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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


The Mail


    The contract to carry the mails between Jacksonville to Yreka, has been given to the California Stage Company, and hereafter the service will be tri-weekly by favor of the company.
Daily National Democrat, Marysville, California, March 8, 1860, page 3


    SHASTA AND YREKA ROAD.--The road over Scotts Mountain will be completed and stages running by the 15th Sept. Mr. Haworth has gone north for the purpose of stocking the road between Jacksonville and Portland, Oregon. That done, and daily stages will traverse the route between Sacramento and the Columbia River. The line will be an important one to the people of Oregon, furnishing them with a daily instead of semi-monthly mail, as at present.
"The State," Hydraulic Press, North San Juan, California, August 11, 1860, page 2


    SACRAMENTO AND PORTLAND DAILY MAIL.--The California Stage company have already started with the required number of horses, wagons, drivers, hostlers and blacksmiths, for Jacksonville, for the purpose of putting the line in running order from that point to Portland.
    It is believed that, by the first of October, the California Stage Company will be carrying a daily mail between Sacramento and Portland. This will then be the longest stage route in the United States, with the exception of the overland stage route.
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, August 11, 1860, page 2


    THE OREGON STAGE LINE.--Since Mr. Haworth, President of the California Stage Company, first learned that he had been awarded the contract for carrying a daily mail from Sacramento to Portland, Oregon, he has been energetically preparing to stock the road for a line of daily stages. He has just returned from San Francisco, where he has been purchasing coaches, harness, &c., for the upper end of the route, which were sent by steamer to Portland. Thirteen four-horse coaches have been started from this city within two days past, with sufficient stock to run between Jacksonville and Portland. The horses were of the lot lately brought across the plains, and bought for the Company by Wash Montgomery. They are as fine animals as any in the state. The route from here to Yreka is of course already stocked. The whole number of horses needed on the route is 250, and about thirty coaches. The distance from Sacramento to Portland is 750 miles--making this the longest stage route, except the overland, in the United States. It will be open for travel by the 10th of September, when tickets will be sold for through passage. The people of Oregon will now have what they have so long needed--a daily mail connection with all parts of California. The California Stage Company deserve to be the party entrusted with this great enterprise; and the public must regret that Congress did not long ago accept its offer to convey a daily mail across the continent. There is not the least reason to doubt that, for $1,000,000, Mr. Haworth would have taken it as swiftly, safely and regularly as he will carry a mail about half the distance from Sacramento to Oregon. But the government always lags behind the enterprise of its citizens, and we will have to "wait a little longer" for the daily mail to St. Louis.
Marysville Daily Appeal, Marysville, California, August 15, 1860, page 2


The Southern Oregon Mail Route.
    Time and again during the last few years has the subject of improvement of the mail facilities between Central and Northern California and Oregon been earnestly urged upon our columns. The word "improvement" is, however, scarcely appropriate in this connection, inasmuch as there have been virtually no facilities whatever until very recently in the upper counties of this state, or in that portion of Oregon bordering on the forty-second parallel. The mails for Portland from our remote northern counties must necessarily be carried either to San Francisco or to Humboldt Bay and Crescent City, and thence from the latter two places by any chance vessel which might touch at those ports. The counties of Siskiyou, Klamath and Del Norte, particularly, have suffered severely for want of some regular, speedy and safe mode of conveyance for way mails, or those destined to other states. Some two or three years ago, while dwelling in the almost inaccessible fastnesses of the Upper Klamath region, the arrival occasionally of the expressman with a few letters and fewer papers was hailed with delight, and the man was deemed exceedingly fortunate who could get either through from Sacramento or San Francisco in a month. Subsequently James Haworth, Esq., who--since the death of the lamented Jim Birch, a victim of the Central America disaster--may justly be termed the Stage King of California, visited this section of the state. Through his exertions and representations, directly and indirectly, to Congress, that body at last came to the sage conclusion that overland mail communication between California and Oregon was an "irrepressible" necessity. Accordingly, to the California Stage company, of which Mr. Haworth is president, was awarded a contract for the carrying of a daily mail from Sacramento to Portland.
    Although the news of the award did not reach the company until the first instant [August 1st], so energetic have been their agents that the road between Jacksonville and Portland will be fully stocked and in running condition by the middle of September. It is proper to remind our readers, in this connection, that the stage company has, for some time past, been running regularly to Jacksonville, and making wonderfully quick time, too, over the roughest route to be found within the borders of these states. Thus, through the indomitable enterprise of a few public-spirited citizens, and a lavish expenditure of money, the federal government has at last been forced to award this contract, which will be carried out as thoroughly and completely as if the route extended to Marysville, instead of to the chief city of our neighboring state--a distance, we believe, of eight hundred miles from Sacramento, its lower terminus.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 18, 1860, page 1


    THE NEW MAIL ROUTE.--Speaking of the opening of a daily mail route through to Portland, the Jacksonville Sentinel of the 18th says:
    "The road being constructed over Scott Mountain under the superintendence of Mr. Carr, for the California Stage Company, is rapidly progressing, and when finished, will be the very best and safest mountain road in California. One hundred men are at work upon it, and stages will most likely run over it by the 15th proximo. This will enable passengers to ride in coaches or wagons from Portland to Sacramento without trouble. We passed over five or six miles of the road last week, on our road home from below, and the grade was so gentle that we found no difficulty in cantering the mule all the way up the mountainside. A new road is being made over the big divide between Yreka and Scotts Valley, under charge of Mr. John Andrews, of the California Stage Company, which will be soon completed. It will obviate the unpleasant ride at present made over the mountain, and is a much safer way and easier grade than the road now traveled. In due time, a stage ride from this place to Sacramento will be little more than a pleasure trip."
Daily National Democrat, Marysville, California, August 26, 1860, page 3


    THE OREGON MAIL.--The Jacksonville (O.) Sentinel of the 1st inst. says:
    "Southern Oregon is already enjoying the blessing of a daily mail from Sacramento. The advent of the California Stage Company's stages, wagons and horses into Jacksonville was an occasion of no ordinary interest. On Sunday morning last, about 10 o'clock, in the long procession came--ten four-horse teams, dragging the vehicles to be used upon the route. The whole town turned out to witness the glad view, to greet this practical evidence of the dispatch which the company had used in preparing for the contracted service. Mr. Wash. Montgomery, one of the company, came in charge of this array of stages, wagons and horses. During the day the party camped in Clugage's pasture, and early Monday morning resumed the journey down through the country towards Eugene City, up to which point the road is being stocked by George Thomas, another of the company. Wagons and teams will be left at the stations as they proceed, and as fast as the road is stocked it will be run."
    The daily line commenced running between Jacksonville and Yreka on the 28th ult., and between the former place and Canyonville on Thursday last, and the Sentinel adds:
    "In another week we shall have it from Eugene City, then from Corvallis, Albany, Salem, and Portland, and in a little time more, all the way from the northern terminus, Olympia, W.T. But when the first stage through from Portland shall arrive, we repeat what we suggested some little time ago, that our citizens burn a bit of powder to celebrate the event. Surely the occasion is a worthy one, and to show that we appreciate it is no more than can be expected. Get the anvil artillery in readiness. Pass around the paper to purchase powder."
Daily National Democrat, Marysville, California, September 9, 1860, page 3


    BAD TRAVEL.--Crescent City quarter has been visited by some of the severe storms that not long ago afflicted the country farther to the south. No great damage was done in the town. The mail carriers, however, for Jacksonville and Happy Camp had been compelled to return to Crescent City, being unable to cross the snow, which was deep on both road and trail, and too light to admit of a passage on snow shoes. On Monday, the 31st of December, they started again, the warm rains having carried off the most of the snow, and from late reports succeeded in getting over the trail. There was no more difficulty in crossing with animals. The snow had disappeared very rapidly.
Sacramento Daily Union,
January 19, 1861, page 1


Daily Mail to Oregon.
    From 1849 to 1860, the people of Oregon and Washington Territory were furnished with mail facilities which were inferior to those enjoyed by the people in other sections of the Union. Between the dates mentioned, the Eastern mails, with those of old California, for Oregon and Washington Territory, were collected in San Francisco, and from there dispatched twice a month by steamer to Portland, Oregon, and from that point distributed to the interior post offices in the state and territory with a single horse. As no effort was made to connect regularly on the various and one-horse routes, the result was that the people in the central and southern portions of Oregon received their letters and papers about once a quarter. Letters from California were sometimes received in twenty-five days, and sometimes in forty, while those from the Eastern States came to hand at dates which ranged from six weeks to three months. The way mails, which the steamers were expected to deliver at ports along the coast, were landed if the weather was favorable; if it was not, they were carried up and down the coast until a fair day for running in presented itself. The condition of the service was such that the people of Oregon and Washington Territory were fully justified in the declaration that their mail accommodations were worse than could be found in the United States. So universal were the complaints of a deficient mail service that various plans for improving it were suggested in Oregon and Washington, but none of them were acted upon until 1860. Attempts had been made at Washington from year to year to bring California and Oregon into more direct mail communication, but they all failed, mainly through the influence of the steamship companies, until the matter was taken up by the California Stage Company. This company was then running their coaches from Sacramento to Jacksonville, Oregon; the company proposed, if a route for a daily mail were established between Sacramento and Portland, they would, for a fair compensation, undertake to carry it. The matter was introduced into Congress by the delegations from Oregon and California, and an act passed which authorized the Postmaster General to enter into a special contract for carrying a daily mail in four-horse coaches between Sacramento and Portland, at a compensation which should not exceed $90,000 a year. There was then but one party in the state engaged in staging able to confidently enter into a contract of such magnitude, and that was the California Stage Company. To this company, which was then carrying the mail daily to Yreka, and weekly to Jacksonville, the contract was awarded for four years from September, 1860. It will expire in September next, and unless re-let as an entire route, the overland daily mail between this city and Portland will cease to exist. The contract was to carry the entire letter and newspaper mail, including the way mails, and also all the mail matter for Washington Territory. From April to December (eight months) the service was to be performed in seven days; from December to April in twelve days. The contractors stocked and commenced running the route on the 15th of September, 1860, and it is due them to state that up to this time they have performed the service, under difficulties the magnitude of which can only be appreciated by those who know something of the mountains and rivers to be crossed on the line, with a promptness and regularity truly surprising. The weight of the mail, too, has been very great most of the time. Through a large portion of the route in Oregon the country is new and sparsely settled, and the roads in their natural state, while rain falls along that end of the line, on an average, five months in the year. The route, by post office calculation, from Sacramento to Portland, is 697 miles. It runs through the counties of Sacramento, Placer, Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Shasta, Trinity and Siskiyou in California; the counties of Jackson, Douglas, Umpqua, Lane, Benton, Linn, Marion, Polk, Clackamas and Multnomah in Oregon, and supplies thirty-one post offices in California, and twenty-five in Oregon. From the offices in Oregon, weekly and semi-weekly one-horse routes are established, which supply the people who do not live immediately on the line. The vast importance of this daily line to the people of Oregon may be approximated when we take into the calculation the fact that it runs from the California line through the heart of the state, passing through ten of the nineteen counties, and ending within a few miles of the Columbia River, which is its north line. It supplies nearly the whole state, as well as Washington Territory, with postal facilities, and its abandonment would provide a real misfortune to the people. This mail route is to Oregon and Washington Territory what the Overland Mail route is to Nevada and California. It may, in fact, be justly considered as a continuation of the great Overland Mail up the coast after it reaches Nevada and California. It would be as unjust to deprive the people of Oregon and the territory beyond of the mail facilities they have enjoyed from this daily line to Portland as it would be to deny to our people the benefits flowing from the great Overland Daily Mail. The Oregon line is a part of the same mail system. It is also a reasonable expectation that on the Pacific side mail facilities will be increased rather than decreased--will advance rather than retrograde; but, to the surprise of those interested, the Post Office Department advertises for proposals which will cut the Overland Mail to Oregon into seven different routes, and increase the schedule time from seven to fifteen days from Sacramento to Portland. This is a retreat which is not creditable to the Department. It is even intimated that bids for carrying the mail tri-weekly will be received and may be adopted, if those for carrying it daily on a schedule of fifteen days are not satisfactory. The routes now advertised, the bids upon which are to be decided on the 10th of March, 1864, are: From Sacramento to Folsom; Folsom to Lincoln; Lincoln to Marysville; Marysville to Shasta; Shasta to Yreka; Yreka to Oakland; Oakland to Corvallis; Corvallis to Portland. Such a letting will destroy the completeness of the daily line, drive off the four-horse coaches, increase the schedule time, and greatly disappoint the people most interested. Under the present contract the mail has been carried in coaches in the summer and wagons and sleighs in the winter, and for the past two years at a heavy pecuniary sacrifice to the contractors from their being paid in legal tender notes instead of gold coin. Nevertheless they have continued to take the mail, and for nine months in the year have delivered it at each end of the route from eighteen to forty-eight hours within schedule time. The contract was entered into on a gold basis, and were strict justice administered the Department would make its payments equivalent to gold coin. By making its payments in legal tenders, the Department is subjecting those contractors to an annual loss of not less than thirty thousand dollars. The continuation of this daily mail route to Oregon is a matter which will commend itself to the attention of the Senators and Representatives in Congress from Oregon and California, for their constituents are deeply interested in having at least their present postal facilities continued. Those constituents have a right to expect that their mail service will be increased rather than diminished.--Sac. Union.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 16, 1864, page 2  Originally printed in the Sacramento Daily Union of January 7, page 4.


Our Mail Line.
    There is no enterprise in the continuance of which the people of Oregon and Northern California feel a deeper interest than they do in the continuance of their present mail facilities. To talk about curtailing them, and of sending us back to the uncertainty and irregularity of disconnected cayuse expresses, makes us feel that the hands have slid back on the dial of time for at least a quarter of a century. As unpalatable as the truth may be, by consulting our advertising columns it will appear that the wheels of western progress are about to be reversed, and that we will soon enjoy the blessedness of postal chaos again.
    Why is this? It cannot be because the people of Oregon and California have ever faltered in the manifestation of their loyalty to the government? Not at all. Is it because the California Stage Co. have not performed their contract in a manner acceptable to the general government? In answer to this, we remark that said company have performed their contract to the acceptance of the people most interested in the faithful performance of the same, and this ought to be enough. Considering the nature of the country, and the difficulties and length of the route, no intelligent person will say that the compensation received by the company is too great--yes, most men are of the opinion that it is not enough. But we are not aware that the company refuse to continue the contract upon the terms on which they have hitherto so successfully performed it. What is the matter, then?
    It is true we are living in a period of insurrection and rebellion, but this fact, so far from decreasing the mail facilities in this state, has rather increased them. Why should a different rule prevail on the Pacific Coast? No reasonable affirmative answer can be given to the above question.
    As to the question of economy, we doubt very much whether a broken line can be sustained at a less expense than a continuous one. Most practical men would say that the continuous line, under the management of one energetic company, would be cheaper than under the discordant management of a dozen. That the benefits resulting to the community from the first would be far greater than from the second is palpable. In the first case there would be unity and harmony of action; in the second, conflicting interests and discordant rights. Certainty, regularity and responsibility would be the effect of one, while their opposites would be the necessary concomitants of the other. But in order to meet these objections, there seems to be a disposition on the part of the Department to lengthen the time--to change a daily mail into a tri-weekly. That is to say, a disposition to feed our mental appetite on the nauseating problem of stale news. There is nothing in the financial condition of the government warranting this extraordinary change. Nothing in our position or disposition exhibited towards the government to justify it. On the other hand, much can be urged against the contemplated change. The settlers upon this coast have not only added vastly to the solid revenue of the government, and to the material wealth of the whole land, but they have added immensely to its territorial domain, and have laid its foundations broader and grander than before.
    It is the imperative duty of our congressional delegation, by a united and vigorous effort, to secure for us, if possible, a continuous daily line. It is the duty of the people to second their efforts by petition and remonstrance. It is said that progress is slow but sure, and that the wheels of human progression never roll backward. They certainly have that tendency here. Let us prevent their retrograde movement by every legitimate effort in our power.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 23, 1864, page 2


    CALIFORNIA AND OREGON MAIL.--The California Stage Company have a contract to carry a daily mail from this city to Portland, Oregon. The contract price we understand to be $80,000 per annum. The service has been performed for three years very regularly, but since these contracts are paid in Treasury notes, the company cannot save themselves under this amount, and propose to give it up. The company, it is said, expend about $10,000 per month on the route, which is paid in cash.--Sacramento Bee.

Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 6, 1864, page 4


    LETTER-BOX STOLEN.--On last Saturday night, some low thief broke loose the letter-box in front of the post office, and carried it off. It contained quite a number of letters. No clue has been discovered to lead to the discovery of this audacious robber.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 7, 1865, page 2


    We noticed some time since the robbery of the P.O. box, containing letter. The box has been found in a gutter, near town, having been broken open and the letters carried away.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 14, 1865, page 3


THE OREGON DAILY MAIL.
    For some years past the people of Oregon and Washington Territory have been supplied with excellent mail facilities, equal, perhaps, to any rendered in any part of the United States where the territory is so extensive and the population so thin. The advantages of a daily mail from Sacramento to Portland since the 15th of September, 1860, have been furnished by means of the enterprise and energy of the California Stage Company, which has performed the service with remarkable regularity, winter and summer, and within the schedule time. The route was opened by this company, and in 1860 they built, at an expense of fifty thousand dollars, the road across Scott Mountain, where nothing but a trail existed before; and the first wheeled vehicle that ever crossed the mountain was in charge of a driver of this company, carrying the United States mail.
    From 1849 up to 1860 the Eastern mails, with those of California, for Oregon and Washington Territory, were forwarded from San Francisco to Portland twice a month by steamer. Upon their arrival at the latter point much of the mail matter was nearly as distant from its destination as before it left San Francisco. From Portland, which is situated near the extreme northern border of Oregon, to Jacksonville at the southern extremity of the state, and to intermediate places and the interior post offices, the mail service was performed in primitive one-horse fashion. The result was the people of Southern and Central Oregon, and of Washington Territory, received their California letters and papers and their Eastern correspondence very irregularly, and at intervals ranging from thirty to ninety days. Now, after an experience of four years of a daily and regularly served mail, there appears to be danger of a relapse to the former unfortunate system, of a return to the ocean route. Under the present contract by the overland route from Lincoln, the terminus of railroad transportation in this state, to Portland, Oregon, a distance of about seven hundred miles, thirty-one post offices in California, and twenty-five in Oregon, are accommodated with a daily mail. The route runs through the counties of Placer, Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Shasta, Trinity and Siskiyou, in California; the counties of Jackson, Douglas, Umpqua, Lane, Benton, Linn, Marion, Polk, Clackamas and Multnomah, in Oregon, and through the principal towns and villages of Northern California and Oregon. From these post offices lateral connections are made by weekly and semi-weekly routes with the people who do not live upon the stage line route, but the greater part of the inhabitants of Oregon are directly accommodated by the main line, which traverses the center of the populated portion of Oregon lying west of the Cascade Mountains from the southern to the northern boundary of the state. The line is of course an expensive one, as it runs through a sparsely settled country and crosses four heavy ranges of mountains, the Trinity, Scott, Siskiyou and Calapooia, all of which except the Calapooia are heavily covered with snow in the winter season; and the latter is so much obstructed by mud as to render it necessary to use two-wheeled vehicles drawn by four horses for four months in the year. The Department at Washington do not seem able to appreciate the importance of preserving the mail facilities to which the people along this line have become accustomed, and to comprehend the necessity which requires a large expenditure on its part in order to maintain the services. The original contract for four years with the California Stage Company expired on the 15th of September, 1864. The government then divided the route into seven subdivisions and invited offers to carry the mails upon each of these sections, but failing to obtain satisfactory contracts in this manner the offer of the stage company for the whole line for another year was accepted. Last fall the route was again publicly offered for another year to end June 30, 1866. The stage company were the only bidders at the rate of $300,000 per annum. Recently the Postmaster General informed the president of the stage company that he positively declined entering into the contract, and that he had invited propositions from other parties. The only intelligent reference to be drawn from this, in connection with some other circumstances bearing upon the matter, is that it is contemplated to abandon the daily mail and resort to a weekly or tri-monthly service by the ocean route between San Francisco and Portland. It is thought that Ben. Holladay's finger is in the business. His line of steamers would doubtless be profited by a round bonus for carrying a few tons of mail matter twice or three times a month. The Postmaster General's action is governed by considerations of economy, but it will prove anything but economical to the government if he is induced to try the old experiment of collecting the mails at San Francisco and depositing them en masse at Portland, to be carried from thence three hundred miles to Jacksonville and intermediate points, leaving the whole of Northern California to be served from Lincoln as a base. After giving the people of Northern California and Oregon a daily mail for four years, to reduce it to a weekly, or even to a semi-weekly service, would be almost as unjust as to deprive them altogether. The route which thus stands in danger of being discontinued is of as much importance to the Pacific Coast, in proportion to its length, as the Overland Daily Mail Line, and at the cost which so troubles the Postmaster General is no more expensive. Seven hundred miles of such a route, at three thousand dollars per annum, compares favorably with the route of nineteen hundred miles, from Placerville to Atchison, at one million dollars. The Oregon line, proportionately, is probably a more difficult and expensive one than the latter, especially when it is considered that the former carries newspapers and other printed matter, while the Overland Mail contract requires the transportation of letters only. We trust that the claims of so great a portion of the Pacific Coast will not be lightly regarded by the authorities of the Post Office Department, and that the daily mail on the Oregon line is not to be interrupted or reduced.
Sacramento Daily Union, April 11, 1865, page 2


     A N
EW FEATURE IN THE P.O. DEPARTMENT.--The Postmaster General
has given notice that hereafter all stamped envelopes sold by the the Department will have a blank form printed across the left end, as follows: "If not called for within ___ days
, please return to _____ _____," leaving the number of days and writer's address to be filled in before mailing. The object of this is to decrease the number of "dead letters" forwarded every month, and to obviate the injurious effects of mistakes which are liable at all times to occur in any business house, to the great detriment of trade, as well as in matters of a purely private nature.
    To still further carry out the objects of the Department, notice is given that any party ordering from the postmaster of the city one thousand stamped envelopes can have the name, business and full address of the writer, as a merchant, banker, hotel keeper, attorney, or other occupation printed in full on the envelope, leaving no blank to be filled up, without extra charge for printing; or in other words, the envelopes thus finished for individual use will be furnished at the regular cost of stamped envelopes. The address or card so printed must not exceed four lines across the face of the letter, and all of the work will be done in uniform style.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 12, 1865, page 2


    REMOVED.--The post office has been removed from the Haines building to the City Drug Store, with J. M. Sutton as postmaster.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 9, 1865, page 3


THE OREGON DAILY MAIL.
    The hope that the Postal Department would reconsider and reverse its decision in regard to the Oregon daily mail is dispelled by the following dispatch, which has been received by the first vice president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce:
WASHINGTON, September 20, 1865.
    For four years, by Congressional enactment, and at a price named by themselves, the California Stage Company conveyed the mails from Sacramento to Portland at ninety thousand dollars per annum. Last year, when gold was gelling at 260, they were allowed two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. They now demand three hundred thousand, with gold at 140. This sum is deemed extortionate. No more than two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars will be allowed for a daily mail. If the California Stage Company accept this, service can be renewed at once; if not, sea service will have to be submitted to until other arrangements can be made.
G. W. McLELLAN,
    Assistant Postmaster General.
    The company refuses to accept the price mentioned as the limit of the allowance, and therefore the daily mail for Northern California and Oregon is among "the things that were." The Alta California, claiming to be a leading commercial journal of San Francisco, publishes the above dispatch, and adds: "Comment on the above statement of facts is entirely unnecessary. Shylock was not a wholly imaginary character, after all." Such is the first and only reference this organ of trade has made to a matter in which the business men at the Bay, who maintain commercial relations with the interior towns north of Sacramento, are interested, and which has excited much indignant complaint throughout the vast section of country that has been suddenly deprived of regular postal communication. The partial, unfair and unjust statement of the Assistant Postmaster General against the stage company is promptly accepted by the Alta as conclusive. The California Stage Company is a Shylock, guilty of attempted extortion, and the people, who have been abusing the Postal Department for stopping the mail service, should turn their tongues against the contractors, whose regularity and fidelity in the performance of their contract during the past four years nobody has ventured to question. Comment is entirely unnecessary where you are in want of the facts or can prejudice an important interest by significant silence. The dispatch of the Assistant Postmaster General is not such a statement of facts as a candid and intelligent journalist, familiar with the merits of the question, would allow to pass without comment or accept without examination or explanation. The California Stage Company were allowed two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in greenbacks per annum, because no competent parties were found to undertake the service for less. They recently demanded three hundred thousand, because experience had satisfied them that a lower sum would not pay, and pretty good evidence that their calculation was correct is found in the fact that the Department has been unable, after the most diligent search, to discover any other responsible parties to take the contract at a lower figure. There are innumerable mail contractors in the United States who would gladly take hold of any contract promising a reasonable profit. If the demand of the California Stage Company be "extortionate," and the mail service on that route can be profitably performed for any smaller amount, how is it that no party has been found willing to do the work? At the last opening of bids for this service the stage company had no competitor, and yet the Department only offered to give two hundred thousand dollars. The contract was hawked about for months before a man was discovered who would take it at an advance of twenty thousand dollars upon the sum offered the stage company, and that man, after learning the extent of the service, declined to incur the risk. Now the Department wants the company to accept the price which its own preferred contractor found to be inadequate! There can be no extortion where the privilege of bidding for contracts is accorded to everybody. If this service will pay at the price fixed by the Department, why don't some competent party offer to take it? The variable action of the Department in regard to the price is no less discreditable than the dense ignorance implied in the announcement--"sea service will have to be submitted to until other arrangements can be made." How can "sea service" accommodate the people of Northern California and Southern Oregon? How are mails transported from San Francisco to Portland by steamer going to Shasta, Yreka and Jacksonville? The Assistant Postmaster General seems to have as little knowledge of the geography of this coast as Lord Dundreary had of the game to be found in the neighborhood of New York. An appeal should be made to the President, and the Congressional delegations of Oregon and California could render the people of their respective states no greater service at this time than by giving their support to such a movement. The feeling in the northern counties of California, in consequence of this total deprivation of mail facilities, finds indignant utterance in their local journals. The Shasta Courier says:
    Instead of some eighty exchanges, we now get two, through the kindness of Wells, Fargo & Co.--the Sacramento Union and Bee. Let the gods be praised for the little we have; but this freak of the Postmaster General is costing not only us, but the people for a distance of six hundred miles, most dearly. We felt, when the stoppage took place, that so soon as telegraphic connection with the Department could be had, and proper representations made, the usual mail facilities would have been at once restored. The telegraph has been working, but the mails are dormant--lying in some of Uncle Samuel's depots below, daily accumulating, until their bulk must have attained enormous proportions. In that huge mass lie letters and papers for a whole people--a loyal people--numbering some one hundred and fifty thousand, who by no act of theirs ever forfeited their right to the fostering care and protection of their government. This people are advised by telegraph, every day, that the Post Office Department is using the greatest diligence, and incurring heavy outlays, to furnish the best possible mail facilities for what was recently known as the Confederate States. Placing such action by the side of the facts here developed, and the comparison is not of the most pleasing kind. Loyal people on this coast are unable to see justice in such measures. They naturally feel that in being superseded by such material a premium is offered to rebellion. That is the way it looks. Words cannot change the facts which produce the conclusion."
    The Trinity Journal uses still more emphatic language:
    "Our Postmaster General seems to have but a confused idea of the extent of territory composing the Pacific States and Territories. He must certainly be ignorant of the number of inhabitants which people those states, or if aware of their number, seems to entertain but a poor opinion of their intelligence, influence or deserts. Through official stupidity, or perhaps cupidity, the people from Lincoln (California) to Portland (Oregon) are deprived of that great necessity in a civilized country, the mail, and if it were not for Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Express would be cut off from all communication by letter with the balance of the world. Such a state of affairs would perhaps have been tolerated with silent indignation in time of war, but now, the whole country at peace and no earthly cause for such proceeding, the people will not tamely submit to such an outrage. It is simply a disgrace, a burning shame and insult to the people of this coast."
Sacramento Daily Union, September 26, 1865, page 2


    THE DAILY MAIL.--The mail line between Lincoln and Portland is to be divided into five sections, each one to be carried by separate contract. The time is to be as follows--from Lincoln to Shasta 45 hours; from Shasta to Yreka 32 hours; from Yreka to Oakland, Ogn., 50 hours; from Oakland to Corvallis 25 hours; from Corvallis to Portland 29 hours--contract to last until 1870.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 7, 1865, page 2


    POSTAL:--Mr. Jas. M. Sutton has received his appointment as postmaster at Jacksonville.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 18, 1865, page 2


    MAILS.--During the past week the stages have had great difficulty in making their regular trips. The roads in a terrible state. At twelve o'clock on Sunday night last, the stage from Yreka got mired down about four miles from town, and was compelled to stay there until next morning.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 30, 1865, page 1


SUNDAY MAILS.
    We clip the following sensible article from the Red Bluff Observer. We understand the Oregon Stage Company are now running their stages every day, supposing daily includes Sunday, to fulfill their contract with the government, although, from where the contract commences at Lincoln, there are not probably more than one or two letters leaving on Sunday. It looks like folly that this company should be compelled to run from a point on every Sunday where there are no mail or passengers to leave, there being no railroad or steamboat connection. It is true, it perhaps costs the Oregon Stage Company no more to run this line every day in the week. But we claim there is something due to those employed--man and beast. They should have one day in seven. We have no doubt that they would do more service in six days' work by making quicker time in the weekdays, than they now perform in seven. They now lay over one night at Jacksonville and one night at Yreka. Instead of laying over two nights successively, one of these layover places could be omitted, and, instead, lay over on Sunday along the whole line, which would not only give rest to the employees and horses, but to the traveler, and the latter would arrive at his place of destination just as soon, if not sooner. We fully agree with the Observer, and believe the Post Office Department should so modify their rules--if it is not so already--as to consider six days in the week as daily service, and not do violence to the feelings of a Christian community through every place where the line
passes.
    The following is the article referred to:
    SUNDAY MAIL.--The railroad companies having decided not to run the cars on Sunday, the mails and passengers which leave San Francisco on the Saturday evening steamer and arrive at Sacramento between two and three o'clock next morning, remain in Sacramento until Monday morning.
    The coaches of the Oregon Stage Company only run to Oroville, while their mail contract extends to Lincoln. A stage called the "Overland Line" runs between Marysville and Sacramento daily; but it has no mail contract, and to carry the mail on Sunday demands $50--a reasonable charge, perhaps, for Sunday work. If the Oregon Stage Company has contracted to carry a daily mail between Lincoln and Portland, and daily is interpreted to include Sunday as well as weekdays, then the Company must run their coaches from Oroville to Lincoln on Sunday--the cars not running--or forfeit their contract. Suppose they do run a coach to Lincoln, there being no connection with Sacramento, of course there will be no mail to bring north. Allowing they run through to Sacramento, and bring whatever mail may belong on this route, what material advantage will be derived from it by the people, the government, the contractor?
    At present. the Oregon Company runs a stage from Lincoln to Marysville on Sunday, and thence the cars connect with Oroville in the afternoon.
    All goods shipped to points along the Sacramento River, and north and east of Red Bluff, leave San Francisco on Friday evening, and bills, shipping, receipts and correspondence relating thereto are sent by the same boat and leave Sacramento on Saturday morning. Passengers, also, who design to travel this route by water start from San Francisco on Friday evening, and in ninety-nine cases out of every hundred, those who prefer to travel by car and coach could start at the same time. Therefore the mass of business with the northern counties is not incommoded, nor in any way affected by the Sunday arrangement of the railroad companies.
    The San Francisco daily newspapers of Saturday are detained in Sacramento 24 hours; but their circulation in the northern counties is comparatively small, and we doubt if there are half a dozen individuals in this town who care a fig whether they receive those papers on Monday or Tuesday. The leading daily newspaper of the state and the one having by far the largest circulation along the route of the Oregon Stage Company is issued early on Saturday morning, and sent to the various points of distribution beyond the railroads on that accompanied by its weekly edition. The San Francisco weeklies are usually printed and sent north on Thursday or Friday evening. Steamboats do not ply between Sacramento and San Francisco on Sundays.
    Thus we see that in reality little or no inconvenience is experienced in consequence of the cars remaining idle on Sunday. Merchandise, business correspondence, news and passenger travel are not perceptibly affected--at least they can accommodate themselves by the present order of things without loss.
    Let us take another view of the case. The United States, and every state in the Union, recognizes the Christian Sabbath, or Sundays as a day of rest, and nearly all government business is suspended for the day, and officers and employees are relieved from duty. Why not include the postmaster and mail carrier as well as the judge and legislator? It is universally admitted that one day in seven is necessary for rest and recreation, and all men feel that they need the day for something besides their usual avocations. Shall we deny to the railroad employees, the postmasters, the stage agents, stage drivers, hostlers, and others connected with the long mail route from Sacramento to Portland, and its branches, the rest which we demand for ourselves and know is absolutely necessary for our well being. Justice and common sense say "give them rest?"
    But we take still higher ground, and contend that every individual, every nation, and especially this nation, is bound by the command of God to respect one day in seven as sacred to his service, wherein no work except that of necessity or mercy is to be performed. Can that law of the Sabbath be disregarded with impunity? We appeal to all sensible men--Jew and Gentile, Catholic and Protestant, religious and irreligious. We hold that on every mail route throughout the United States, offices should be closed, and steamers, cars, and stages remain silent, and all persons connected therewith be allowed to rest as other people do on the Sabbath day. The ocean and great lake steamers would of course be excepted from this role. But after all the necessary exceptions are recorded there would be a great number of light hearts and smiling faces more than now, and a nation would be obeying God whereas now it is defying his law.
    Business does not require the seventh day mail; it is not a work of necessity, it is not a work of mercy; it is unmerciful to the men and stock employed; it is a flagrant violation of the law of God, and contrary to the principles in which this government is founded. Humanity demands that it be dispensed with, and the moral and religious influence of every community should be exerted to have it discontinued.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 3, 1866, page 3


    SOUTHERN MAILS.--By telegraph from Yreka, last evening, we learn that the mails are brought over Scott Mountain on sleighs, regularly, every other day.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 26, 1867, page 2


    POST OFFICE TROUBLES.--A few days since, the P.M. of this place exhibited to us several packages, addressed to Smith's Ferry, California, with various directions upon them. It seems that the Oregon P.M.s have been trying for a long time to get them past the Yreka office. One package bore the wrapper--"Smith's Ferry is not in Siskiyou County." Under this was written, "Turn over and see what I have to say." His say was--"Because Smith's Ferry is not in Siskiyou County, is that any reason it should not pass your office to go to the county that Smith's Ferry is in? Smith's Ferry, at last accounts, was in Fresno County, California; so please let it pass, and oblige all Oregon." Another package was addressed in the following emphatic manner: "D--n your eyes! Can't you let this go on south to where it belongs, viz: to Fresno County, California." Another--"Have mercy, thou Supreme Ruler, upon this package, and perforce pass it by Yreka (or any other man) and on to its proper destination. Yours muchly--A.W."
"Southern Oregon," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 11, 1867, page 3


    MONEY ORDER BUSINESS.--This branch of the government postal system went into operation at the Jacksonville post office this week. By this system monies can be sent to any of the principal cities in the Union without danger of loss. The commissions charged are ten cents on orders not exceeding $20, 25 cents on orders over $20 and not exceeding $50. No orders for sums over fifty dollars are drawn, but drawers can get three orders per day of $50 each, if desired.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 25, 1867, page 3


Oregon Mail Service.
    Some time since, we called attention to the fact of the probable discontinuance of the daily mail to Oregon, under the bids for a continuance in place and power of our representatives in Congress. The Jacksonville (Oregon) Sentinel, of the 11th instant, furnishes the following information upon the subject:
    "A few days since, General Bidwell, ex-member of Congress from California, stated to a gentleman of our acquaintance that when re-let, the service would probably be only tri- or semi-weekly, as Gen. Randall seemed determined on the greatest measure of retrenchment, and deemed a daily mail service entirely unnecessary for Oregon. We consider this high authority, and urge the necessity of immediate and determined action on the part of our representatives in Congress. . . . We hope the fears in regard to this matter may be entirely without foundation, and should any such imposition be intended, we have faith in the ability of our delegation to defeat it. There is no harm, however, in calling the attention of our people to the matter and assuring our representatives that any change for the worse in our mail service will not be submitted to tamely. Should the current rumors in reference to this matter assume a reliable shape, we would advise the circulation of petitions from one end of the state to the other, remonstrating against any change and calling on the Pacific delegation to prevent such an outrage. . . . The deprivation of our present mail facilities, and the substitution of a less convenient and satisfactory service, would be regarded as an outrage upon the people of Oregon and several of the northern counties of California, and the amount saved to the government would not near compensate for the damage inflicted. As a measure of retrenchment, we apprehended the Postal Department would be somewhat disappointed in the amount of money saved, even by substituting a semi-weekly for a daily mail. It is extremely doubtful whether any responsible party would take such a contract at a less figure than is at present paid. A like amount of capital would be required to stock the line; an equal number of hostlers and agents would be necessary, and the only difference in the cost of running would be that of the wear and tear of stock and coaches."
    In commenting upon this, the Marysville Appeal has so far aroused from its dreams of a partisan political bliss to venture the assertion that "The steamship companies want a big mail contract, and they have potential influence with United States Senators." And, it might have added, with the entire Pacific delegation. There is scarcely a doubt but that the delegation in Congress from California has made every interest in the state subservient to their own ends: Some for reelection, and some for advancement otherwise. The California Steam Navigation and Central Pacific Railroad Companies are supposed to wield a "potential influence" in conventions. If they demand ocean mail service for Oregon, and the discontinuance of mails through Northern California, it must be so that some particular politician may be reelected or meet with further elevation. The discontinuance of the line to Idaho, that its trade and travel might be carried over the Central Pacific route; and the projected discontinuance of the daily overland mail to Oregon, that the service may be performed by steamships, are notable instances of the sacrifice of public interests, for the advancement of rotten and corrupt politicians. How long will the people suffer such trading politicians, to regard them as so many chattels?
Weekly Butte Record, Oroville, California, May 25, 1867, page 1


    The mail from Jacksonville to Owyhee fizzled. Service never began, and the route was discontinued; like some of our delinquent subscribers' names this week.
"Oregon," Oregon City Enterprise, July 13, 1867, page 2



    AN OLD MAIL SACK FOUND.--A few days ago as a party of workmen were engaged in surveying a route for a telegraph wire, across an old trail, near Callahan's they found a sack of mail. The letters were in a tolerable state of preservation. From postmarks on the letters it appears to have been lost in 1865--at which time, for several weeks, the stages were unable to cross the river at Callahan's and the mails were packed around the trail. The bag had the appearance of having been cut open, yet as many of the packages were tied up it is not probable that the letters were tampered with. The bag was delivered to the postmaster at Callahan's and the letters forwarded to their places of destination.--Yreka Union.

Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 4, 1868, page 4


    DETENTION OF MAILS.--We learn that the unusual and vexatious detention of mails south of this place has been occasioned by another heavy snow storm in California along the stage route. Much snow fell in Sacramento Valley, and Scott and Trinity mountains were impassable for several days, although extraordinary efforts were made to get the mails across. The road is now broken, and we may expect our mails to arrive with their usual regularity. The rumor that Sacramento has been again flooded is incorrect.--Jacksonville Sentinel.

State Rights Democrat,
Albany, Oregon, February 8, 1868, page 1



    "CHEAP JOHN" CONTRACTORS.--The great O. and C. Stage Co. seems to have dwindled down into a very small concern. Either the P.O. Department pays them too much for the mail service from Lincoln to Portland, or it pays them too little. In their anxiety to secure a contract, they have overreached themselves, or they are making money so fast that their avarice has become morbid, and they "want it all." So long, however, as they carry the mails with regularity and accommodate the travel with their two-horse wagons, neither the public nor we have any right to grumble; but if we ever hear of a single sack of mail being left behind, we will make it our business to make a note of it. The gorgeous-looking vehicle that has been put on between here and Yreka is beginning to shake to pieces; having been constructed in a damp climate, the scorching sun in this region is rapidly drying it up. To us it seems that the company have put their foot in it; and that when the contract is again let, the Department will be unwilling to pay for four-horse service when it can be performed with two. Nobody cares how soon the "Cheap John" clatter traps that are being put on fall to pieces; and God speed the day when the railroad will drive them out of the state.
Oregon Sentinel,
Jacksonville, May 16, 1868, page 2


    THE MAILS.--Our Washington correspondent complains that his letters and papers have been, in many instances, sixty days on the way from this point to Washington. Can't Mr. Special Agent Brooks find out why?
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 23, 1868, page 3


    POST OFFICE DISCONTINUED.--The Applegate post office, Jas. Willson, P.M., has been discontinued. All mail matter for this office is stopped at Jacksonville.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 8, 1868, page 2


    POST OFFICE.--The post office at Applegate has been reestablished with Kaspar Kubli as P.M.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 26, 1868, page 2


    We get the following item from the Jacksonville Sentinel: The number of letters mailed from Jacksonville during the past month averaged seventy per day.
"Oregon Items," Oregon State Journal, Eugene, Oregon, August 28, 1869, page 2


    KASPER KUBLI, postmaster on Applegate, has resigned, and recommends the discontinuance of the office. The office accommodates many citizens in the vicinity, and it ought not to be discontinued. The neighbors should recommend some good man to take Mr. Kubli's place.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 16, 1869, page 3


    GOOD HINTS.--Here are some good "hints" to people who seem to think a postmaster the fit subject of their attention:
    When you call at the post office for your mail, and the postmaster hands it out to you, ask him if it is all.
    If you ask for mail and he tells you there is none, tell him there ought to be; then go home and send the rest of the family to ask through the day.
    Don't bring your mail to the office until the mail closes, then damn the postmaster for not unlocking the mail bag and putting it in.
    When you want a stamp on your letter, tell the postmaster to put it on; if he don't lick it, you lick him. In case you put the stamp on yourself, soak it in your mouth long enough to remove the mucilage--it will then stick, until it is dry.
    Be sure to ask the postmaster to credit you for stamps; if he has any accommodation about him at all, he will do it.
    If you have a box, stand and drum on it until the postmaster hands out your mail; it makes him feel good, especially if he is waiting on someone else.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 11, 1869, page 1


    NEW POST OFFICE.--A new post office has been established at Wolf Creek, Josephine County, with Henry Smith as postmaster. This has been needed some time, and will prove a convenience to a large number of people.

Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 18, 1882, page 3



    THE MAILS.--Ashland people are beginning to want to know who is responsible for the failure of the mails to arrive here on some days. We are told that the mail sacks for this place are carried on southward by the drivers. The driver has failed to find the Ashland sack three or four times in as many weeks, after much time spent in searching the stage, and important letters have been carried through here and delayed several days in delivering. Here is a matter for Postal Agent Simpson to investigate.
Ashland Tidings, October 27, 1882, page 3

  
Last revised September 22, 2022