First Overland Mail to Oregon

“We may consider that ’48 established a ‘first.’ Some three hundred letters, addressed to people in Oregon, had piled up at Independence, but there was no mail service. The postmaster arranged with an emigrant named Bayley to transport these letters, with the understanding that he could collect forty cents apiece from each person to whom he delivered one. (This would seem to be part of the Oregon story, but it worked out differently.) . . .

[T]he mail had got through. Bayley had finally decided to come to California. He carefully kept the letters. Once arrived, he found that large numbers of men from Oregon had come to California after gold. They were so eager for letters that they gladly paid the postman two dollars apiece for their safe delivery.”