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Kansas Historical Quarterly - Atchison, a Great Frontier Depot

by Walker D. Wyman

August 1942 (Vol. 11, No. 3), pages 297 to 308.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

 

Kansas Historical Quarterly, August 1942IN THE settlement of the Trans-Missouri West the towns on the Missouri river occupied the unique position of serving as jumping-off points for emigrants western bound and as termini for steamboat and ox-team freighters. Founded by speculators, each of these cities, Villages and ghost towns between Independence, Mo., and Omaha, Neb., hoped to become the greatest metropolis on the river. Atchison is no exception to the host of aspiring Missouri river towns. Its dramatic rise was due more to the patronage of overland freighters than to outfitting emigrants, but the latter nevertheless furnished a significant segment in its economic history. Like its sister towns on the west side of the river its beginnings as a town date from the opening of Kansas territory to settlement.

The French voyageurs called this region in northeastern Kansas territory the "Grand Detour" of the Missouri. [1] The Missouri founders of Atchison located their town on the westernmost point of that "Grand Detour." Lying between St. Joseph to the northeast and Fort Leavenworth to the southeast, this appeared to be the proper point from which to tap the resources of the West.

"Somewhere between 1841 and 1849 [George M.] Million [who had earlier settled across the river at a place later to be called Rushville, Mo.] built a flat boat ferry, and . . . in 1849, did a thriving business. . . ." In 1854 he became a squatter on the original townsite of Atchison. [2] Fifty-seven days after the Kansas-Nebraska bill became law, eighteen men had organized the town company. [3] Million's squatter rights were soon purchased, the town named in honor of one of the founders, David R. Atchison, and lots sold at public auction for an average price of sixty-three dollars. [4] Shareholders were assessed $25 for the construction of a hotel and the sum of $400 was donated to two enterprising editors to establish the Squatter Sovereign. [5] If there were emigrants through here in the fall of 1854 George T. Challis' store was the only merchandising

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298 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

establishment open for business. Travelers frequently paid two dollars to sleep on blankets taken from the meager supply on his shelves. The owner sometimes cooked a can of cove oysters in "an old chafing dish, and charged `them another dollar. Whiskey that cost him 40 cents a gallon he sold for 25 cents a drink. . . ." [6] Atchison was "yet a town in embryo. . . ."

Apparently few emigrants other than those destined for the nearby farm land crossed the river at this thriving town in the first three years of its existence. [7] The grim fight over slavery in the territory cast a shadow over the two or three hundred inhabitants. But in 1858, while many paper towns were collapsing, Atchison grew. [8] The town company nursing those railroad desires so common to other speculators of the period began action which it was hoped would place their chosen location at the hub of a transportation system. The "city" (incorporated as such in 1858) agreed to purchase $100,000 worth of stock, and individuals pledged themselves to buy the same amount to build a railroad north to connect with the Hannibal and St. Joseph. [9] When work was begun in June, 1858, "the largest concourse of people ever assembled in Kansas were gathered together in Atchison" to celebrate the event. [10]

When the gold fever struck the Missouri river in September, 1858, this town was in the mood for doing a great business. A few emigrants had used Atchison as a starting point during the spring, but they had served only to encourage a town already busy selling its lots. [11] Most of the outfitting pilgrims to Pike's Peak were residents of the vicinity who could depart immediately for the mines. [12] According to the loyal editors there Was but one desirable route to the Cherry Creek mines in 1859, and that was the "First Standard Parallel Route" west from Atchison. It was alleged to be more direct and one-third less in distance-a good road along "high, level divides" with ferries and bridges available at every needed point. [13] This was the great point in Atchison's advertising, the acceptance of which was to achieve for it popularity as an emigrant depot. But it was supported only through a total disregard for truth. When the first claims were made for the new route, very few people had gone

WYMAN: ATCHISON, A FRONTIER DEPOT 299

over it, and no attempt had yet been made to build bridges or ferries. The company organized to do the work did not depart for the West until a month later. [14] One of the local news sheets planned to print an extra edition of 3,000 copies on the new route, outfits, and gold discoveries, so as to "reach every section of the country, complete in everything-no information which emigrants should have will be omitted. . . ." [15] Thus did Atchison strive to catch the Eastern innocents.

Steamboats from points on the river above and below brought "Peaker's" to this mushroom town which claimed a population of 4,000. [16] A tri-weekly stage from St. Joseph transferred many from the end of the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad. The much advertised stage west through Fort Riley to the mines did not come into reality in time to serve as a means of transportation for the whole season. [17] It is doubtful, however, if Atchison was a major outfitting place this year, although the gold-seekers' camps (" `one of them in charge of a gray-head who is surely old enough to know better' ") [18] were noticeable most of the spring months. Returning "Pike's Peakers" began to throng the streets before those outward bound were under way. Outfits were sold at auction before taking the first boat home. One pilgrim explained that "back-trailers" were of a class "constitutionally predisposed to homesickness." [19] That fall, however, a different class of miners-the successful ones-surged through town "at a wonderful rate," all eager to dispose of their gold and to get home for the winter. Stages rattled in from the West, loaded with passengers and the precious metal. [20] But realization of dreams still lay ahead.

Early in 1860 Atchison merchants went east to purchase new stocks for emigrants and freighters. Advertisements appealed to the prospective miner with an assurance that "We can furnish you with everything . . . from a good Wagon and Team, down to a Camp Kettle, and at less prices than can be bought at any other points on the river. . . ." [21] The Freedom's Champion unhesitatingly told its readers that the "Smoky Hill" route, advertised by Leavenworth, was taken only by "the fool-hardy and insane," while the Platte (not the "First Standard Parallel Route") was favored

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"by the great mass" of population as the "shortest, safest and best road in all respects." [22] The city had expended "over $3,500 for bridges, culverts, and grading" on the four miles of trail leading to the "Great Military Road" from Fort Leavenworth. [23] If coming by train the emigrant should buy a ticket through to Atchison, and "save much vexation and delay"; if by river, get a ticket to Atchison, thereby saving nearly two days, for the road west from Leavenworth was but three or four miles from there; if by wagon, come to Atchison before purchasing supplies and save twenty-five miles freighting, for it was farther west than all competitors. [24]

More "Peakers" outfitted in Atchison in 1860 than in the previous year. Covered wagons were everywhere, giving the town the appearance of a great military camp. Stores were crowded with out fitters. "Ho! For Pike's Peak" was heard on every hand . [25] It was believed that "a more reliable and better equipped class of emigrants" were leaving. "Instead of hand carts and starving, squalid travelers, we see well provided ox, mule and horse trains, with cheerful, well to do attendants. . . ." [26] Many of those who poured into St. Joseph by way of the railroad took the boat, stage, or train to Atchison. Nevertheless, Leavenworth must have been more successful if editorial comment is an indication.

After the middle 1860's Atchison was definitely on the decline as a factor in the westward movement of emigrants. "Times are dull. Hundreds of young men are tramping the streets, idle, starving and shelterless," wrote an observer, [27] even if many were still outfitting there. The overland stage, prized so highly because it would ultimately mean a railroad to the West, ceased operations in the winter of 1866. It was a sorrowful scene when the "long train of Concord stages, express coaches, hacks and other rolling stock started from their stables and yards on Second street to leave Atchison forever. . . ." [28] One old Atchison resident wrote later:

It was a magnificent sight to look upon, and yet there appeared to be something solemn or sad about it, when it was remembered that a similar scene would never be witnessed again. . . . The company was bidding a final adieu to the city and section of country [which] its vast enterprise had so many years been such an important factor in helping to build up [29}

WYMAN : ATCHISON, A FRONTIER DEPOT 301

Familiar scenes in Atchison became the wagons of Missouri and Iowa farmers en route to Kansas, or of local farmers in town to market their produce. Some emigrants stopped long enough to replenish supplies before leaving for the Rocky Mountain area or the Far West. The city no longer functioned as a Missouri river town. Hopes for being the hub of the universe faded from the minds of these imaginative people. To sell to and buy from the hinterland became the ideal, rather than to outfit the pilgrim. Advertisements paraded such instruments of civilization as reapers, mowers, pianos, bedsteads, and bureaus. Even some of the prostitutes were driven from town. Indeed, civilization had come!

However, before that day came Atchison had a great period as a terminal for ox-team freighters. It had a favorable location in reference to the rising West. Being westernmost by twelve miles of the Kansas and Missouri cities, it also enjoyed a good steamboat landing, had a railroad connection with St. Joseph and the East after 1860, and had the best wagon road to the West. It is doubtful if its freighting history was excelled by any other place on the river excepting Kansas City.

Before Atchison's second birthday, several Utah freighters, including Livingston and Kinkead, the most important in Utah, had shipped goods from it. Tutt and Dougherty, freighters to Fort Laramie, also helped crowd the levee with their freight. [30] Residents believed they were witnessing the childhood of a future St. Louis or Cincinnati, and declared that there "are one-horse towns in Kansas, but Atchison is not on that list." [31]

In February, 1858, a local editor stated as almost a certainty that "the larger portion of the Salt Lake and California trade" and "the chief portion of the supplies for the Utah army" would start from Atchison. Warehouses, forwarding, and commission houses should be established at once. [32] Everything must be made ready for these gentlemen of the Plains, the freighters. The wharf was extended, and the hill at the levee graded back several feet. Then as the steamers puffed up with goods from St. Louis and Eastern marts, pipe dreams were woven around the Atchison of the future. Located on the western point of the "Grand Detour" of the Missouri, why was this not the town to become the Giant of the West, the doorway through which the "gigantic commerce of those plains will pour [?]" Santa Fe would be the principal city of the South-

302 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

west, hence the inevitable conclusion that railroads from Chicago would reach to Navajo land by way of Fort Riley and Atchison, the "only points on an air line between those two places. . . ."

That spring the two commission houses were "completely filled with boxes, bales, barrels. . . ." Each boat lay at the levee nearly a day unloading. Everything bustled with activity, for a new day seemed at hand. [34] Most of this freight was for Utah. Every army sutler, it was reported, outfitted at Atchison while the government supplies for the Utah army went forth from Leavenworth. A Kansas City contemporary, who did not have the greatest of respect for Leavenworth either, quoted an article in Freedom's Champion which said that such could be explained only "because government is swindled and cheated by men who have large interests in Leavenworth, and pays exhorbitant [sic] prices for shipping goods from disadvantageous points. . . ." [35]

Besides the Salt Lake and army sutler trains, a few traders brought in furs and took out goods, and stage supplies for the California-Salt Lake mail were shipped from Atchison. A summary of the activities of the year shows that seven wagons outfitted for Green River, nine for Marysville, thirteen for Labonto, twenty for Palmetto, fifty-one for Fort Kearny, nine for Fort Laramie, eighty-nine for the mail stations, and 577 for Salt Lake, or a total of 775 wagons. [36] This does not in-

WYMAN : ATCHISON, A FRONTIER DEPOT 303

clude any that may have loaded for Pike's Peak late that fall. There was good reason for the mayor to say that "small as she is . . . Atchison excels. . . ." [37]

Thus at the time when other river towns above Kansas City were just getting the freighting fever, Atchison had a lion's share of it, and apparently had the Utah trade monopolized. At that time the Mormon trade was rightly regarded as the greatest of all Western markets. The population of the whole Salt Lake Valley was estimated at twenty to thirty thousand and was constantly increasing. The Missouri river town which could keep it, even if most of it was commission business rather than direct sale, was certain of recognition when railroads should be built west.

Although Atchison profited somewhat by the Denver and Indian trade, the greatest increase came from the Mormon Valley. The number of wagons sent out the next year increased nearly twenty percent, or to 954. [38] A. S. Parker & Co. and D. W. Adams seem to have become overnight the great commission houses. [39] The city council, grasping fully the potential future of Atchison, ordered property owners on Commercial street at the levee to lay a brick or stone pavement. [40] The channel of the river and the landing appeared to be permanent. The back country was filling up with sturdy farmers eager to produce a surplus. The prairies to the west afforded good grass and camp sites for freighters. As Atchison entered 1860 success seemed certain, even if a federal government could not see the advantages of sending forth from it all of its contractors. A keen-minded contemporary wrote:

No one could question the commercial importance of Atchison during the spring of 1860, because no other city in the great Missouri valley enjoyed such advantages in the way of overland transportation. It was nothing unusual to see two or three steamboats lying at the levee discharging freight, and as many more on the river in sight, either above or below the city. . . . It was no uncommon thing, during the spring of 1860, to see great quantities of freight, in the shape of thousands of wagons and ox-yokes, mining machinery, boilers, and other material, and the provisions necessary to supply the thousands of people then flocking to the great West. Tons of stuff were piled on

304 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

the levee and in the warehouses. It was common to see immense quantities of heavy- freight stacked up for several blocks along the levee, and every warehouse was packed with groceries, provisions, clothing, boots and shoes, etc., awaiting transportation. . . [41]

Apparently the Denver market proved to be attractive to a growing number of enterprises. Only four firms were engaged in the Salt Lake traffic, while about forty turned toward the mines, including J. B. Doyle, famous freighter on the Santa Fe trail. [42] Irwin, Jackman & Co., rising government contractors of the sixties, dispatched nearly twenty trains from Atchison for Forts Laramie and Kearny and the posts in Utah. The total commerce of the year of over 1,600 wagons showed that the city now ranked second as an army depot, third or fourth in private freighting, and second or third in the Denver traffic. About 320 wagons for the army and 700 for Denver and Salt Lake were sent out. St. Joseph apparently captured some of the Utah business. [43] The reason for the general increase was due

306 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

largely to government patronage; the growth of the commerce to the Denver area was attributable to local merchants establishing stores and to a transfer to that field of the Salt Lake freighters. Perhaps the $3,500 spent in improving the trail west of town to where it joined the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Kearny military trail had some effect. [44] It is probable that the extension of the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad to Atchison was more important than that. That railway, completed in February, 1860, was to be the greatest factor in removing the military depot from Leavenworth, even though most of the goods were still brought in 1860 by steamboats. [45] To residents came advice from an enthusiastic editor:

Rejoice! Citizens of Atchison, for . . . this Rail Road marks a new epoch in the history of this thriving city. . . . Rejoicel everybody, east, west, north and south, for this Rail Road has opened a new avenue to the fertile prairies of Kansas, and a new field of trade, commerce, and social intercourse. Atchison must inevitably be the mart-the great entre-pot for the freight from the East and the exhaustless commerce of Kansas, New Mexico and Utah for all time. . [46]

Regardless of cause Atchison in 1860 occupied a position that was envied by most of the upper river towns. In the next few years this town with a favorable geographic location held its own. One government contractor shipped from there in 1862, but the circumstances of war had driven others elsewhere. The ordinary assumption is that Atchison declined during the years of the Civil War, but a local paper listing incomplete figures on the commerce of 1862, showed over 4,000,000 pounds of freight shipped west, and claimed the total was twice that amount. [47] The levee was extended as if great business were being done. It claimed a greater share of the Denver trade than Leavenworth had, and there seems to be little reason to doubt it.

The year 1865 will go down in Atchison's history as one of the greatest in the overland freighting business. That towering capitalist of the frontier, D. A. Butterfield of the Overland Despatch, the largest taxpayer in Atchison county, [48] ran trains not only to Colo-

WYMAN : ATCHISON, A FRONTIER DEPOT 307

rado, but also to Santa Fe, Utah, and Bannock City, Idaho. [49] Freighters and merchants as numerous as cattle had been a decade before milled about the wharf. Neither the Indian troubles on the Platte, nor the reported improvements in mining machinery which made necessary a, return of much that was already there on the wharf affected the business. [50] A Colorado editor gave Atchison credit for being the greatest depot for the trade of that area, [51] and Samuel Bowles, an Easterner with a Western complex, wrote that this town was "one of the chief points on the border for the transshipment, from cars and steamboats to wagons, of goods of all sorts bound to the mines of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, &c., and the saints of Utah." [52] About 5,000 wagons manned by swearing drivers with cracking whips pulled the 21,541,830 pounds of freight from the levee that year-a record probably not equalled by another town on the river at any time, and never again by Atchison. [53] The streets of the city may have been almost impassable and the road west to the military trail in the same condition, but even that could not overcome the advantages which freighters believed the town possessed.

The rumble of the express wagons and coaches leaving Atchison in 1866 was merely the prelude to a new day. Wagons still loaded for Salt Lake, Colorado, and Indian trading posts that year, and perhaps for a few years afterward. [54] One or more trains of dry hides came through, but even the Indian merchants seemed to have deserted the town. The city was getting more interested in the "country trade than she ever has before." [55] Even the upper Missouri trade area was sought by "sleepless, Vigilant, enterprising and powerful competitors. . . ." [56] The reputation abroad, that given to all towns harboring bullwhackers, began to cast a "gloomy feeling" over some. One of the predecessors of the crusaders for a purer Kansas wrote:

It is thrown in our teeth that we are governed by whisky; that we have no

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Sunday law; that in Atchison the Sabbath day is devoted in making drunkards; that our authorities have not the power to close the saloons on Sundays, even if they were so disposed. . . [57]

The town was only reaping the wild oats it had sown. "Famous as a depot, notorious as a town of grog shops and bawdy houses," might well have been a proverb. The town had "made good." Unfortunately located as to the vast commerce of the Southwest, most favorably located of the Kansas towns as to distance and trails west to Denver and Salt Lake, too low on the river to get a great proportion of the Montana trade, its record was consistently good. It had a monopoly on none, but a part of all, including a few wagons to New Mexico.

Today Atchison lies in a cup, surrounded by lazy hills on all sides but the east. The languid Missouri writhes by the business section as in days of old. From the hilltops one can see a winding pavement leading southeast to Leavenworth, the famous rival of other years. Today, however, St. Joseph and Kansas City cast the dark shadow, not Leavenworth. The population of 13,000 engaged in processing and wholesaling still speak reverently of their pioneers and value the memory of stage and steamboat days. It is a river town that succeeded in a minor way, failing to achieve greatness, not because of lack of efforts between 1855 and 1870, but because geography decreed otherwise. Growth of these frontier towns depended upon being in line with major cities like Chicago or St. Louis. Atchison was not so favored.

Notes

1. Andreas, A. T., and Cutler, Wm. G., History of the State of Kansas (Chicago, 1883), p. 376.
2. "Fiftieth Anniversary Edition" of the Atchison Daily Globe, December 8, 1927, sec. 6, p. 3, article by E. W. Howe written in 1894.
3. Ibid., sec. 1, p. 4.
4. Ibid., sec. 2, p. 6, another Howe article written in 1824. The president of the town company, Peter T. Abell, bore the title of "Father of Atchison."
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid., sec. 6, p. 3.
7. Based on issues of the Atchison Squatter Sovereign, March 11, 1856, to February 17, 1857.
8. Leavenworth Journal, February 6, 1858, quoted in Freedom's Champion, Atchison, February 20, 1858; also St. Joseph (Mo.) Weekly West quoted in ibid., November 13, 1858.
9. Andreas-Cutler, op. cit., p. 376.
10. Freedom's Champion, June 26, 1858.
11. Letter from "An Iowan" in ibid., April 3, 1858. 12. Ibid., September 18, 1858.
13. Ibid., February 19, 26, 1859.
14. Ibid., March 26, 1859.
15. Ibid., February 12, 1859.
16. Ibid., June 4, 11, 1859; Weekly West, St. Joseph, June 26, 1859.
17. Freedom's Champion, April 2, 1859, quoting a letter of February 25, 1859. in the Junction City Sentinel.
18. Horace Greeley in letter of May 15, quoted in Freedom's Champion, June 4, 1859.
19. Ibid., July 23, 1852.
20. One stage brought in $8,992.07 in gold.-Ibid., September 17, 1859.
21. Ibid., April 21, 1860.
22. Issue of February 11, 1860.
23. Ibid., March 10, 1860.
24. Atchison Union, January 21, 1860.
25. Ibid., March 24, April 14, May 12, 1860; Freedom's Champion, April 14, 28, 1850.
26. Atchison Union, April 28, 1860.
27. Atchison Patriot quoted in the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Bugle, May 7, 1868.
28. Ingalls, Sheffield, History of Atchison County, Kansas (Lawrence, 1916), p. 169.
29. Root, F. A., and Connelley, W. E., The Overland Stage to California (Topeka, 1901), pp. 437, 438.
30. Atchison Squatter Sovereign, May 6, 27, July 1, 8, 1856.
31. Ibid., May 6, 1856.
32. Freedom's Champion, February 20, 1858.
33. Ibid., March 20, 1858.
34. Ibid., April 10, 1858.
35. Western Journal of Commerce, Kansas City, Mo., August 28, 1858.
36. This compilation of overland freighters and freighting leaving Atchison in 1858 was taken from Freedom's Champion, October 30, 1858. some corrections have been made. Train destinations are shown first; names of owners, their residences, names of freighters, their residences, and number of wagons in the caravan, follow.
Salt Lake City-Radford, Cabot & Co., St. Louis; P. M. Chouteau & Co., Kansas City, 32 wagons.
S. L. M. stations-John M. Hockaday & Co., mail contractors; First supply Train, Independence, 10 wagons.
Salt Lake City-Dyer, Mason & Co., Independence; W. H. Dyer & Co., Independence, 60 wagons.
Salt Lake City-S. G. Mason & Co., Independence; E. C. Chiles, Independence, 27 wagons.
Salt Lake City-Radford, Cabot & Co., St. Louis; J. B. Doyle, New Mexico, 38 wagons.
S. L. M. stations-John M. Hockaday & Co., mail contractors; second supply Train, Independence, 10 wagons.
Salt Lake City-C. C. Branham, Weston; C. C. Branham, Weston, 28 wagons.
Salt Lake City-C. A. Perry & Co., Weston; C. A. Perry & Co., Weston, 91 wagons.
Fort Kearny-R. H. Dyer & Co., Fort Kearny; R. H. Dyer & Co., Fort Kearny, 38 wagons.
Palmetto-F. J. Marshall, Marysville; F. J. Marshall, Marysville, 20 wagons.
Salt Lake City-Irvin & Young, Independence; Irvin & Young, Independence, 32 wagons.
Salt Lake City-Livingston, Kinkead & Co., New York; Irvin & Young, Independence, 52 wagons.
Salt Lake City-J. M. Guthrie & Co., Weston; s. M. Guthrie & Co., Weston, 50 wagons.
Salt Lake City-Curtas Clayton, Leavenworth; C. C. Branham, Weston, 12 wagons.
Fort Laramie-Reynald & McDonald, Fort Laramie; Reynald & McDonald, Fort Laramie, 9 wagons.
Green River-C. Martin, Green River; C. Martin, Green River, 7 wagons.
Salt Lake City-Livingston, Kinkead & Co., New York; Hord & Smith, Independence, 40 wagons.
Salt Lake City and way Points-Hord & smith, Independence; Hord & smith, Independence, 10 wagons.
Labonto-Bisonette & Lazinette, Deer Creek; Bisonette & Lazinette, Deer Creek, 13 wagons.
Marysville-Ballord & Moralle, Marysville; J. S. Watson, Marysville, 9 wagons.
Fort Kearny-R. H. Dyer & Co., Fort Kearny; R. H. Dyer & Co., 13 wagons.
S. L. M. stations-John M. Hockaday & Co., Independence; Third supply Train, 57 wagons.
Cal. & S. L. Stat's-Geo. Chorpoening, California; A. J. Schell, Pennsylvania, 12 wagons.
Salt Lake City-Hockaday, Burr & Co., salt Lake City; Hockaday, Burr & Co., Utah, l05 wagons.
A total of 3,730,905 pounds was shipped, using 1,114 men, 7,963 oxen, 1,286 mules. 142 horses. Wagons valued at $200 each, mules $100, horses $150, and oxen $35. These statistics were also given in ibid.. March 10, 1860.
37. Speech given at opening of Massasoit House.-Ibid., September 11, 1858.
38. The summary given in ibid., March 10, 1860, for the year 1852 was 954 wagons, 1,168 men, 9,235 oxen, 627 mules, 141 horses, and 4,020,000 pounds. Also see summaries for 1858, 1859 and 1860 in ibid., November 3, 1860.
39. See detailed account of their business that spring in ibid., April 16, 1859.
40. Ibid., June 18, 1859.
41. Root and Connelley, op. cit., p. 305.
42. Freedom's Champion, March 3, 10. 17, April 28, May 12, September 1, 22, 1860; "Commerce on the Prairies," Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, New York. v. XLIV, pp. 42, 43; Root and Connelley, op. cit., footnote on pages 419, 420; Albert Watkins (ed.), History of Nebraska (Lincoln, 1913), v. III, p. 377, quoting Capt. H. E. Palmer.
43. Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, v. XLIV, pp. 43-45, gives the total as 1,220 wagons, but Root and Connelley, op. cit., and Captain Palmer, quoted by Watkins, op. cit. give this total: 1,328 wagons, 1,549 men, 401 mules, 15,263 oxen, 6,590,875 pounds of freight. Freedom's Champion, of November 3, 1860, gave 1,717 wagons, 2,014 men, 16,188 oxen, 2,460 mules, and 8,088,911 pounds of merchandise. The following is the Champion's statistical data for 1860, as corrected by the writer:

By A. S. Parker & Co.

Freighters, and Destination Wagons Men Mules Oxen Md'se. Lbs.
..

Livingston, Bell & Co., Salt Lake city 60 64 8 600 187,000
S. Kneidson, Salt Lake city 16 20 .. 66 48,000
Clayton & Lowe, Denver city 10 12 40 .. 30,000
Jas. B. Doyle, Denver city 45 48 8 450 173,875
John Dold & Bra., Denver city 35 38 4 420 71,000
Arnold & Marten, Denver city 3 4 2 24 9,806
Cligham & Bro., Colorado city 8 8 3 96 15,500
Wm. McClarkle, Denver city 22 .. .. .. 5.358
S. Knipe, Denver city .. .. .. .. 5.554
A. Hanuere, Denver city .. .. .. .. 51,104
Seth E. Ward, Fort Laramie 8 12 4 96 45,522
Bogy, McKnight & Bingham, Denver city .. .. .. .. 20,924
Wm. A. Carter, Fort Bridger .. .. .. 29,184
Jas. Rogers, Denver city 2 4 2 24 5,184
J. B. Dole & Co., Denver city 43 46 3 516 233,867
J. Dold & Co., Denver city 24 26 2 .. 288 112,174
Hugh Murdock, Denver city 23 25 2 276 109,081
T. M. Fisher, Denver city 17 19 2 204 87,824
M. C. Fisher, Denver city .. .. .. .. 10,800
C. J. Couard, Denver city .. .. .. .. 10,063
R. C. Ewing, Denver city 20 22 2 240 102,106
S. E. Ward, Fort Laramie 20 24 4 240 121,978
S. Kneidson, Denver city 14 18 88 26,500
J. Rallston, Mountain city 14 17 3 168 67,997
Wallingford & Murphy, Denver city 11 13 2 132 49,500
Total 373 420 245 3,774 1,629,901
By Home & Chouteau Mules Oxen Lbs. Freighters, and Destination Wagons Alen Md'se.
M. Elsback & Co., Denver city 54 59 250 72 165,340
Jones & Cartwright, Denver city 56 63 672 8 313,600
J. B. Doyle & Co., Santa Fe 15 20 90 4 68,904
W. S. Williams, Pike's Peak 6 8 .. 36 18,000
N. P. Perry, Denver city 5 11 .. 30 20,800
J. Samuels, Denver city 10 12 120 3 48,000
C. H. Graliot, Salt Lake city 20 30 240 6 51,980
Freport Mining Co., Denver city 10 11 122 3 41,000
Myers & Lockhart, Denver city 3 10 18 .. 8,000
Almy & Fisher, Denver city 10 13 120 3 40,000
L. B. Gaylord, Denver city 2 3 12 .. 6,463
Baker & Reed, Denver city 3 4 24 2 10,493
J. M. Brodweir, Denver city 2 4 .. 2 4,860
D. D. White & Co., Pike's Peak 7 14 100 2 29,784
Maxwell & Walker, Denver city 2 2 12 .. 4,026
Roberts & Lauderdale, Denver city 20 24 54 200 84,690
B. F. Coons, Denver city 18 .. 180 4 31,500
R. S. Watson, Denver city 3 4 18 1 12,000
Jones & Cartwright, Denver city 2 3 12   4,026
Gilbert & Gerrish, Salt Lake city 1 12 3 120 59,428
A. Hays & Bro., Denver city 7 8 2 84 42,119
Roberts & Lauderdale, Denver city 12 14 4 144 70,340
T. M. Digby, Salt Lake city 8 10 2 96 48,213
T. Davis, Denver city 10 12 3 120 59.559
Jones & Cartwright, Denver city 85 110 12 1,020 512,860
Total 379 483 2,046 1,994 1,755,985
By D. W. Adams
Tim Goodale, Green River 8 16 4 80 32,000
F. Boisvesh, Denver city 6 10 2 40 24,010
M. Marten, Green River 10 15 5 86 36,457
J. Ferrier, Denver city 7 10 2 60 20,000
Wallingford & Murphy, Denver city 20 25 6 160 70,000
J. C. Davis & Co., Denver city 6 10 4 24 24,000
Fenten & Purcell, Denver city 12 15 4 100 60,000
W. E. Brown & Co., Denver city 7 10 3 70 30,000
W. Kinkead, Denver city 5 10 2 30 20,000
Hugh Murdock, Denver city 20 25 5 160 67,000
J. E. Walker, Salt Lake city 25 30 6 200 100,000
D. D. White & Co., Denver city 75 90 10 600 300,000
D. D. White & Co., Denver city 25 30 6 250 100,000
C. Antoine, Scotts Bluff 5 7 2 50 20,000
J. Turgeon, Scotts Bluff 7 10 1 70 28,000
D. D. White & Co., Denver city 69 49 2 690 310,000
Total 307 362 64 2,670 1,241,467
By Irwin, Jackman & Co., U. S. Government Freighters

 

Six trains to Fort Kearny 106 120 12 1,320 508,000
Two trains to Utah territory 26 30 4 330 126,482
Ten trains to Fort Laramie 212 360 50 3,960 1,800,000
Total 444 510 66 5,610 2,524,482
By Sundry Private Traders
D. Bivins & Co., Denver city 22 25 3 220 90,000
Spottswood & Jacobs, Mountain city 35 40 5 350 154,576
D. Bivina & Co., Denver city 25 30 4 250 110,000
Eli C. Mason, Pike's Peak 25 29 4 250 110,000
D. Bivins & Co., Denver city 22 25 3 220 90,000
Sundry freighters, Denver & Utah 85 90 20 850 382,500
Total 214 239 39 2,140 937,076
Grand Total of Freighting
By Home & Chouteau 379 483 2,046 1,994 1,755,985
By A. S. Parker & Co 373 420 245 3,774 1,629,901
By Government Freighters 444 510 66 5,610 2,524,482
By D. W. Adams 307 362 64 2,670 1,241,467
By Sundry Freighters 214 239 39 2,140 937,076
Grand Total 1,717 2,014 2,460 16,188 8,088,911

44. Ibid., March 10, 1860.
45. Root and Connelley, op. cit., pp. 416-420.
46. Atchison Union, February 25, 1860.
47. Freedom's Champion, January 10, 1863. In 1860, according to Root and Connelley, op. cit., pp. 430-433, and in 1861, as given by The Weekly Bulletin, Atchison, July 11, 1861, an experiment was made with a steam wagon." The Bulletin's story reported that the contraption ran into a commission house and broke a boy's leg before it was abandoned as impracticable.
48. The Weekly Free Press, Atchison, August 10, 1865, reports Butterfield as paying U. S. income tax for 1864 upon an assessment of $74,400, more than four times as much as the next wealthiest taxpayer.
49. Ibid., May 13, August 10, September 21, 28, October 5, 21, 1865. 50. The Daily Free Press, Atchison, May 13, 1865.
51. Miners' Register quoted in the Kansas City (Mo.) Daily Journal of Commerce, January 7, 1866.
52. Samuel Bowles, Across the Continent (Springfield, Mass., 1865), p. 4; also quoted in The Weekly Free Press, February 10, 1866.
53. Root and Connelley, op. cit., p. 419, state that 27,685 oxen, 6,164 mules, and 1,256 men were employed. The total tonnage is also given by W. L. Visscher, The Pony Express (Chicago, 1908), p. 18.
54. Eighty tons of ore from Colorado were shipped overland to Atchison en route to Swansea, Wales, for testing before the owners would invest more in the mines. The cost, of freigbting as far east as Atchison was $55 per ton.-The Weekly Free Press, September 29, 1866.
55. Ibid., November 10, 1866.
56. Ibid., February 24, 1866.
57. Ibid., December 9, 1865.-Letter from "Pro Bono."