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TOPIC: The Pony Express

The Pony Express 9 years, 5 months ago #1975

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The Pony Express

The Pony Express was a fast mail service crossing the North American continent from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California.

The Pony Express consisted of relays of men riding horses carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2000-mile trail.
The service opened officially on April 3, 1860. Messages were carried on horseback relay across the prairies, plains, deserts, and mountains of the Western United States. It briefly reduced the time for mail to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to around ten days. By traveling an easier shorter route and using mounted riders rather than stagecoaches, the founders of the Pony Express hoped to establish their service as a faster and more reliable conduit for the mail and win away the exclusive government mail contract. Eventually, the Pony Express had more than 100 stations, 80 riders, and between 400 and 500 horses. The express route was extremely hazardous, but only one mail delivery was ever lost. The Pony Express demonstrated that a unified transcontinental system could be built and operated continuously the year around — something not seen since the times of the Romans.

The romantic drama surrounding the Pony Express has made it a part of the legend of the American West.
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