Senator Gwin’s Motivation

“It was sometime in December 1859 or early January 1860 that William H. Russell, one of the partners in the firm Russell, Majors and [sic] Waddell, and California Senator William M. Gwin met to discuss the need to improve communications between California and the East and how it could best be achieved . . . Gwin hoped to gain favor politically. Even though he was a southern sympathizer [and thus, a supporter of Butterfield’s southern ox bow route], he believed that bringing in mail service over the shorter central route would increase his popularity and ensure his chance of re-election or higher office.”