California State Telegraph Company
On 2 May 1852, Oliver C. Allen and Clark Burnham of New York formed the California State Telegraph Company, originally California Telegraph Company, after they were granted a franchise by the California Legislature for a term of fifteen years.1
Prior to the established telegraph line, the means of communication between California and the outside states was by a hazardous journey over the plains, across [the Panama] Isthmus or around the Horn. In its early stages, the project experienced misfortunes as it faced disastrous fires and shortage of funding. The project faced further problems when, on the day the telegraph poles were to be erected, the crew involved abandoned the project. Shortly after, the company reorganized and its new president, W. B. Ranson, assumed control over it in 1853.2
In May 1864, the company's president visited Vancouver Island in order to propose the building of a telegraph line so that Victoria could be connected to Washington Territory. On 29 October 1864, the California State Telegraph Company completed its line to Olympia. The company then intended to extend it north into British Columbia and Vancouver Island.3
The company continued under this name until June 1867 when it was again reorganized and subsumed as the Pacific Division of the Western Union Telegraph Company.4
Mentions of this organization in the documents