“From 1847 to 1850, mail communication between Salt Lake Valley and the outside world was by private, more or less haphazard, methods. . . .For about two years eastbound mail was committed to some trustworthy person who was probably making the journey across the plains for some other reason, and any westbound mail was picked up in Council Bluffs, St. Joseph, or Independence under the same arrangement. . . .
From the first day of settlement in salt Lake Valley, inside pressure among Mormons for regular means of communication with the East and the world was very great. The very nature of things made it inevitable. The pioneers of 1847, most of whom were Americans, wanted to maintain contact with relatives and friends back home. And what was equally important, the church had perfected a worldwide organization and had missionaries not only in the States but also in Europe. Contact with them had to be maintained. As a result of their work a stream of immigrants poured across the Plains at almost all seasons of the year, all of whom wished to keep in touch with that part of the world from whence they came.”