The Story of the Pony Express
The Story of the Pony Express is a classic American West history text by Glenn D. Bradley. This little volume has but one purpose-to give an authentic, useful, and readable account of the Pony Express. This wonderful enterprise played an important part in history, and demonstrated what American spirit can accomplish. It showed that the "heroes of sixty-one" were not all south of Mason and Dixon's line fighting each other. And, strange to say, little of a formal nature has been written concerning it. The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages, newspapers, and mail. Officially operating as the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company of 1859, in 1860 it became the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company; this firm was founded by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell, all of whom were notable in the freighting business. During its 19 months of operation, it reduced the time for messages to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about 10 days. From April 3, 1860 to October 1861, it became the West's most direct means of east-west communication before the transcontinental telegraph was established (October 24, 1861), and was vital for tying the new state of California with the rest of the United States. The first Westbound Pony Express trip left St. Joseph on April 3, 1860 and arrived ten days later in Sacramento, California, on April 14. These letters were sent under cover from the East to St. Joseph, and never directly entered the U.S. mail system. Today there is only a single letter known to exist from the inaugural westbound trip from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The mailing depicted below is on a pre-stamped (embossed) envelope, first issued by the U.S. Post Office in 1855, used five years later here. The messenger delivering the mochila from New York and Washington, DC, missed a connection in Detroit and arrived in Hannibal, Missouri, two hours late. The railroad cleared the track and dispatched a special locomotive called Missouri with a one-car train to make the 206-mile (332 km) trek across the state in a record 4 hours 51 minutes, an average of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). It arrived at Olive and 8th Street, a few blocks from the company's new headquarters in a hotel at Patee House at 12th and Penn Street and the company's nearby stables on Penn Street. The first pouch contained 49 letters, five private telegrams, and some papers for San Francisco and intermediate points. St. Joseph Mayor M. Jeff Thompson, William H. Russell, and Alexander Majors gave speeches before the mochila was handed off. The ride began at about 7:15 p.m. The St. Joseph Gazette was the only newspaper included in the bag.
- Paperback | 68 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 3.81mm | 149.68g
- 08 Mar 2015
- Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- Illustrations, black and white