FINE AND RARE ILLUSTRATED BUTTERFIELD STAGECOACH COVER CARRIED OVER THE SOUTHERN ROUTE TO PARIS, FRACE.
The inscription "Oct. 31, 8am" at top was likely written by a Butterfield agent as this cover departed that day from San Francisco. The 15c rate was 3c for U.S. postage, 6c U.S. ship and 6c French ship (2c British transit)
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.