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.
A SCARCE TODD & BRYAN AND BERFORD & CO. CONJUNCTIVE EXPRESS USE.
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.