Winter Over the Central Route

One of the most damaging arguments put forward against [the Central Route] was that it could not be traveled in the winter time. . . .

The following May {Leavenworth & Pikes Peak] bought the J. M. Hockaday & Company mail contract, stations, and stock on a line extending from Independence, Missouri, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Now Russell was also in the business of carrying United States Mail. In May, 1860, the Post Office Department cancelled Chorpenning’s contract from Salt Lake City to Placerville, California, and awarded it to Russell, which action gave him two mail contracts covering the entire length of the Central Route. He was ready now to demolish, by actual demonstration, the argument that that route was not adapted to travel at all seasons of the year.