Butterfield Contract

Nine proposals for the contract were received by Postmaster General Aaron V. Brown. Being a southerner from Tennessee, he placed the hand of favor on the bid submitted by John Butterfield for a southern route from St. Louis, via El Paso; in fact, practically dictated to the politically wise contractor this “voluntary” choice of route. Butterfield’s firm, the Overland Mail Company, was the creation of the country’s four leading express companies-Adams, American, National and Wells Fargo. They held hopes of breaking the grip of the steamship lines on the bulk of passenger and mail traffic to the Paci.fie Coast.