The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926 Page: 8
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Southwestern Historical Quartlerly
often brought waybills showing that from twenty to thirty per-
sons had used the stage on that trip.13
Compared with the thousands of persons who made the trip to
or from California every year by the Isthmus of Panama or the
Tehuantepec routes, or the thousands of others who followed the
different overland routes by private conveyance the few hundred
persons who availed themselves of the stage for their trans-con-
tinental journey represent an almost negligible number.4
As the service continued the number of through passengers
seems to have diminished and that of the way passengers increased.
Whether this decline was due to the disinclination of the public
to attempt the journey after its hardships became known, or to
the inability of the company to transport more passengers is diffi-
cult to determine. Perhaps both causes must be taken into ac-
count. It may be noted in this connection, however, that in June,
1859, a weekly "accommodation stage" was put on the route be-
tween San Francisco and Los Angeles. The officials were re-
ported as saying that this service might be extended to Saint Louis,
thus giving a tri-weekly overland service for all the route; but it
does not appear that this was ever done. At first there was a sharp
demand for seats at the San Francisco terminus, and one passenger
reported that over one hundred persons were on the waiting list
there when he left in November, 1858.1 But it seems that this
rush did not continue.l6
Notwithstanding the comparatively small number of persons the
"The waybill for the stage that arrived at San Francisco August 10,
1859, showed 29 passengers; that for January 7, 1860, showed 27, and
that for January 10, 23.
'"Nearly 1200 passengers for the Atlantic coast left San Francisco by
steamers which departed on the 12th inst." Missouri Republican, March
31, 1859. "Nineteen hundred passengers arrived by the steamer John L.
Stephens." San Francisco National, quoted by the Missouri Republican,
May 25, 1859.
"Account given by Mr. iHough, a passenger. He also tells of one pas-
senger who was forced to remain at a way station because he had gotten
off there to rest and had been unable to secure a seat on the following
stages although he offered a liberal bonus. He had been thus marooned
a month. Missouri Republican for December 12, 1858.
"This statement seems to be substantiated by the fact that way pas-
seongers increased after the route had been in operation for a while, and
through passengers decreased somewhat proportionately. Since through
passengers were given preference over way passengers, it was necessary
for the number of the former to diminish before people along the route
could use it at all.
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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/m1/16/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.