The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926 Page: 3
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Some Details of the Southern Overland Mail
extend southwestward by or near Preston on the Red River to the
best point for crossing the Rio Grande above El Paso and not far
from Fort Filmore. From the Rio Grande it should follow the
new road being opened and constructed under the direction of the
Secretary of the Interior, to Fort Yuma, California, "thence
through the best passes, and along the best valleys for safe expe-
ditious staging to San Francisco."'
To what extent political influence worked in helping Postmaster
General Brown choose this southernmost of the three routes he
considered is a matter that must be left largely to the individual
conclusions of those who review the facts. Naturally the political
enemies of the administration charged that it was but another
example of the favoritism the Democratic party of that day was
wont to show toward the South. The mail route would likely
determine the route the proposed Pacific Railway would take, and
that, they argued, had added to the temptation to yield to sectional
interests where national welfare should have been the only con-
sideration. Indeed, Mr. Brown felt this criticism so keenly that
in his report to the President for 1857 he set forth at length his
reasons for making the choice. The Platte and South Pass route
As finally adopted by the stage company the route was divided into nine
divisions as follows:
First Division: San Francisco to Los Angeles; 462 miles; time of
journey, 80 hours.
Second Division: Los Angeles to Fort Yuma; 282 miles; time of jour-
ney, 72s hours.
Third Division: F'ort Yuma to Tucson; 280 miles; time of journey,
Fourth Division: Tucson to Franklin (near El Paso) ; 360 miles; time
of journey, 82- hours.
Fifth Division: Franklin to Fort Chadbourne, near the Colorado River
of Texas; 458 miles; time of journey, 1261 hours.
Sixth Division: Fort Chadbourne to Colbert's Ferry, on Red River;
282s miles; time of journey, 65 5-12 hours.
Seventh Division: Colbert's Ferry to Fort Smith; 192 miles; time of
journey, 38 hours.
Eighth Division: Fort Smith to Tipton, the Pacific Railway Terminus;
3182 miles; time of journey, 49 hours.
Ninth Division: Tipton to Saint Louis, by rail; 160 miles; time of
journey, 1 hours.
Total distance, 2795 miles.
As established the Memphis division joined the line at Fort Smith in-
stead of Little Rock. The information given above was taken from the
report of G. Bailey, special agent of the Post Office Department, who ac-
companied the first mail from San Francisco to Saint Louis. Report of
the Postmaster General for 1858, pp. 30, ff.
The exact course of the route through Texas was as follows: From
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117141/m1/11/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.