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There is not in all California an institution of greater public convenience than that of Wells, Fargo & Co.’s Express. It is endeared to our people by a thousand associations, dating from the present back to early pioneer times. It has long supplied, and still supplies a necessity peculiar to the nomadic characteristics of a mining people. So long as gold continues to be found, so long will there be “rushes” in search of it. Mining camps spring up, as it were, in a day. Gold is discovered throughout the Sierra Nevadas, and, whenever it is found, there a large population locates itself for a period more or less brief. In such cases, mail and express facilities are needed, and are always supplied by Wells, Fargo & Co., with an energy and efficiency that has won the admiration of all visitors to this coast, and has secured the undying gratitude of our own people. It is an institution of which Californians are justly proud. A gold field is discovered away in the mountain fastnesses. Thousands of hardy miners hie themselves to the spot, through deep canons and over high mountain ranges. Scarcely have they made themselves log cabins ere Wells, Fargo & Co. come along, bringing passengers, mails and newspapers, and connecting the new El Dorado with the outside world, and bringing back the gold, so essential to commerce. At the Cape and in Australia, the Government, at great cost, supplies a mounted military escort to conduct the rewards of the miners’ industry to market. Here the Government is relieved of that onerous and expensive duty by a private company, whose efficiency it would be impossible for the Government to compete with. Existing arrangements are so satisfactory to all concerned that it is esteemed on this coast a marvel and a wonder that there should be a wish in any quarter to interfere with them. There are, however, in the Postal Department at Washington a class of officials who would meddle with and muddle things which they cannot mend. They propose to prevent Wells, Fargo & Co. carrying letters, notwithstanding that Government postage is paid always. The Government gets paid for services which it does not render, and which in many cases it could not render if it would. Our people cheerfully pay the Government postage, and the small additional fee charged by the company. The Government is in no manner injured, but very much to the contrary. It is relieved of duties it ought to perform, and yet gets paid as if it performed them. Surely, if those who pay the double postage are content, no one else has any right to complain. The fact is, that this threatened movement on the part of the Washington officials has given birth to a feeling of astonishment throughout the length and breadth of this coast. People hereabouts are utterly at a loss to account for a movement that seems altogether unaccountable. When every interest is benefited, that of the Government included, it really does seem amazing that there should exist in any quarter a desire to interfere with an institution so greatly endeared to the people of this coast. Public opinion on this subject is speaking out with no uncertain tone. The unanimity is complete. The State Legislature has had its say. The Chamber of Commerce has sent strong expressions of opinion. Petitions have been signed by bankers, merchants, and indeed, by all classes of citizens. The press is united in a protest against the change. Thousands of our people now get their newspapers by aid of Wells, Fargo & Co.’s Express, who would never see a newspaper if it were not for the enterprise of that company. The people of the Sates and Territories of this coast mean to make a determined fight for their favorite institution, and, in the end, they will win. Almost every home throughout this distant portion of our common country is interested in preserving the very excellent express facilities to which we have so long been accustomed.

San Francisco News Letter and California Advertiser
April 24, 1880