces Express operated to the Salmon River and Nez Perces mines in Idaho in 1861 and 1862. They connected at Walla Walla, Washington Territory with Wells Fargo & Co.

Salmon River & Nez Perces Express 75c franked entire from the mines to Walla Walla, Washington Territory. By Wells Fargo & Co. to New York City where it entered mails for Hyannis and forwarded to Nantucket.

Salmon River & Nez Perces Express 75c franked entire from the mines to Walla Walla, Washington Territory. By Wells Fargo & Co. to New York City where it entered mails for Hyannis and forwarded to Nantucket.

F.W. Blake’s Express operated between Shasta and Weaverville until early 1856. He connected with Wells Fargo at Sacramento and Shasta.

By F.W. Blake & Cos Express Weaverville from the mines connecting with Wells Fargo. By Wells Fargo San Francisco to New York City where it entered mails to Connecticut.

By F.W. Blake & Cos Express Weaverville from the mines connecting with Wells Fargo. By Wells Fargo San Francisco to New York City where it entered mails to Connecticut.

Trans-Continental Expresses
G. H. Wines & Co’s Express

Wines Express operated between San Francisco and the mines as well as to Oregon, Mexico and the Atlantic States between 1855 and 1857.

Rhodes & Whitney's Express from Weaverville to San Francisco. By Wines Express from San Francisco to New York City where it entered the mails to Philadelphia.

Rhodes & Whitney’s Express from Weaverville to San Francisco. By Wines Express from San Francisco to New York City where it entered the mails to Philadelphia.

San Francisco to Manzanillo, Mexico by Wines Express. One of the most ornate of the printed franks. Handled entirely outside of the mails to a foreign destination.

San Francisco to Manzanillo, Mexico by Wines Express. One of the most ornate of the printed franks. Handled entirely outside of the mails to a foreign destination.

Trans-Continental Expresses
Pacific Express Co.

Pacific Express Co. was formed when Adams Express collapsed in 1855. It was a leading express service until 1857 operating by steamer to the East.

Carried by Pacific Express from California with New York Office handstamp. Handled entirely outside of the mails.

Carried by Pacific Express from California with New York Office handstamp. Handled entirely outside of the mails.

Pacific Express franked 10c entire from California to Walton, New York. Placed in the mails in New York City by Pacific Express.

Pacific Express franked 10c entire from California to Walton, New York. Placed in the mails in New York City by Pacific Express.

Pacific Express Los Angeles to New York City. Delivered in New York City by Metropolitan Express with their

Pacific Express Los Angeles to New York City. Delivered in New York City by Metropolitan Express with their “collect” handstamp. Handled entirely outside of the mails.

By Pacific Express San Francisco to New York City. Placed in the mails in New York City by Pacific Express for Marshall, Michigan

By Pacific Express San Francisco to New York City. Placed in the mails in New York City by Pacific Express for Marshall, Michigan

Trans-Continental Expresses
Freeman & Co’s Express

Freeman & Co’s Express came to prominence after the collapse of Adams Express in 1855. They eventually sold out to Wells Fargo in 1859.

Freeman & Co's Express San Francisco to New York City Delivered in New York City by Boyd's City Express Post with their date stamp. Handled entirely outside of the mails.

Freeman & Co’s Express San Francisco to New York City Delivered in New York City by Boyd’s City Express Post with their date stamp. Handled entirely outside of the mails.

Freeman & Co's Express green franked entire to New York City. Placed in the mails in New York City by Freeman & Co's Express.

Freeman & Co’s Express green franked entire to New York City. Placed in the mails in New York City by Freeman & Co’s Express.

California Expresses
Whiting & Co’s Feather River Express

Whiting & Co’s Feather River Express operated to and from the mines in Plumas and Butte Counties from 1857. Quincy, California was their primary postal connecting point.

Whiting & Co's Feather River Express franked entire from the mines. Entered the mails at Meadow Falls for Massachusetts.

Whiting & Co’s Feather River Express franked entire from the mines. Entered the mails at Meadow Falls for Massachusetts.

Whiting & Co's Feather River Express franked entire, plus supplemental franking, to France. Entered the mails at Quincy, California to New York and France.

Whiting & Co’s Feather River Express franked entire, plus supplemental franking, to France. Entered the mails at Quincy, California to New York and France.

California Expresses
Langton’s Pioneer Express

Langton’s Pioneer Express was formed in 1855 and served areas of California and Nevada until Langton’s death in 1864.

Whiting & Co's Feather River Express franked entire, plus supplemental franking, to France. Entered the mails at Quincy, California to New York and France.

Langton’s Express franked entire from the mines to the Marysville post office. Entered mails for Sheffield, Illinois with “Marysville Paid By Stamps” postmark.

Langton's Express franked entire from Downieville, given to railway route agent. Overland to Atchison, Kansas where it entered the mails to New York, forwarded to Connecticut.

Langton’s Express franked entire from Downieville, given to railway route agent. Overland to Atchison, Kansas where it entered the mails to New York, forwarded to Connecticut.

California Expresses
Copley & Co’s Miners’ Express / Francis & Co. Express

Copley & Co’s Miners’ Express operated from the Feather River mining camps to Gibsonville and Marysville in 1855 and 1856.

Copley & Co's Miners Express handstamp on entire from the mines of Gibsonville, California. Entered mails at Gibsonville for Notingham, Indiana.

Copley & Co’s Miners Express handstamp on entire from the mines of Gibsonville, California. Entered mails at Gibsonville for Notingham, Indiana.

Francis & Co. Express operated from the Feather River mining camps in the Gibsonville range. The express operated from 1859 until 1864.

Francis & Co. Express franked entire from the mines to Gibsonville, California. Entered mails at Gibsonville for Berlin, Massachusetts.

Francis & Co. Express franked entire from the mines to Gibsonville, California. Entered mails at Gibsonville for Berlin, Massachusetts.

California Expresses
Everts Wilson & Co. Daily Express

Everts Wilson & Co. Daily Express operated from the end of 1856 until 1862. They connected with the post office at Strawberry Valley.

Everts Wilson & Co. Express franked entire with additional franking from the mines. Entered mails at Strawberry Valley, California to Meissen, Germany.

Everts Wilson & Co. Express franked entire with additional franking from the mines. Entered mails at Strawberry Valley, California to Meissen, Germany.

Everts Wilson & Co. Express franked entire from the mines. Entered mails at Strwberry Valley, California for Berlin, Massachusetts.

Everts Wilson & Co. Express franked entire from the mines. Entered mails at Strawberry Valley, California for Berlin, Massachusetts.

California Expresses
Pioneer Express / Swift & Co. Express

The Pioneer Express served the mines on the middle fork of the American River with Georgetown as their primary mail connection.

Philadelphia by mails to Georgetown, California from the post office to the mines by Pioneer Express.

Philadelphia by mails to Georgetown, California from the post office to the mines by Pioneer Express.

Swift & Co. Express operated between San Francisco and Petaluma from 1854 to 1859. They connected with Wells Fargo at Petaluma.

Swift & Co. Express Geyersville franked 3c entire, plus supplemental franking, to Petaluma. Conjunctive usage with Wells Fargo Petaluma to New York City where it entered mails to Washington.

Swift & Co. Express Geyersville franked 3c entire, plus supplemental franking, to Petaluma. Conjunctive usage with Wells Fargo Petaluma to New York City where it entered mails to Washington.

Pony Express
Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express

The Pony Express was started by the Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express on April 3, 1860. They controlled operations until April 16, 1861.

6 March 1860 San Francisco to New York City by Pony Express, $2.50 per quarter ounce rate. Dated blue running pony and undated blue COCPP oval handstamps, entered mails at St. Joseph.

6 March 1860 San Francisco to New York City by Pony Express, $2.50 per quarter ounce rate. Dated blue running pony and undated blue COCPP oval handstamps, entered mails at St. Joseph.

20 March 1860 San Francisco to New York City by Pony Express, $2.50 per quarter ounce rate. Dated red running pony and dated red COCPP oval handstamps, entered mails at St. Joseph.

20 March 1860 San Francisco to New York City by Pony Express, $2.50 per quarter ounce rate. Dated red running pony and dated red COCPP oval handstamps, entered mails at St. Joseph.

Pony Express
Wells Fargo & Co. Control

Wells Fargo & Co. took over control of the Pony Express on April 17, 1861 and issued stamps. The route was partially subsidized by the government until July 1, 1861 when it became a government mail contract route.

2 May 1861 Placerville by Pony Express, $2.00 per half ounce rate. $2 Pony Express adhesive plus red franked entire, entered mails at St. Joseph to Tuscola, Illinois.

2 May 1861 Placerville by Pony Express, $2.00 per half ounce rate. $2 Pony Express adhesive plus red franked entire, entered mails at St. Joseph to Tuscola, Illinois.

22 May 1861 San Francisco by Pony Express, $2.00 per half ounce rate. $2 Pony Express adhesive plus Wells Fargo oval

22 May 1861 San Francisco by Pony Express, $2.00 per half ounce rate. $2 Pony Express adhesive plus Wells Fargo oval “Paid” handstamp, entered mails at St. Joseph to Boston.

Pony Express
Postal Route, Operated By Wells Fargo & Co.

Pony Express May 22 San Francisco Hand Stamp

On July 1, 1861 the Pony Express route became a government contract mail route. However only the portion of the route between Placerville and the East was contract. Wells Fargo collected their fee on mail from points West of Placerville.

11 September 1861 San Francisco by Pony Express, $1.00 per half ounce rate. $1 Pony Express adhesive plus red franked entire, entered mails at Atchison, Kansas to New York City

11 September 1861 San Francisco by Pony Express, $1.00 per half ounce rate. $1 Pony Express adhesive plus red franked entire, entered mails at Atchison, Kansas to New York City