Mail as Instrument of Empire

As soon as the idea of the overland stage was suggested, the postal feature of it became subsidiary to other interests. The Senate Committee in 1849 recognized then that here was a scheme for stimulating the movement of population into the West. The overland stage would promote emigration by establishing a safe line of travel; it would lead to the development of the resources of the West; it would bind California to the Union, socially and politically, by affording quick communication between coast and coast; its stations would become the nuclei of settlements; and, above all, it would prepare the way for the much-talked-of Pacific railroad.