Texas loses stagecoach mail and passenger service

March 1st, 1861

On this day in 1861, the 2 1/2-year history of the Butterfield Overland Mail in Texas came to an end. The Butterfield line began operations on September 15, 1858. It carried passengers and mail between St. Louis, Memphis, and San Francisco, a distance of 2,795 miles. A government contract called for the company to carry letter mail twice weekly in both directions in four-horse coaches, or spring wagons suitable for carrying passengers. Each trip was to be completed in twenty-five days. The postage rate was ten cents per half ounce. Passenger fare was $200 each way. Stage service in Texas was terminated in March 1861, when an agreement was made to modify the contract and move the route northward out of the state.

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Texas loses stagecoach mail and passenger service

March 1st, 1861

On this day in 1861, the 2 1/2-year history of the Butterfield Overland Mail in Texas came to an end. The Butterfield line began operations on September 15, 1858. It carried passengers and mail between St. Louis, Memphis, and San Francisco, a distance of 2,795 miles. A government contract called for the company to carry letter mail twice weekly in both directions in four-horse coaches, or spring wagons suitable for carrying passengers. Each trip was to be completed in twenty-five days. The postage rate was ten cents per half ounce. Passenger fare was $200 each way. Stage service in Texas was terminated in March 1861, when an agreement was made to modify the contract and move the route northward out of the state.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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Get a Piece of Texas History in Your Inbox

With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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