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Sale 79: The George J. Kramer Collection of Western Trails and Routes

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Western Express - California - Southern Mines

Lots 3237-3246

Lot 3237    

Forwarded by Browns Express, blue double oval and matching "$1." express rating handstamp on buff cover with "Boston '10cts' 10 Sep" integral due cds to Stockton Cal., Very Fine.
Thomas No. BRW-101    Estimate $750 - 1,000.

William A. Brown became one of the early expresses to the Southern Mines with a base office at Stockton. One route ran from Stockton to Angels Camp, Murphy's and the Carson's Diggings. From this route he also ran to Sonora. The other route ran from Stockton to the mines along the Mokelumne River. He connected at first and later competed with Todd & Co. By October 1851, Brown's had established a connecting service with Newell and Adams. In April 1853, Brown was shot and killed. Adams & Co. continued the express under the Brown name until Adams failed in February 1855.

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Lot 3238    

Forwarded by Browns Express, blue double oval and matching sharp "$1." express rating handstamp on orange buff cover with red "Boston '6 cts' 9 Aug" integral cds and matching "Paid" handstamp to Stockton Cal., Very Fine, ex Dale-Lichtenstein.
Thomas No. BRW-101    Estimate $500 - 750.

Realized: $525

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Lot 3239    

Freeman & Co's Express, sharp red printed frank with matching printed "Brittan & Ayers, San Francisco" return address on 3¢ red (U10) buff Nesbitt entire cancelled by "Freeman & Co's Stockton Mess., Jul 1" oval datestamp to Columbia Cal., Very Fine.
Thomas No. FRM-002    Estimate $300 - 400.

Realized: $260

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Lot 3240    

Newell & Co's Express, San Francisco, sharp strike of blue double-oval and matching "COLLECT" straightline on orange buff cover to Mormon Gulch near Littletown Cal., endorsed "pr. Todd's Expss." at bottom left; opening tears at right, otherwise Very Fine and choice, WC7802, ex-Tahoe.
Thomas No. NEW-100    Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.


L.W. Newell of Sonora and C.W. Colt of Stockton began a competing line against Alexander Todd in August 1851. They carried between Sonora and Sonora, and from San Francisco to Portland Ore. They operated until 1853, when the company was sold to Adams & Co. Both Newell and Colt were former partners in Todd & Co. Express, which undoubtedly accounts for the Todd endorsement.

Realized: $1,600

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Lot 3241    

Forwarded by Renolds & Co. Express, oval handstamp on orange cover with red "Boston Mass., May 21" cds and matching "40" rating handstamp to "Chips" Hodgskins at Stockton Cal., endorsed "Mormon Gulch, Southern Mines" at bottom left, pencil "Gone Home" at left, Very Fine.
Thomas No. REY-100    Estimate $500 - 750.

Angervine Reynolds formed an express along with A.S. Reynolds and J.P.D. Wilkins. This express operation ran from Stockton into the southern mines. They connected with Todd & Company for transportation to San Francisco and with Adam & Company for the Eastern States and Europe. Starting in 1851, they also began connecting with Gregory's Express. In 1851, Reynolds combined with Todd's and A.S. Reynolds left the company. The new express was called Reynolds, Todd & Co.'s Express.

Realized: $625

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Lot 3242    

Forwarded by Reynolds Todd & Co Express, Stockton, large blue oval handstamp with matching "Collect" straightline on folded letter datelined "Stockton 8th Dec 1851" to San Francisco Cal., fresh and Very Fine, ex Dale-Lichtenstein.
Thomas No. RTO-101    Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.

The express operations of Reynolds & Co. and A.H. Todd & Co. joined forces in the fall of 1851 to form Reynolds, Todd & Co. This express ran from the southern mines to Stockton and into San Francisco. They connected with Gregory's Express, but turned to Adams & Co. shortly before selling out to Charles Todd (no relation) in April 1852, forming the new company Todd's Express.

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Lot 3243 *   

Todd & Bryan's Express, shield handstamp on blue folded letter datelined from "Sonora, June 18th 1850" to San Jose Cal., manuscript "Berford & Co Express" and matching "$1.00" rating, Very Fine, WC4180. One of only 8 recorded examples of this express handstamp., ex Dale-Lichtenstein.
Thomas No. TOD-100    Estimate $750 - 1,000.


In July 1849, Alexander Todd began an express that was based in Stockton. He serviced the southern mining areas, and carried into San Francisco. In February 1850, he took in Benjamin Bryan as a partner as business was more than he could individually handle. They connected with Berford for correspondence to San Jose. Bryan's would sell out as a partner in July 1850. Todd and silent partner E.W. Colt formed into Todd and Company that ran over the same route.

Todd & Bryan's operation ranks as the first express with handstamp markings, and is considered to be one of the earliest gold rush express operations to penetrate into the interior mining area of California.

Realized: $3,000

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Lot 3244    

Todd & Co., Express, clear sharp strike of shield handstamp on blue cover with red "Boston Mass., Nov 23" cds and matching bold "40" rating to Carsons Creek, Calaveras County, Cal., endorsed "Todd & Cos Express From San Francisco", additional "A" handstamp may indicated advertised, pencil "2.00" express rate at center; some minor edge restoration, Very Fine.
Thomas No. TOC-100    Estimate $400 - 600.

Alexander H. Todd began operating in late July 1849 as a one man express service between San Francisco and Stockton and from there into the southern mines. Benjamin L. Bryan joined as a partner in December 1850 and E.W. Colt as a silent partner shortly thereafter. After Bryan's departure in July 1850, Todd and Colt formed Todd and Company's Express. E.W. Colt operated out of Stockton and serviced the southern mines through merchant agents, while A.H. Todd anchored the operation in San Francisco. In San Francisco they connected with Adams & Co. and in Sacramento Hawley & Co.

Realized: $475

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Lot 3245    

Todd's Express, two covers from same correspondence, first with manuscript "pr Todd's Express" endorsement on orange cover to George Graham, Tuttletown near Sonora, Cal.; second with blue "Forwarded by Todd's Express, San Francisco" oval handstamp (TOE-100) and matching "NOT PAID" double octagon (TOE-201b) on blue 1852 folded letter to George Graham, Tuttletown near Sonora, Cal., Very Fine, ex-Tahoe.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

Charles A. Todd purchased all of the assets of the assets of Reynolds, Todd & Co. He continued to service the southern mines from his offices in San Francisco and Stockton. He then started to make inroads into the northern mining area. At first he exchanged with Gregory's Express, and then later shared an office with Wells Fargo in San Francisco. He sold his operation to Wells Fargo in September 1853.

Realized: $550

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Lot 3246    

From Todds. Express, Office Sonora, sharp strike of blue tombstone handstamp and matching "PAID" double-oval handstamp on orange buff cover to J.W. Mandeville of Assembly, Benicia Cal., Very Fine, ex Dale-Lichtenstein.
Thomas No. TOE-104    Estimate $300 - 400.

Realized: $230

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Lots 3237-3246

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