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Overland Mail Collection: Finding Aid
mssOV 1-110  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Bibliographical
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Overland Mail Collection
    Dates (inclusive): 1850-1898
    Bulk dates: 1850-1887
    Collection Number: mssOV 1-110
    Creator: Overland Mail Company.
    Extent: 166 pieces
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains materials related to the development of overland mail service in the United States West (bulk 1850-1887) and is composed of two parts: the papers of Hiram S. Rumfield (75 pieces), assistant treasurer of the Overland Mail Company at Salt Lake City, Utah, which contain documents related to Rumfield family matters, the business affairs of the Overland Mail Company, and Indians in Utah Territory; and the papers of L.P. Williamson (90 pieces), superintendent of the North Western Overland Mail Company and president of the Western Mail and Stage Company, which include reports from stage drivers concerning road conditions.
    Language: English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Overland Mail Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Purchased by the Library from H. C. Revercomb, June 29, 1946.

    Historical Note

    The Butterfield Overland Mail Company, organized in 1857, carried mail between St. Louis, Missouri, and San Francisco, California, until the outbreak of the Civil War forced it to move north to the central overland route. It was known as the Central Overland and Pike's Peak Express Company until it was reorganized and General Bela M. Hughes was elected president of the Overland Mail Company in 1861.

    Bibliographical

    A collection of Hiram S. Rumfield letters in the American Antiquarian Society have been published in Rumfield, Hiram E., Letters of an Overland Agent in Utah, Archer Butler Hurlbert, ed., Worcester, Mass, 1929.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains personal correspondence, business papers, 2 photographs, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings (1865-66) related to the development of overland mail service in the United States West, predominantly for the years preceding the establishment of the railroad. Includes originals and a few letter-press copies.
    Two groups of manuscripts integrate this collection:
    • (1) The papers of Hiram S. Rumfield, an officer of the Overland Mail Co. (75 pieces, 1850-1867). Rumfield was appointed to the post of mail agent at Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 1860, but on the outbreak of the Civil War was transferred to the Salt Lake City office as assistant treasurer and remained in that capacity until 1866. He was engaged in a real estate venture in Carson City and acquired 640 acres of land which was laid out as the Rumfield Town Survey. These papers contain documents related to Rumfield family matters, the business affairs of the Overland Mail Company, and Indians in Utah Territory. There are two photographs: a portrait of Rumfield and a photograph of a stagecoach.
    • (2) Papers of L. P. Williamson, of Independence, Mo., superintendent of the North Western Overland Mail Company and president of the Western Mail and Stage Co. in 1884; dealing with the company's business and including reports from stage drivers concerning road conditions. (90 pieces, 1880-1898).
    Persons represented by 4 or more pieces: William Connor (4 items); Frederick K. Cook (4 items); Hiram S. Rumfield (21 items); and H. A. Todd (5 items).
    Some notable items include:
    • Carney, Thomas. To John McAllister Schofield. Letter asking military protection for Kansas. 1863 August 10
    • Rumfield, Hiram S. To Amos Reed, Indian Supt. Letters interceding on behalf of the Indians, asking help and food for them. 1862 February 10, March 7
    • Williamson, R. C. To L. P. Williamson. Letter concerning extension of the mail route into Oregon. 1882, February 2

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Rumfield, Hiram S.
    Williamson, L. P.
    Overland Mail Company -- Archives.
    North Western Overland Mail Company.
    Postal service -- West (U.S.) -- History -- Sources.
    Indians of North America -- Utah.
    Coaching (Transportation) -- West (U.S.) -- History -- Sources.

    Forms/Genres

    Business records -- West (U.S.) -- 19th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- West (U.S.) -- 19th century.
    Scrapbooks -- West (U.S.) -- 19th century.

    Alternate Authors

    Williamson, L. P.