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Inventory of the Overland Mail Collection, 1850-1898, bulk 1850-1887
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Summary report
  • Subject matter
  • Important or Interesting Items
  • Persons represented by 4 or more pieces
  • Physical Description
  • Bibliographical

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Overland Mail Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1850-1898,
    Date (bulk): bulk 1850-1887
    Extent: Number of Pieces: 165 and 1 scrapbook of clippings
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The Overland Mail Collection was purchased by the Library from H. C. Revercomb, June 29, 1946.


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

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

    Summary report

    Personal correspondence and business papers dealing with the development of overland mail service to the West, predominantly for the years preceding the establishment of the railroad.
    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, Ark., 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. He took an active interest in and aided the underprivileged Indians in Utah Territory.
    • (2) Papers of L. P. Williamson, of Independence, Mo., superintendent of the North Western Overland Mail Co. and president of the Western Mail and Stage Co. in 1884; dealing with the company's business and conditions along the mail route. (90 pieces, 1880-1898).

    Subject matter

    • A. Rumfield Papers
      • 1. Personal letters to wife
      • 2. Overland Mail Co. business
      • 3. Condition of Indians in Utah Territory
    • B. Williamson Papers
      • 1. Correspondence of stage drivers reporting conditions on road
      • 2. Business policies of the North Western Overland Mail Co.

    Important or Interesting Items

    Carney, Thomas.
    To John McAllister Schofield. Letter asking military protection for Kansas.
    Date: 1863, Aug. 10.
    Rumfield, Hiram S.
    To Amos Reed, Indian Supt. Letters interceeding on behalf of the Indians, asking help and food for them.
    Date: 1862, Feb. 10, Mar. 7.
    Williamson, R. C.
    To L. P. Williamson. Letter concerning extension of the mail route into Oregon.
    Date: 1882, Feb. 2.

    Persons represented by 4 or more pieces

    Connor, William
    4 items
    Cook, Frederick K.
    4 items
    Rumfield, Hiram S.
    21 items
    Todd, H. A.
    5 items

    Physical Description

    Contain originals and a few letter-press copies.


    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. (HE6375R8)