Kansas Historical Quarterly - Pike's Peak Express Companies, 2
Part II--Solomon and Republican Route--Concluded
by George A. Root and Russell K. Hickman
November 1944 (Vol. 13 No. 4), pages 211 to 242.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.
[Detail from map of the Leavenworth-Denver Express Route, 1859.
See a full-size view of entire map.]
THE early months of operation of the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company were much complicated by the fluctuations of migration to the new gold fields. This was due in part to the widespread exodus of many who were either ignorant of the hardships of mining in a remote and mountainous country or who were unwilling to undergo privation. Many without adequate supplies thoughtlessly joined the mad rush and still more who had no knowledge of prospecting and mining. As in all great migrations, there were many "floaters" who speedily moved on when they discovered that chunks of gold were not scattered promiscuously about the landscape. A stronger cause for discouragement, however, which for a time threatened the future of the region as a mineral empire, lay in the fact that the early discoveries of flake gold were inadequate to sustain the number that had migrated.
Since winter had largely halted mining and prospecting, the scarcity of gold was not fully realized until the warm weather of May, 1859. But even before this disappointed pilgrims were heading eastward over the Platte route, telling the westbound emigrants that "Pike's Peak was a humbug," "gold would never be found in paying quantities," "provisions and merchandise were scarce and high," "the country [was] without law of any kind," etc. 
A stampede of returning emigrants took place, which at times approached panic proportions. Hundreds of wagons were soon on the back track; the roads were strewn with culinary utensils, camp fixtures, and other "impedimenta"; and oxen, teams and wagons were sold for a song. Some even made use of the Platte and Missouri rivers as a convenient way to return.  An observer on Big Sandy
212 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
creek, west of the Big Blue river, wrote a graphic account of this event for the New York Tribune:
We had already heard a faint murmur of a retrograde movement from the Peak, and no sooner did we arrive on top of the divide than we beheld the advance guard of the retreating columns. Such a stampede of human beings was never before seen. Mule teams, horse, cow and ox teams, hand-carts, men with carpet sacks, riders and runners, with every imaginable conveyance, loaded with every species of articles, from steam saw mills to blankets, all coming back in a hurry, as if flying from danger; some swearing lustily at Pike's Peak, at themselves, and the rest of mankind. Some were laughing at their folly, and at us. Some wore faces as long as the Peak they sought. The prairies, as well as the road, seemed alive with the masses. We no doubt met a thousand men per day, with saw mills, quartz mills, and whole trains of store goods. Outfits amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars are returning. And still, in the face of all this, thousands were pushing on as if nothing had happened. 
This stampede was in great measure limited to the Platte route and appears to have started in April and May, 1859, even before the season had opened in the mountains. The situation was well described by a Denver correspondent of the Leavenworth Herald:
The first emigration that arrived here was of that excitable class who, deceived by the false and exaggerated tales of the Missouri River papers, rushed, totally unprepared-without tools, provisions or any proper outfit-to this place, expecting to pick up gold as they would potatoes. Winter was still upon us, and digging had not commenced. . . . Disappointed in finding what they expected they turned back, and determined that no others should come. They have, by the most unblushing lies and extraordinary stretch of fiction, contrived to turn back almost all of the emigration by the South Platte. By the Arkansas and Republican we are filling up fast enough. . . 
In their bitter disappointment some of the more unfortunate gave voice to a stinging rebuke of the whole "Pike's Peak humbug," and directed a storm of abuse against the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company. The Kansas City (Mo.) Journal of Commerce
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 213
had made repeated exposures of "this grand humbug," 100 and now rang the changes with growing fervor. The Weekly Journal of Commerce branded as false everything the express company claimed to have accomplished. They asserted that there has never been an attempt to open a route from Leavenworth by the Smoky Hill-that Jones & Russell never sent a coach that way-that their exploring party has just returned from the Republican-that no daily line has been established at all-that Jones & Russell have not advertised an express line as in operation, in any paper either in Leavenworth or in America. That their gold news is "gas," that their receipts of gold dust are "gassier," and that their "painted wagon," is "gassiest." In short, that the whole thing is buckram, from beginning to end. . . 
The White Cloud Kansas Chief had long held a similar belief and in its issue of April 21, 1859, remarked: "The rival `outfitting points' are becoming so jealous of each other, that they are compelled to expose their own humbuggery." A few weeks later (May 5) it asserted that they had "heard any amount of unfavorable news. Hundreds, and some say thousands, are getting back home as fast as they can, perfectly satisfied with their sight of the `elephant.' " Soon thereafter came the "explosion," but they believed that "our skirts are perfectly clear of this swindling affair."  The St. Joseph (Mo.) Weekly West could "hardly resist" calling the whole Pike's Peak proposition a humbug, although it attempted to present the news of all kinds in an objective manner. In its issue of May 18, 1859, it gave an adverse statement by George B. Throop, G. W. Price, and Job Sears, but pointed out that none of these men had actually been at the mines. In its issue of June 12, however, on the basis of very unfavorable reports from Leavenworth, this paper conceded that the whole affair was a hoax, and blamed the editors of the border papers. It asserted "that [to] the credulity of the emigrant, the unmitigated villainy of the shareholders of townsites in the region
214 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
of Cherry Creek, and of letter writers in the mines, is to be attributed all the disaster which has ensued. . . ."  The St. Joseph Gazette for a time subscribed to the view that the Pike's Peak express company of Jones & Russell was "an arrant humbug,"  but later spoke in much more hopeful terms of the prospects for gold"we are satisfied that the gold of the South Platte extends over a vast range of country, and that there are many places where it can be ob tained in paying quantities."  In general, however, the border papers did not blame the Pike's Peak Express Company.
The initial trips of the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak express were made with this background of uncertainty regarding the future of the mines. The company being the chief means of carrying mail to the diggings, the arrival of the express coaches was awaited with the greatest interest by the public. On May 12, 1859, two coaches arrived in Denver for the second time, after a journey of 19 days from Leavenworth.  Among the passengers was Daniel Blue, who had been given free passage from Station 25, where he had been left by the first stage coach after a grueling experience on the Smoky Hill route.  The most noted passenger on this trip was Henry Villard, a correspondent of the Cincinnati (Ohio) Daily Commercial, who wrote a graphic account of the journey to his paper.  Villard found the Cherry creek diggings in a state of depression, many miners were without funds and consequently the cry of the auctioneer was a very familiar sound. Many had struck for the mountains, and others, disgusted, had returned to the "States." The prevailing "depression of mind," however, was giving way to a more hopeful attitude, he wrote, adding that the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company had shipped during the last week about a thousand dollars worth of scale gold.  B. D. Williams of the express company returned to Leavenworth on the second return trip from Den-
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 215
ver and brought further details of the more favorable news from the mountains, where many were prospecting. 
The third trip of the express coaches was completed the following morning (May 28), after a journey of nine days and a few hours from Denver, which would have been reduced a full day had it not been for high water. This forced them to swim the Wildcat, near Manhattan, and delayed them a day at Rock creek,  where they met the westbound coach with its illustrious passenger, Horace Greeley, and his journalist companion, Albert D. Richardson. The passengers on the third coach reported a great hegira from the settlements to the mountains, and the prevalence of a feeling of confidence that gold would be found in considerable quantities. 
The journey of Horace Greeley and Albert D. Richardson by Pike's Peak express to the gold mines of Colorado has been chronicled by a number of writers.  Richardson left Leavenworth on the stage of May 25, 1859, and wrote an interesting account of the Concord coach which, like the "wonderful one-hoss Shay," was made so that it "don't break down, but only wears out."
It is covered with duck or canvas, the driver sitting in front, at a slight elevation above the passengers. Bearing no weight upon the roof, it is less topheavy than the old-fashioned stage-coach for mud holes and mountain-sides, where to preserve the center of gravity becomes, with Falstaff's instinct, `a great matter.' Like human travelers on life's highway, it goes best under a heavy load. Empty, it jolts and pitches like a ship in a raging sea; filled with passengers and balanced by a proper distribution of baggage in the `boot' behind, and under the driver's feet before, its motion is easy and elastic. Excelling every other in durability and strength, this hack is used all over our continent and throughout South America.
Two coaches, each drawn by four mules, leave Leavenworth daily  and make the entire trip together, for protection in case of danger from Indians. A crowd gathered in front of the Planters' House to see our equipages start. Amid confused ejaculations of 'Good-by, old boy. `Write as soon as you get there.' `Better have your hair cut, so that the Arapahoes can't scalp you.' `Tell John to send me an ounce of the dust' 'Be sure and give Smith that letter from his wife.' 'Do write the facts about the gold,' the whips cracked and the two stages rolled merrily away. 
After he had concluded a brief tour of the principal settlements Greeley boarded an express coach bound for the mines. Wherever he went he aroused the interest of the people, even though he encountered, every now and then, one who had been "born and raised in Missouri," who had never heard of Greeley and the New York Tribune.  The trip was completed without incident of importance, although shortly before arriving at Station 17 the coach was overturned and Greeley suffered injuries which proved more painful than serious.
Descending an abrupt bill, our mules, terrified by meeting three savages, broke a line, ran down a precipitous bank, upsetting the coach which was hurled upon the ground with a tremendous crash, and galloped away with the fore-wheels. I sprang out in time to escape being overturned. From a mass of cushions, carpet-sacks and blankets soon emerged my companion, his head rising above the side of the vehicle like that of an advertising boy from his frame of pasteboard. Blood was flowing profusely from cuts in his cheek, arm and leg; but his face was serene and benignant as a May morning. He was soon rescued from his cage, and taken to Station Seventeen, a few yards beyond, where the good woman dressed his galling wounds. 
At Station 23, nearly 600 miles from Leavenworth, B. D. Williams of the express company overtook the coach containing Greeley and Richardson and proceeded with them to Denver.  The sight of the mountains towering in the west gave the travelers new hope, and the
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 217
reappearance of trees in abundance was even more cheering.  Early in the morning of June 6 the coach arrived at Denver City, after a journey of eleven days from Leavenworth. Even though a trip by stage was much superior to other methods of transportation Greeley could not fail to note the humbling influence of the experience, and remarked:
A true picture of gold-seekers setting out from home, trim and jolly, for Pike's Peak, and of those same gold-seekers, sober as judges, and slow-moving as their own weary oxen, dropping into Denver, would convey a salutary lesson to many a sanguine soul. Nay, I have in my mind's eye an individual who rolled out of Leavenworth, barely thirteen days ago, in a satisfactory rig, and a spirit of adequate self-complacency, but who-though his hardships have been nothing to theirs-dropped into Denver this morning in a sobered and thoughtful frame of mind, in dust-begrimed and tattered habiliments, with a patch on his cheek, a bandage on his leg, and a limp in his gait, altogether constituting a spectacle most rueful to behold.
The next day (June 7) Greeley, Richardson and Henry Villard set forth on an expedition into the mountains to investigate the new mines. B. D. Williams, superintendent of the express company, placed one of the coaches at their disposal and personally accompanied them on the trip.  It was clearly to the interest of the express company as well as the press to place the truth before the people of the country and end if possible the oft-repeated charge of humbug. After visiting the principal mines Greeley, Villard and Richardson issued a combined statement which described the operations on the leading claims, the amounts of gold being produced and future prospects. The manifesto portrayed the region as very promising, but closed with a warning of the grave difficulties involved
218 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
and the possibility that emigrants might come away empty handed and be forced to endure privation, particularly late in the season. "Greeley's Report" was given the widest publicity throughout the country,"' and was very effective in stilling the cry of hoax and placing the future of the region on a firm basis, although for a time there were allegations that even this was humbug. Richardson asserted that he had "absolute confidence in the permanency, extent and richness of these diggings," but he warned that a great many would fail in the undertaking.  On the second day of the trip Greeley addressed a mass meeting of the miners of Ralston valley, which embraced the rich Gregory diggings. He spoke hopefully of the mines, advocated the formation of a state government and placed himself on record in favor of temperance.
Mr. Williams, the Superintendent of the Express Company, succeeded him in some eloquent and logical remarks, in the course of which he took occasion to refer to the willingness of the Company he represented to facilitate the intercourse of the miners with the States at the lowest possible rates. He explained the arrangements made by the Company for the shipment of dust, transportation of mails, etc., all of which were received with evident gratification by the audience. . . ,
There is a very cordial feeling here towards your city [Leavenworth], and the warmest gratitude is felt towards the Express Company.
The emigration can now start on a certain basis. Everything looks well for Kansas and the Great West.
Three cheers for Pike's Peak and Leavenworth
The dispatches from the mines during the month of June, 1859, were a barometer of the great change that was taking place. The coaches that had taken Greeley and Richardson to the mountains returned too soon to bring the good news of their joint report but did carry the welcome message that emigration from the mines had entirely ceased and that business had greatly revived. James M. Fox of the express company wrote from Denver on May 30, asking
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 219
vincing to most people.  The Leavenworth Daily Times asserted that all conclusions be suspended until he could get the report of Martin Field and Henry Villard, whom he had sent into the mountains, and said, "I think it is the richest country in the world."  The next day he wrote in a much more positive manner, confirming in full the richness and extent of the discoveries, stating, "You can set down the unparalleled richness of this country as a fixed fact."  The express coaches that arrived on June 13 were too early to carry the "Greeley Report" but did bring over a thousand letters from the mines, addressed to every part of the country. The Leavenworth Daily Times  remarked:
A number of private letters to our citizens have been shown to us, and we have yet to see one that gives us a discouraging account of the mines or those who are there The excitement in our city relative to the matter is as general as intense. Knots and groups of men at every corner are seen discussing the propriety of "taking a start." "Pike's Peak" is again a household word, and the gold fever is turning into a regular epidemic.
Thus wags the world. Up and down. Down and up. A few weeks since and everybody declared= `I always knew and always said Pike's Peak was a humbug." Now the song goes-"Just as I predicted and always maintained, Pike's Peak is all gold."
The express that arrived on the night of June 19 brought to Leavenworth conclusive tidings of great riches in the Western mountains. It carried $2,500 in gold, of which a thousand dollars was consigned to the Leavenworth firm of Smoot & Russell, and the rest to Eastern customers. The express also brought the "Greeley Report" on the mines and mining operations in the West, which substantiated the claims of rich discoveries and made the news convincing to most people.  The Leavenworth Daily Times asserted
220 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
that its position "from first to last, [was] sustained and vindicated." Those desiring to emigrate "should start at once, and those who can should take Jones & Russell's Express."  Beginning June 21 the Times ran a new advertisement of improved service by the express company:
JONES, RUSSELL & CO.'S
EXPRESS TO THE GOLD MINES WILL LEAVE EVERY DAY
When coaches are full of passengers. No coach will leave except on Tuesdays, unless there are six passengers.
One, two or three coaches will start every day, if there are passengers enough to justify. Fare $125, including 20 lbs. baggage. Extra baggage will be charged express rates.
JOHN S. JONES, Supt.
FREIGHT FOR THE MINES
I have on hand a large number of oxen and wagons, and will contract with parties to deliver in Denver City any quantity of freight. Will start a train next week, and at least two or three a week during the summer, or as often as freight offers. Apply at my office, under the Planter's Hotel.
June 20th, 1859.
JOHN S. JONES 
The coaches that arrived at Leavenworth on June 19 would have made the trip in seven days from Denver had they not been delayed a day by an accident which took place near Station 12. The vehicles were moving at a fast pace while thousands of buffalo were swarming on the plains and in the road. A herd passed directly in front of the mules, which took fright and ran. The driver dropped the reins and jumped for the animals. He caught the harness, but was dragged along like a feather. B. D. Williams, who was in the coach, tried to catch the reins, but when the mules dashed for a precipice he hastily jumped out. He was caught by the wheels, which passed over his legs and one arm, inflicting painful but not
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 221
serious injuries. In a few moments mules, coach and all rolled over the declivity. Marvelous to state, neither animals nor coach were injured, although two of the mules escaped for a day. 
The trips of late June were affected by plans for a change-over to the Platte route to the mines. On May 11, 1859, Jones, Russell & Co. purchased the mail contract of John M. Hockaday & Co., who since 1858 had held a government contract to transport the mail from St. Joseph, Mo., to Salt Lake City. In the transfer were included all the stations, livestock and equipment of the Hockaday firm. Since the contract provided for mail service by way of Forts Kearny and Laramie, it was necessary that the route of the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express be moved to the Platte if its coaches were to transport the overland mail. The press remained very quiet concerning the change. Since the Pike's Peak firm had been accorded much praise (and some blame) for its pioneering in establishing a new and shorter route, it is possible that the company frowned on all publicity in the matter. Late in June the service by way of the old route was interrupted, and mail and passengers from Denver were brought to the junction point on the South Platte, where connections were made with the overland mail to Utah and California.  Shortly thereafter the outbound coaches followed the new route, the first express for Denver by way of the Platte leaving Leavenworth July 2, 1859.
INITIAL ROUTE BY THE SOLOMON AND REPUBLICAN VALLEYS
The route of the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express from the Missouri river to the Rockies was an indefinite "right of way," the exact location of which is difficult or even impossible to establish with certainty. Since it was laid out before the region west of eastern Kansas had been surveyed the precise station locations are often questionable, particularly those in extreme western Kansas and Nebraska and present-day eastern Colorado which in 1859 constituted a part of Kansas and Nebraska. The following table of stations and intervening locations is based upon the available sources, particularly the detailed field notes of E. D. Boyd as they appeared
222 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
in Freedom's Champion of Atchison, June 25, 1859; 140 Horace Greeley's Overland Journey; Albert D. Richardson's Beyond the Mississippi; and Henry Villard's account as published in the Cincinnati Daily Commercial.  The mileage figures are largely based upon "Boyd's Notes" and although believed to be fairly reliable should be regarded more as estimates than exact computations.
STATION 1.-Basement of the Planter's House, Leavenworth.
STATION 2.-Easton, Leavenworth county, which Greeley described as "a village of thirty to fifty houses." 
STATION 3.-Osawkie, Jefferson county, at the crossing of Grasshopper creek. Greeley described the town in 1859 as in "a state of dilapidation and decay, like a good many Kansas cities which figure largely on the map. 
STATION 4.-Silver Lake, Shawnee county, on the Pottawatomie Indian reservation. Richardson points out (p. 160) that this station was kept by a half-breed Indian  with whom he passed the night after a day's journey of 68 miles from Leavenworth.
STATION 5.-St. Mary's Catholic Mission.
Passed St. Mary's Catholic Mission-a pleasant, home-like group of log-houses, and a little frame church, bearing aloft the cross-among shade and fruit trees, in a picturesque valley. The mission has been in operation twelve years.
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 223
In the school-room we saw sixty Indian boys at their lessons. 
STATION 6.-Manhattan. At this point Greeley joined Richardson, both bound for the gold mines. Because of high water their express coach was delayed a day at Manhattan.
Beyond the three houses which compose the town of Pittsburg, we crossed the Big Blue river and reached Manhattan-a flourishing Yankee settlement of two or three hundred people in a smooth and beautiful valley.
Thus far I had been the solitary passenger. But at Manhattan Horace Greeley after a tour through the interior to gratify the clamorous settlers with speeches, joined me for the rest of the journey. . . 
The high, well timbered bluffs of the Kaw River began to serve as a background to the scenery as we approached Manhattan. . . . A short distance this side of Fort Riley we came upon the ruins of Pawnee and Riley cities, consisting of two or three storehouses on both banks of the Kaw, which were considered but a few years ago as the beginning of surely great cities. It was here that Gov. Reeder wanted to locate the state capital, for the purpose of subserving the land interest he owned in this vicinity. But in this, as is well known, he signally failed, and the aforementioned edifices will stand as monuments of a speculation that overleaped itself.
Fort Riley is the best military post I have seen upon my extensive travels through the West. Officers' quarters, sutlers' establishments, stables, etc., all have an appearance of solidity and cleanliness which differ greatly, and pleasingly to the eye, from the rudely constructed cabins of which the towns we had passed consisted. 
STATION 7.-Junction City. In 1859 the "jumping off" place on the frontier where travelers for the West bade good bye to most of the remaining amenities of civilization.
"We stopped for the night at Junction City, (Station Seven) the frontier post-office and settlement of Kansas. 
224 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
Junction City, which is a combination of about two dozen frame and log houses, which derives its name from being at the Junction of the Kaw [Smoky Hill] and Republican rivers, . . During my stay at Junction City I paid a visit to the "Sentinel" office, the most westerly located newspaper establishment of eastern Kansas. Its office is a most original institution. It serves the purposes of a printing house, law office, land agency, and tailor shop, and the followers of these different avocations appear to live, and sometimes to starve together in unbroken harmony.
From Leavenworth to Junction City, which represents Station No. 7, the express route is in the very best working order. I came through in 22 riding hours, which is better time than even the oldest stage lines are able to make, and fared as well on the way as though I was making a pleasure excursion along a highway of eastern travel.
After leaving Junction City we at once entered upon the unmodified wilderness of the seemingly endless prairies that intervene between the waters of the Missouri and the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. 
Villard also wrote a good description of the express route from this point westward:
From Junction City to the last mentioned place [Denver] the route is divided into four divisions of five stations each, so that Denver City figures as Station No. 27. The distance between the several stations averages 25 miles. Care has been taken to locate the stations on creeks, in order to furnish the necessary supply of wood and water. From 18 to 24 mules, under the charge of a stationkeeper, his assistant and four drivers, are kept at each of them, to furnish relays for the coaches from the East as well as the West. From two to three stages are made a day by the latter. Passengers obtain three meals a day and plenty of sleep in tents, which will soon give away to log and frame houses.
The road is an excellent one. . . . Water, grass and timber, the indispensable necessities of the navigators . . . [of the plains] are plentiful throughout with the exception of the valley of the Republican, the extremely sandy character of which renders it destitute of timber. For the 125 miles that the road follows its course, grass and water is, however, ample. . . 
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 225
STATION 8.-Located on the west side of Chapman's creek near the present Clay-Dickinson county line.
Dined at Chapman's creek, in a station of poles covered with sail cloth, but where the host superior to daily drenchings, gave us an admirable meal upon a snowy table-cloth." 
Our road bore hence north of west, up the left bank of Chapman's Creek, on which, twenty-three miles from Junction, we halted at "Station 8," at 11 A. M., to change mules and dine. . . . There is of course, no house here, but two small tents and a brush arbor furnish accommodations for six to fifteen persons, as the case may be. A score of mules are picketed about on the rich grass; there is a rail-pen for the two cows. . . . She [the station-keeper's wife] gave us an excellent dinner of bacon and greens, good bread, applesauce and pie, . . . The water was too muddy . . . [to] permit me to drink it. . . 
STATION 9.-On Pipe creek, probably northeast of present Minneapolis, Ottawa county.
Stopped for the night at Station Nine, consisting of two tents. In the evening wrote newspaper letters in the coach by a lantern. At ten o'clock composed ourselves to sleep in the carriage to the music of howling wolves and heavy thunder: Days' travel sixty-eight miles [Greeley estimated it as 58 miles] 
We rose early from our wagon-bed this morning, had breakfast at six, and soon bade adieu to Pipe Creek, with its fringe of low elms and cotton-woods, such as thinly streak all the streams we have passed to-day. . . . We have crossed many streams to-day, all making south for Solomon's Fork, which has throughout been from two to six miles from us on our left. . . . The route has been from fifty to two hundred feet above the bed of the Fork, keeping out of all bottoms and marshes, but continually cut by water.
226 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
courses . . . in one of which . . . we stalled until an extra span of mules was sent from the other wagon to our aid. 
STATION 10.-Near the Solomon river and close to or a little west of present Glasco, Cloud county.
Dined at Station Ten sitting upon billets of wood, carpet-sacks, and nail-kegs, while the meal was served upon a box. It consisted of fresh buffalo meat, which tastes like ordinary beef though of coarser fiber, and sometimes with a strong, unpleasant flavor. When cut from calves or young cows it is tender and toothsome. Six weeks ago not a track had been made upon this route. Now it resembles a long-used turnpike. We meet many returning emigrants, who declare the mines a humbug; but pass hundreds of undismayed gold-seekers still pressing on." 
STATION 11.-Located on Limestone creek, Jewell county, probably a little south of the present village of Ionia. At this place the "Parallel Road" west from Atchison joined the express road, at a point 172 miles west of that city, at latitude 39° 42' north and longitude 98° 12' west. From this point of intersection, which seems to have been a branch of Limestone creek (termed "Dog creek" by Boyd), the Parallel road made use of the "right of way" of the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak express. The field notes of E. D. Boyd give a table of distances from the crossing of the Republican (near Scandia, Republic county), and provide a more exact picture of much of the route of the express company. 
From the crossing [of] the Republican the course is due west, crossing five branches of Dog [probably Limestone] creek at inter-
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 227
vals of three to six miles until we reach Station No. 11, 31 miles beyond the Republican, from which point the distances set down hereafter are computed.  Station No. 11 is 172 miles west from Atchison and ten miles north. Latitude 39 deg. 42 min., Longitude 98 deg. 12 min.
|Creek ten ft. wide, runs south; oak and elm||32½|
|Creek ten ft. wide, runs S. Oak and elm||35½|
|Creek ten ft. wide, runs S. scattering burr oak and elm||38½|
|Creek ten ft. W. runs S. E. oak and elm||39½|
|Creek six ft. W. runs S. W. scattering||45½|
|Creek eight ft. W. runs S. timber||46½|
|Creek ten ft. W. runs S. timber||48½|
|Creek ten ft. W. runs S. timber, outcrop of white limestone||49½|
|Creek eight ft. W. runs south-east; scattering timber and lime stone||50|
|Creek ten ft. W. runs south-east; scattering timber; chalk cliffs||53|
|Creek 10 ft. W. runs S. scattering timber||59|
Spent the night at Station Eleven, occupied by two men who gave us bread and buffalo meat like granite.-Day's travel fifty-six miles. 
STATION 12.-In Smith county, probably a little south of the forks of Beaver creek, about seven miles southwest of present Smith Center.
|Station No. 12-creek 20 ft. W. runs S. elm, &c; forks into three parts above||63½|
|Creek 10 ft. W. runs south; scattering elm and cottonwood||71|
|Creek 10 ft. W. runs south-east; abundance of timber, principally elm||74½|
|Creek 10 ft. W. runs south-east; elm, high, steep bank on east side||76½|
|Small creek runs south; no timber||79|
|Creek 8 ft. W. runs south; scattering cottonwood and elm||81½|
|Delaware creek, 10 ft. W. runs south-east; cottonwood and elm||84|
At Station Twelve where we dined, the carcasses of seven buffaloes were half submerged in the creek. Yesterday a herd of three thousand crossed the stream, leaping down the steep banks. A few broke their necks by the fall; others were trampled to death by those pressing on from behind. 
228 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
STATION 13.-Located close to Kirwin, Phillips county, near the junction of Deer creek and the Solomon.
|Station No. 13-creek 10 ft. W. runs south-east; scattering cottonwood||86|
|Creek 10 ft. W. runs south; scattering cottonwood, &c||90|
|Creek 10 ft. W. runs south; cottonwood||93½|
|Creek 10 ft. W. runs south; cottonwood and willow||94½|
|Creek 10 ft. W. runs south; Cottonwood and elm||86½ [96½]|
|Creek 10 ft. W. runs south-east for many miles; cottonwood||98|
|Creek, pools of standing water; runs N. into last creek; white, yellow and slate color chalk cliffs; yellow ochre||100|
|Lat. 39 deg. 42 min. Long. 99 deg. 25 min ||103½|
|A dry creek runs north into creek at 98 miles||104½|
|A table mountain with monuments, a conspicuous landmark, half a mile to N. Creek, pools of standing water; scattering cottonwood and willow||112½|
|Creek 8 ft. W. runs south; cottonwood and elm||113½|
After being mired in the same creek [probably a branch of Cedar creek] for two hours, our own vehicle was drawn out by the oxen of friendly emigrants. Spent the night at Station Thirteen. Day's travel, fifty-six miles. 
[Dated at Station 13, on "Reisinger's Creek."] I write in the station-tent (having been driven from our wagon by the operation of greasing its wheels, which was found to interfere with the steadiness of my hastily-improvised table), with the buffalo visible on the ridges south and every way but north of us. 
STATION 14.-About 12 miles southeast of present Norton and about four miles north of the North Fork of the Solomon river.
|Station 1.-last 15 miles rough and rolling, road crooked. No water for 13 miles. The soil 1s porous and does not retain it. Timber at intervals, a mile either side. Limestone||119|
|and water one mile north||122|
|Divide between Solomon and Republ'n||125½|
|Creek runs north-east into Prairie Dog creek; cottonwood and|
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 229
|elm; water 1/3 of a mile above road. No water or wood for the last 17 miles||127½|
|Prairie Dog creek, 10 ft. w., runs north-east; cottonwood, elm and ash; very large prairie dog town west of creek||128½|
As we left Station 14 this morning, and rose from the creek-bottom to the high prairie, a great herd of buffalo were seen in and around our road. . . 
Richardson did not mention this station, but remarked:
STATION 15.-On the 100th meridian at approximately the point where it crosses the Prairie Dog, about five miles southwest of present Norton.
230 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
STATION 16.-Probably northeast of present Oberlin. 
STATION 17.-Probably on Beaver creek, near present Ludell, Rawlins county.170 A less probable location is on Driftwood creek, north of Ludell, near the present Kansas Nebraska boundary. (See the map accompanying this installment.)
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 231
STATION 18.-Probably just below the forks of the Republican river, near present Benkelman, Neb. 
Boyd's letter of May 31, 1859 (Freedom's Champion, Atchison, June 18, quoted in first installment):
232 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
dated Denver, May 9, 1859, in Leavenworth Herald, May 28, 1859:
Greeley (dated Station 18, June 2):
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 233
The same author, dated Station 21:
STATION 19.-On the South Fork of the Republican in Cheyenne county, probably a few miles northeast of present St. Francis. 
Richardson (entry of June 2)
STATION 20.-On the South Fork of the Republican in Cheyenne county, probably near the present Colorado line and
234 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
some eight miles northeast of what is now Hale, Colo. Neither Greeley nor Richardson mentions this station although the former describes this semi-desert region in his account of Station 21.
STATION 21.-On the South Fork of the Republican, near present Tuttle, Kit Carson county, Colo. (Probably below the Tuttle ranch.)
236 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
STATION 22.-About 5ú miles northwest of Seibert, Colo., at the junction of the express road and a branch of the Smoky Hill trail to Denver (by way of the Platte river). 
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 237
Extract from special correspondence of the St. Louis Missouri Republican, June 7, 1859:
238 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
[Details of the suffering on this route follow.]
STATION 23.-On the South Fork of the Republican, about 16 miles east and a little north of present Hugo, Colo.197 Neither Greeley nor Richardson mentions this station.
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 239
STATION 24.-About seven miles northwest of Hugo, Colo., on the Big Sandy (not the South Fork of the Republican, as claimed by Boyd and B. D. Williams).
STATION 25-Located on the west bank of East Bijou creek about five miles southwest of Godfrey, Elbert county, Colo.
240 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
240 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
STATION 26-Probably on Kiowa creek about ten miles north. of present Kiowa, Colo. 
PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS COMPANIES 241
Richardson (entry of June 6, 1859)
DENVER EXPRESS OFFICE.
The following Denver Dispatch (dated June 4) of the St. Louis Missouri Republican gives an account of the Denver office of the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company.
242 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
(Part III-The Platte Route-To Be Published in an Early Issue)
102. J. E. Bromley, route agent from Kearny to Laramie on the Platte river stage line of J. M. Hockaday and company, wrote to his employers as follows (April 28, in St. Joseph, Mo., Weekly West, May 8, 1859): "We are in a very tight place here [Cotton Wood Springs, Louisa Station]. On the road from the crossing down, we have five stations that are crammed full of wagons from morning till night. . Pike's Peak has turned out to be a humbug, and the road is lined with starving men; and God knows we have got to give them something to eat as long as we have it. . . . If you could do something to keep the poor deluded devils from starving, you would be doing a kindness to humanity."