Chorpenning’s Route

“[After the difficulty of delivering mail over the Sierra Nevada the first winter of the contract], [p]ermission  was obtained from the special agent in San Francisco to send the March mail down the coast to San Pedro and thence by Cajon Pass and the Mormon Trail to Salt Lake City. . . .

With the interruption by bad weather of the mail service east of Salt Lake City, the mail was sent westward to San Pedro, where it was transmitted by steamer to the Atlantic seaboard.

During the first three years (1851-4) the Utah-California mail was carried, except in winter, by the old emigrant route. In the lettings of 1854, the Utah-California mail route was changed to run from Salt Lake City  over the Mormon trail to San Diego. . . .

The service [of the second four-year contract with Chorpenning] began July 1, 1854, and was to continue for four years. The mail was carried on horseback or packmules . . .

During the four years of the duration of the contract (until July 1, 1858), the mail was carried with fair regularity, and often in less than scheduled time.

before the termination of the contract on this [Mormon trail] route the policy of extensive increases in western mail lines were inaugurated, and partisans of the “Central Route via Salt Lake City and across northern Nevada were demanding service upon that more direct route to San Francisco. Accordingly, in 1858, this Los Angeles-to-Salt Lake City route was discontinued and the original route of 1851 was re-established and put on an improved basis.”