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Description of the postal routes and schedules
for the west coast, and the current rates
Letters between San Francisco and any other point in California and Astoria or any point in Oregon 122 cents the single letter, paid or unpaid at the option of the sender.
From any point in California or Oregon to Panama N. G. 30 cents single to be in all cases prepaid.
From any point in California or Oregon to any point in the US 40 cents single paid or unpaid at the option of the sender.
From California or Oregon to England, Ireland or Scotland, the postage is 50 cents single, and may be paid or not at the option of the writer.
From California or Oregon to the German States and countries east and south of them, by the Bremen line, 64 cents single, paid or unpaid at the option of the sender.
From California or Oregon to France and the continent of Europe, the postage is 56 cents, single, and must in all cases be prepaid.
It should be remembered that a single rate on letters for the States is but an ounce or under, double, over half and not exceeding 1 ounce &c. On foreign letters, the single rate is 3 of an ounce and under; a double rate 2 ounce, 3 rates : of an ounce and 4 rates an ounce. In all cases, any fraction of excess is charged at an additional rate.
NEWSPAPERS- For the United States 3 cents, and inland postage added. For the German States, by the Bremen Line, 6 cents. For any other foreign countries 6 cents--the postage in all countries to be prepaid.
The inland postage above mentioned, is for each newspaper conveyed not over 100 miles, 1 centm and for any greater distance 12 cents.
Handbills, circulars and advertisements not exceeding one sheet are subject to three cents postage each, whatever the distance (inland) to be prepaid. The sea postage on price current is three cents with inland postage added, when so transported.
All pamphlets, magazines, periodicals, and every other kind of printed or other matter (excepting newspapers) are charged at the rate of 22 cents per copy, of no greater weight than one ounce; and 1 cent additional for each additional ounce, any fractional excess of not less than 2 ounce being regarded as an ounce. The sea postage on each pamphlet is three cents, with the above rates added, when transported inland.
[source: Western Star, January 2, 1851: Volume 1, Number 7]