The Pony Express: Bringing Mail to the American West

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Infobase Publishing, 2009 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 138 pages
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From April 1860 to October 1861, the mail service known as the Pony Express operated between Saint Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Cross-country mail delivery that used to take three weeks was reduced to 10 days. At its height, 80 riders weighing no more than 125 pounds each and 400 to 500 horses carried the mail overland to 100 stations averaging 25 miles apart. Despite the hazards of traveling 2,000 miles over such a short amount of time, only one delivery was ever lost. In fact, the Pony Express is credited with keeping California in the Union by providing rapid communication between the coasts. Its official end came with the establishment of the Pacific Telegraph Company in 1861, and the founders ended up declaring bankruptcy. The Pony Express: Bringing†Mail to the American West†explores the history of the predecessor to modern mail delivery and its importance in keeping communication open from coast to coast.

  

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Early Mail Road West
12
Founding Fathers
30
Creating the Pony Express
45
A Rough Western Road
63
The Lonesomest Kind of Job
79
Pony Riders of Endurance
93
The Pony Express at Trails End
106
Chronology
121
Notes
124
Bibliography
126
Further Reading
128
Photo Credits
130
Index
131
About the Author
138
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Tim McNeese is associate professor of history at York College in York, Nebraska. He has published more than 90 books and educational materials over the past 20 years, on everything from the founding of Jamestown to Spanish painters. His writing has earned him a citation in the library reference work Contemporary Authors. In 2006, he appeared on the History Channel program Risk Takers/History Makers: John Wesley Powell and the Grand Canyon.

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