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The  U.S.  Mint  manufactured  the  Termina-  Fargo  or  any  other  express  company
                                              tion  Medal  shown  at  left  and  below.  It  is   could  place  a  package  or  a  treasure
                                              two-and-one~quarter  inches  in  diameter.   chest  on  a  stagecoach.
                                              One  thousand  were  made  of  silver  and   If the treasure chest obtained by Black
                                                        one of solid gold.        Bart  was  defended  by  a  shotgun  mes-
                                                                                  senger, that is explained by the fact that
                                                                                  the  express  companies  often  put  an
                                                                                  armed  messenger  on  the  stagecoach  to
                                                                                  accompany  the  shipment.
                                                                                  UP  UNTIL  1857,  mail  from  the  East
                                                                                      to  California  had  to  come  either
                                                                                  around  the  Horn  or  across  the  Isthmus
                                                                                  and  up  to  California  by  sea,  but  prior
                                                                                  to  that  time  and  beginning  in  1850  the
                                                                                  Government  let  separate  contracts  for
                                                                                  the  transportation  of  mail  from  the
                                                                                  Missouri  River  to  Salt  Lake  City  and
                                                                                  from  Sacramen,to east to  Salt Lake  City.
                                                                                    The  first  contract, . eastbound,  was  let
                                                                                  to  Chorpenning  and  Woodward  of  Sac-
                                                                                  ramento  in  1850.  Since  the  carrying  of
                                                                                  passengers was not a  factor and since no
          work of express  offices over the  State.                               stagecoach  had  an  open  route  to  cross
            Though  the  Adams  name  is  fast  dis-                              the  Sierras,  Chorpenning  and  Woodward
          appearing  from  the  scene,  it  was  the                              made  the  trip  on  mule  back  carrying
          early great of all California express com-                              mail  only.
          panies  It,  like  its  competitors,  used  the   used  at  the  very  last  on  eastbound  let-  The  history of  Chorpening  and  Wood-
          services  of  the  stage  lines  but  did  not   ters  by  Wells  Fargo  as  agent,  but  only   ward's  efforts  is  marked  with  tragedy
          own  or  operate  them.  The  express  com-  for  its  own  customers.  There  are  those   and failure in spite of heroic efforts. The
          panies also  used  any and  all  other trans-  who  doubt  if  any  were  ever  used.   same  befell  John  M.  Hockaday  and  Co.
          portation  available.                 It  is  certain,  however,  that  these   which  had  the  contract  to  carry  mail
            The  steamer  Antelope,  which  made   "stamps,"  actually  franks,  were  printed.   from  the  Missouri  River  to  Salt  Lake
          a  daily  round  trip  between  Sacramento   And  it  is  also  certain  that  they  were   City beginning in 1858. This company at-
          and  San  Francisco,  carried  freight  for   counterfeited  in  Germany  and  that  they   tempted  to  carry  mail  through  to  Salt
          any  express  company  which  wished- its   were  reprinted  in 1897  in  San  Francisco.   Lake  City  in  a  wagon,  stopping  long
          services.  The  express  companies  also   Claim  has  been  made  that  these  franks   enough  each  day  en  route  to  allow  the
          shipped  to  the  eastern  seaboard,  either   were  issued  by  Wells  Fargo  to  meet  the   horses  to  forage  and  rest.
          around Cape Horn or across the Isthmus,   requirements  of  the  Postmaster  General   The  recorded  results  of  these  two
          by  utilizing  the  steamship  lines.   but  they  were  actually  receipts  for  ad-  heroic operations was that very little mail
            In  consequence  of  this,  it  must  be  re-  vance  express charges  paid  to  the  agent.   was  carried  through  and  this  author
          membered  that  the  express  companies   The use of these franks and the agency   knows  of  no  covers  (faces  or letters)  in
          on one hand and the stage line operations   connection  of  Wells  Fargo  Express  have   existence which were  carried overland to
          on  the  other,  were  two  completely  dif-  given  the  impression  that  Wells  Fargo   California  during  this  period,  1850  to
          ferent  sets  of  businesses,  each  perform-  operated  the  Pony  Express.  Nothing   1857.
          ing  a  different  service  for  the  public.   could  be  farther from  the  truth,  and  the   The  Post  Office  Department.  as  a  re-
            As  a  good  illustration  of  the  differ-  1960  Centennial  of  the  Pony  Express   sult  of  the  supposed  impossibility  of
          ence, Russell, Majors and Waddell, found-  brought  the  facts  vividly  before  the   operating  a  mail  line  over  the  Central
          ers,  owners  and  operators  of  the  Pony   public.                   Route  through  Salt Lake Citv and across
          Express,  formed  a  corporation  to  encom-  Since  highwaymanship  and  banditry   the  Sierras  to  California,  did.  in  1857,
          pass  their  stage  lines  and  the  Pony  Ex-  on  California roads in the early days has   let  a  contract  to  James  E.  Birch,  the
          press.  About  six  months before  the  close   been  glorified,  it  should  be  understood   president  of  the  California  Stage  Com-
          of  the  Pony  Express,  Mr.  Russell  ap-  that  Black  Bart,  who  held  up  many   pany,  to  carry  mail  from  San  Antonio,
          pointed  Wells  Fargo  and  Company  as   stages,  never  held  up  a  Wells  Fargo   Texas.  to  San  Diego,  California.
          local agent at Sacramento and San Fran-  stage because Wells Fargo operated none   This  .route  was  not  so  long  and  not
          cisco.  Wells  Fargo  soon  had  the  Pony   in  California.  He  may  well  have  gotten   exposed to  severe winters, but the terrain
          Express  "stamps"  printed  for  the  use  of   a  Wells  Fargo  treasure  chest-but  that   presented  such  difficulties  that,  though
          their  customers.                   is  explained  by  the  fact  that  Wells   (Continued on page 50)
            Actually,  they  were  not  stamps  but
          "franks,"  and  their  use  only  indicated
          that the  Pony Express fee  had been  paid   This  stagecoach  letter  mailed  in  Denver  on  June  19,  1860,  was  cancelled  at  St.  Joseph,
          to the  agent.  Wells  Fargo  then  paid  the   Missouri, seven days and approximately seven hundred miles later.
          fee  to  the  Pony Express.  In addition,  the
          Post  Office  Department  required  that
          each  letter  should  carry  a  10c  postage
            These  so-called  Pony  Express  franks
          only  came  into  use  at the  very  last,  but
          after  the  close  of  the  Pony  Express,
          Wells  Fargo  officials  gave  them  away
          freely.  and  since  that  time  they  have
          turned  up  in  quantities  in  the  philatelic
            In  recent  years  what  might  seem  to
          be an abnormal number of Pony Express
          covers have  turned up, with Wells  Fargo
          adhesive  franks  thereon,  some  of  them
          with apparently falsified handstamp can-
            The  prevalence  of these  has  been  such
          as  to  cast  doubt  on  any  and  all  Pony
          Express  covers  bearing  these  franks.
          When  the  regular  fee  was  paid  direct
          to  the  Pony  Express,  only  the  rubber
          handstamps  were  applied.
            No  Wells Fargo franks were  ever used
          on  letters  from  east  to  west.  Some  were
          24                                                                                              True  West
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