Primary or Secondary Sources?

Stagecoach Avertisement

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Overland Mail advertisement

Primary or secondary source - which is it? Look at the advertisement carefully before you come to a conclusion. State your reasons for why it is one or the other based on the information provided.

This is an advertisement for the Overland Mail route to California. The written copy of the ad boasts six days to Sacramento using the stagecoach. The stagecoach contract for mail service was awarded to John Butterfield's Overland Mail Company in 1857. The company began service in 1858 along a southern route from Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri, to San Francisco, California, two years before the Pony Express began. In 1861, the Overland Mail stagecoaches moved to the central route after the financial failure of the Pony Express on that line. The move helped the federal government ensure stable contact with gold-rich California through the Civil War.

National Postal Museum, Curatorial Photographic Collection

Date: July 19, 1866