The Pony Express By: Amy Sadler English 102 “The mail must go through”
“A black speck appears against the sky, and it is plain that it moves. . . . Another instant . . . and man and horse burst past our excited faces and go winging away like the belated fragment of a storm.”– Mark Twain, Roughing It, 1872 goldmountaintrading.com
Slavery and the CaliforniaGold Rush The Pony Express solved an urgent problem for the U.S. government. In the late 1850s political tensions had increased between North and South over slavery and other issues. The government feared losing control over mail along the Southern Route and contact with gold-rich California.
Three business partners—William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell—founded the Pony Express as a private company.
The Pony Express was founded to compete with the regular mail delivery, which took six months by ship to reach the West Coast from the East Coast, and three weeks to cross the West overland by stagecoach.
The Pony Express mail service was set up under the name of the Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company.
frontiertrails.com To ensure Union control over cargo and mail carried between East and West, a route outside the Southern states was needed. The route was set up for travel from Missouri to California. Length of entire route: 1,966 miles.
Benjamin Ficklin was hired as superintendent of all of the Pony Express Routes. Ficklin set up the route into five divisions and hired superintendents to run each division.
The service opened officially on April 3, 1860, when riders left simultaneously from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. http://cprr.org/Museum/Maps/Pony_Express.html
The first rider was Johnny Fry. The mail was placed into a mochilla saddle, and at 7:15 pm a cannon was fired alerting everyone Fry that he was on his way. Cheering crowds waived at Fry as he made his way through streets of St. Joseph. legendsofamerica.com postalmuseum.si.edu
Riders arrived in both St. Joseph and Sacramento with the mail. Proving the mail could be delivered in ten days, on April 14th the first round of mail was delivered. www.sodahead.com postalmuseum.si.edu
Pony Bob Haslam, a Pony Express rider, makes a historic run of 380 miles back and forth once between Friday's station and Smith's Creek station. xphomestation.com anchinfotech.in
On November 7, 1860, Pony Express riders carried word of Abraham Lincoln's election as President from Fort Kearney, Nebraska to Placerville, California in a record 5 days. This was considered one of the most significant accomplishments by the Pony Express. illuminati-news.com
Frank E. Webner Bronco Charlie Famous Riders www.eyewitnesstohistory.com delmardustpan.blogspot.com Wild Bill Hickok Richard Egan Buffalo Bill digitaldeadwood.com us.history.wisc.edu www.eyewitnesstohistory.com
The Pony Express only operated for 17 months, in 1860 and 1861; it officially ended operation on October 26, 1861. The invention and creation of the telegraph made a faster and cheaper method to send information across the nation, The Pony Express ended because of an advance in technology davies-linguistics.byu.edu
We’re the RidersBy: Dave Rhodes It's a thankless life we lead ‘cause nobody knows our names. We are silhouettes on the hills and shadows on the plains. What we carry runs the nation and we execute our duty well. We're the Pony Express riders, the boys that carry the mail. We've been shot at and ambushed, chased down and almost kilt, soaked through and frozed, survived heat that made us wilt. The food is a little scarce and the pay is hardly scale. We're the Pony Express riders, the boys that carry the mail. We're all excellent horsemen and the mustang is our ride . . . the wilder and faster the better to get the job done in stride. An oath we all took in earnest and made a promise not to fail. We're the Pony Express riders, the boys that carry the mail. You could say that we are brave and we have all been scared, but mostly we're just too young to know what should be feared. Racing time and the telegraph out here on the lonely trail . . . we're the Pony Express riders, the boys that carry the mail.
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