VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COVER SENT BY THE CENTRAL ROUTE VIA SALT LAKE CITY ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW DAILY OVERLAND MAIL SERVICE. ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE WITH THIS FRANKING, THE IMPRINT AND THE FOREIGN DESTINATION.
On March 12, 1861, service on the Southern Overland Mail Route (the Butterfield route) was ordered discontinued due to disruptions caused by the Civil War. The first daily stages on the new central route left St. Joseph and Placerville on July 1, 1861 (the same day the government contract for the Pony Express commenced). Both coaches reached their destinations on July 18, a savings of approximately eight days over the old route.