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Definitive Study of the Butterfield Overland


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145.     CONKLING, Roscoe P. & Margaret B. The Butterfield Overland Mail 1857-1869. Its Organization and Operation over the Southern Route to 1861; Subsequently over the Central Route to 1866; and under Wells, Fargo and Company in 1869. Glendale: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1947. Vols. 1 & 2 + Atlas. Vol. I: [1-13] 14-412 pp.; Vol. II: [1-9] 10-446 pp.; Atlas: [1-5] 6-8 pp., numerous plates and maps (some folded). 3 vols., 8vo (24.5 x 16.2 cm), original dark red cloth, spines gilt lettered, t.e.g. Other than bump to one cover and light browning to endpapers, a very fine, tight set, prospectus laid in.

     First edition, limited edition of the definitive study of the great stagecoach line begun in 1858 to cross 2,800 miles from St. Louis to California via Arkansas, El Paso, Tucson, and Yuma to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Campbell, p. 186. Dobie, p. 78. Rocq 16779. Clark & Brunet, The Arthur H. Clark Company 58:

The Conklings began their research in the 1920s and continued it up to the time of publication. What began as a history of the organization quickly evolved into the primary source of information on the Butterfield Overland Mail, the first great overland postal service from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast. Roscoe, a mining engineer, and his music teacher wife personally traveled over 65,000 miles and took over 4,000 photographs, as well as interviewing those with personal, first-hand knowledge to document its path…. With its detailed information on routes, the various stations, and the personnel, it is constantly in demand, and the set’s value has appreciated dramatically over the years.

     A.C. Greene commented to us on this title: "I almost wore out this set of The Butterfield Overland Mail writing 900 Miles on the Butterfield Trail, as one might suspect. And I have tried to give the Conklings (husband and wife) as much credit as I can. They were the progenitors…. I carried this big set…over the 1,900 miles of the Butterfield Trail…from the Red River of Texas to Los Angeles—despite the mileage figure of the title. The Conklings left no stone unturned if it had any relation to the Butterfield Overland Mail Co., John Butterfield himself, or the vehicles, stations, and workers along the route. Despite the thoroughness of the Conkling set, we discovered many, many changes and the need for updating of the Butterfield Trail story.”


Sold. Hammer: $600.00; Price Realized: $720.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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