“[Emigrants’] persistent demand was for a rapid, reliable, and regular overland mail to supplement the sea mail, the various private enterprises which periodically were attempted, and the army couriers, who transported military and emigrant mail between Laramie, Kearny, and the resulting outfitting towns in 1849 and subsequent years. The ultimate result—a governmentally financed but extremely irregular overland service on the South Pass route—was yet another federal development of the 1850s with significant ramifications for overland emigrants. . . .
The beginnings were modest. Salt Lake City was the hub of the mail system, a government post office having been established there during the winter of 1849.”