Notes from the Past

Transcontinental Mail in 1860 - Part III

In Transcontinental Mail in 1860 - Part I and Part II we noted the comments regarding mail found in John D. Young and the Colorado Gold Rush published by R. R. Donnelley & Sons in 1969 as  a part of their Lakeside Press Christmas Series.  In this installment the gold-seekers have finally arrived in Denver, Colorado, and go to find their mail again.  Their local contact was a Mr. Collier who was a lawyer from Leavenworth engaged in legal and land transactions.
Mr. Collier was very kind and courteous.  Offered to assist and give us all the information in his power.  He proposed to take us round to have a view of the city.  Straight across the street from his office there was a large brick building being put up.  He informed us that it was to be a U.S. mint and post office.  That put us in mind that we should get some letters from home so he agreed to go and show us the P.O.  We passed along a few squares saw some nice stores and came to Bradford's Corner an immense large building in which the P.O. was temporarily located.  The sidewalks in front were thronged with people eagerly looking for news from home.  I got in the string about one hundred back and had to wait patiently for my turn.  It came at last and I found three letters from home.  I had to pay twenty five cents postage on each that went to the express company.  They carry the mail from Kearney which is as far west as the government carries it.
In an accompanying note, the editor, Dwight L. Smith notes that "Major Robert B. Bradford, merchant and freighter, owned a 'pretentious' building described as 'fifty by sixty and three stories high, the largest building of its character yet reared in Denver.' "  An illustration confirms this view of the building which must have been quite an edifice in this frontier town.

 Posted May 3, 2000

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