Monday Morning Brief | Mail carried by mules

May 3, 2021, 2 AM

As part of a series focusing on mail delivery and transportation, Scott catalog senior editor Tim Hodge examines mail carried by mules in the 19th century and today.

Full Video Transcript:

Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for November 13th. Today we will be briefly overviewing mule mail.

Mules have been used for centuries to carry goods and mail in various parts of the world. In the 1870s internal mail, from St. Croix in the Danish West Indies, was carried by mule cart. The same method was also used in Jamaica. This cover was carried by mule from Kingston to Port Maria, Jamaica, where the mule cart was washed away by a river, drowning the mules. The mail bag was recovered, completely soaked, and the letters were affixed with an explanation for the soaked mail on the back.

An obscure western express company called Berthouds Mule Team Express operated near Treasure City, Nevada. Absolutely nothing is known about this express, not even the exact years of operation, however their handstamp occasionally appears on western express mail, as seen on this cover.

Today mules are still used carry mail in the Arizona Grand Canyon to the remote Havasupai Indian Reservation; a treacherous 16-mile round trip on mule through the Grand Canyon. There are hundreds of other mail routes throughout history and the world that also delivered mail using mules.

Thank you and have a wonderful day.