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Jones, Russell & Co.’s express to the gold mines will leave every day when coaches are full of passengers. No coach will leave, except on Tuesdays, unless there are six passengers. One, two or three coaches will start every day, if there are passengers enough to justify. Fare $125, including 20 lbs. baggage. Extra baggage will be charged express rates. John S. Jones, Supt.
On Monday morning last (note: June 6) Mr. Williams of the Express arrived here with one of the company’s coaches, in six days and twenty-three hours4 from Leavenworth City. This we consider making pretty good time, bringing us mail from the eastern cities in twelve days, and telegraphic dispatches in Leavenworth papers in seven days.
Mr. Williams informs us that he has made an entire change in the location of the mail route. The company having purchased the stock and route of the Salt Lake and California mail, will now move their whole force to the Platte route by way of Fort Kearney to the South Platte crossing, from whence one line will continue up the North Platte to Laramie and the South Pass, the other diverging, following the South Platte to this place – Mr. W. gave the necessary orders for the removal of all stations to the Platte as he came up…This is only another proof of the superiority of the Great Platte route over others bending across the plains.
Dear Sirs, – In your last paper you give the reason, as you suppose, why Jones & Russell moved their stock from the new road recently laid out by myself and others from this place to Leavenworth City, to the Platte River Route. You are mistaken in your supposition.
We purchased, after the trains started from Leavenworth, the Salt Lake Mail contract, and designed carrying it over the new road, but could not get the sanction of the Department, and to run the Mail on the Platte and the Express over the new road would be too expensive, we determined to move to the Platte route for the present, but in due time the new road will be the main road to this place…We will leave here with our coaches once each week, carrying the U.S. Mail, also all passengers. Hoping this will find a place in your columns, I remain yours very respectfully, B.D. Williams, Agent, Jones & Russell’s P.P. Exp. Co.
Beverly D. Williams, L&PP Manager, 1822-1907
- Born in Memphis, Tennessee
- Deputy sheriff in Kentucky, 1842-50
- Pork packing business in Louisville, 1853-56
- General manager of L&PP, 1859
- Territorial representative to Congress, 1860-61
- Captain in Union army, 1862-65
Dear Sirs: – I am aware that some prejudice is entertained by the citizens of the cities of Auraria and Denver and also the Mountains, against the Express Company of which I am agent at this place…When the Company first commenced running their stages the Postmaster at Leavenworth City was notified to deliver all mail matter for Pike’s Peak, Cherry Creek, and the gold mines of Kansas and Nebraska, to Jones and Russell’s Express Company, as long as they would carry it free of expense to the Government. The Postmaster at Leavenworth City obeyed the order of his superior. The Express Co. receiving no pay from the Government for carrying letters and papers as express matter, who will say that twenty five cents for a letter is unreasonable. It was afterwards in contemplation to transport the mail as a regular U.S. Mail and one of the Company’s agents acting under the impression and belief that arrangements to that effect had been made, announced to the citizens here, and in the mountains, that all mails which would thereafter arrive, would come as U.S. Mail. Under the same impression myself three mails were sent East by me, the letters bearing the three cent stamp only.
The arrangement to carry the mail was not perfected, and the Company, in justice to themselves, were compelled to charge the twenty five cents per letter still…I will close this communication by saying that no U.S. Mail has ever arrived at this office.
Denver City, July 9, 1859.
Editor of the Times: Through your columns we wish to make favorable mention of the Express Company of Messrs. Jones & Russell. We left Leavenworth on Saturday morning (note: July 2) at 10, A.M., 2d inst., and were landed here this morning at 7, A.M., making the entire trip in six days and twenty-one hours. The appointments of the route far exceeded our expectations, and when every arrangement that they have now under way is completed, there will be thrown open to the public one of the best, if not the best, stage routes in the world. The stations will be from twenty to thirty miles apart…The coach on which we came was the first one on the Platte Route, and consequently was subject to more than ordinary delay. By a computation of our own, we are able to say that twenty-eight hours were lost at the different stations in getting up the mules and arranging for the travel which is ready to go on to the line.
Mail Notice – Please inform your readers that I have made arrangements with Mr. Willis, one of the employees of the United States Express Company, to carry the mail from Auraria to the Missouri River, the contract to commence on Monday next (note: July 11), and continue to depart every Monday morning until further notice. Therefore 3 cent postage will convey the letters to the States, and the same back as soon as the agent gets through.
The Mails – We learn from Mr. Allen, the postmaster, that Mr. Willis has failed to carry out the contract taken by him to carry the U.S. mail from this office to Fort Kearney…Mr. Allen has now entered into a contract with the Express Company by which mails will be transported three times a week each way between Auraria and Fort Kearney in U.S. mail bags, which will be opened only by the postmasters at either end of the line. The charge will be twenty five cents for each letter and ten cents for each paper in addition to the U.S. postage – that being the compensation allowed the Express Co.
We can now rely upon having mails carried with promptness and dispatch, and the compensation is as little as any responsible company or individual will undertake to transport it for.
Since government has failed to extend to us privileges and advantages of postal facilities, we are certainly fortunate in being able to secure tri-weekly service even at the cost of twenty-five cents per letter, in the hands of so prompt a company as Jones Russell & Co. The mail will leave hereafter, until further notice, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of each week at 6 ½ o’clock a.m.
The Express Company also carry letters and papers to and from their office in Denver, at the same rates as formerly, they paying the U.S. postage.
From and after Monday, August 22nd, Jones Russell & Co.’s Express Stage Coaches will leave
Denver City for Leavenworth City, on Thursdays…6 ½ o’clock A M
Arrive at Leavenworth Thursdays…6 ½ o’clock A M
Returning, leave Leavenworth Tuesdays…6 ½ o’clock A M
Each stage coach is capable of carrying eight passengers with comfort and ease. Passage through to
Leavenworth $100, board included.
All articles expressed through to the States are forwarded immediately to their place of destination
The express brings in and takes out about five thousand letters per week, for which the writers and recipients are compelled to pay twenty-five cents each, in addition to the Government postage. The recent “letting” of the mail contract to this place is believed to be merely a nominal affair, it is expected that the Pike’s Peak Express Company will control it, and compel us to submit to this heavy tax through the season.
First United States Mail. The Express coach which arrived here on Friday evening last, brought in two mail bags sealed with government locks, which were promptly passed over to Postmaster McClure at his new office on Larimer street. Whether the bags came through accidentally, or in accordance with an agreement made with the Express Company, we are unable to learn; the agents here having received no explanation from the east on the subject…How the numerous miners and business men in the mountains are to get their mail matter now, we are not advised. Messrs. Hinckley & Co., who have a list of some twenty thousand names to whom they are authorized to forward letters in the Mountain region, were unable to get such letters from the Postmaster.
The Monday evening coach brought sixteen bags of U.S. Mail, which was duly deposited at the Post Office…We hope there is now a prospect of a regular weekly mail and that it will soon be increased to a more frequent service. The contractors for all the branch lines from this city, are on the ground and have commenced service in accordance with the letting.
The Denver office becomes the distributing office for all this region, and ere long will be the scene of immense business.
We had the pleasure of a call this morning from Mr. Hooker, of the Western Stage Company, who arrived a day or two ago. He has just passed over the route from Omaha to this city; making preparations to stock the road for a weekly line of coaches. He informs us that his company has secured the mail contract from Ft. Kearney to this city, and not from Julesburg alone, as has been reported. The stock for the route is being placed on the road as rapidly as possible; the coaches are ready, and the first mail up is on the way and should arrive this evening or tomorrow morning…The first mail down will leave this city tomorrow morning. The time through to Omaha this winter, will be about five and a half days, to be reduced to five or less, the coming summer.
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