The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926 Page: 7
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Some Deltails of the Southern Overland Mail
arrival of forty-seven of the possible one hundred four stage pas-
senger parties that may have arrived.11
In these forty-seven stage parties there were eighty-five through
passengers, who had come directly (or with short stop-overs at
way stations to rest) from San Francisco or Los Angeles to Saint
Louis or Memphis; and about the same number of way passengers
who had joined the stage party at some point on the line. The
number of passengers starting from San Francisco who completed
their journey before reaching Saint Louis or Memphis is not con-
sidered in this count; but there were not many of this class. From
a similar perusal of the files of the San Francisco herald it seems
that the number of west bound passengers at San Francisco did not
greatly exceed, if, indeed, it equaled that of those going east.12
Frequently there were no through passengers from the east, and
the number did not generally exceed two. There appeared to be
more way passengers than through passengers arriving at that
point. It would, therefore, seem to be a safe conclusion that all
through passengers did not amount to much more than one hun-
dred fifty, each way, for the first year of the route, and that the
way passengers arriving at Saint Louis and Memphis and those
arriving at San Francisco did not greatly exceed this number. As
for passengers who patronized the line in going from one way
point to another, the number was, as we might expect, evidently
decidedly greater. These people could not avail themselves of
ocean or railroad transportation and the overland stage passing
from their own to neighboring communities offered them a means
of conveyance of incalculable benefit. Stages arriving at San
Francisco or Saint Louis carrying few or no through passengers
"It should be noted that the news columns of the papers featured the
arrival of practically every mail during this period. But the forty-seven
items referred to above have to do with those cases where special news
about passengers and the incidents of the trip was given. In almost
every case the reporter not only secured from an interview with pas-
sengers an account of the incidents of the trip, but secured the names of
and various bits of information about the different passengers, and gave
the name of his informant. Notwithstanding the many errors that must
have crept in, this information surely ought to be of some value in a study
of this frontier project; and because of his inability to find other better
material, the writer of this article has drawn rather heavily upon it. It
may be added that accounts of incidents along the frontier brought in by
one stage were generally confirmed by those arriving later.
"The San Francisco Herald for January, June and August, 1859, and
January and March, 1860.
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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/m1/15/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.