Friday, April 3, 2009

The Faster Mail

A lone rider left the Pikes Peak Stable in St Joseph, Missouri on April 3rd 1860 carrying saddlebags filled with mail. Riders would carry these pieces of mail two thousand miles to Sacramento, California.

It took stage coaches some twenty days to travel from St Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. For the bankers and merchants on the West Coast this was just to long and so the Pony Express came into being. Feeling that the service would be greatly used Senator W M Gwin, Alexander Majors and Daniel E Phelps started the express. Six hundred horses were bought and seventy-five riders who could ride well, shoot straight and weighed under 110 pounds were hired. One of these men was Henry Wallace, who was the first rider on the Pony express. He carried a message from President James Buchanan to the Governeor of California. This message along with the other mail made the cross country trip in ten days.

The Pony Express would not have along life. Men were already string telegraph wire along the path the Express traveled. By 1862 the telegraph had reached California and the Pony Express was dead. Among the famous of the Pony Express riders were Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok.

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