Steamship Mail and the News

A change came with the beginning in February, 1849, of the semimonthly steamer service of the Panama Mail Steamship Company between Panama and San Francisco. This first great improvement in communication with the Atlantic states was a real boon to the California press for it provided for the first time a regular supply of news, although the news was nearly a month old when it arrived. At the time the steamer service began there was only one California paper to take advantage of it, for the two earlier papers had combined to become the weekly Alta California on January 4, 1849.