The Pony Express was mentioned by Cordelia in the book
Adventures of Pearly Monroe. Cordelia was
scared that Indians were going to scalp their heads. Pearley said that
she has heard too many stories about the Pony Express. Indians got mad
when Pony Express riders went into their land. Indians would attack
when Pony Express riders got in to their territory.That is how the Pony
Expess is in he book The Adventures of Pearly Monroe.
The Pony Express was a mail delivering service that ran from St.
Joseph, Missouri, across the Great Plains to California. The founders
of the Pony Express were William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and
Alexander Majors. The first trip going west took about 9 days and 23
hours. Even though the Pony Express route was extremely dangerous, only
one package was ever lost. The riders of the Pony Express would ride
about 250 miles in 24 hours. Riders would get a new horse every 10 to
12 miles. The Pony Express only lasted 18 months. The Pony Express only
lasted that long because it was forced to be shut down after the
opening of the Transcontinental Telegraph. The telegraphs were much
faster than the Pony Express and was it was much cheaper. The Pony
Express started on April 3, 1860, and ended October 24, 1861.
In the mid- 1800’s, three men had an idea to start a mail service
delivery company called the Pony Express. The founders started their
business on August 3, 1860. Their idea was to have a series of
mail relay stations across the United States. Before the
Pony Express even started, the mayor of St. Joseph, Missouri said,
“The mail must go. Hurdled by flesh and blood across 2,000 miles of
desolate space-Fort Kearney, Laramie, South Pass, Fort Bridger, Salt
Lake City. Neither storms, fatigue, darkness, Mountains or Indians,
burning sand or snow must stop the precious bags. The mail must go.”
The mayor wanted better mail service because of the gold rush in
California. The gold rush created a lot of mail coming from California
to the East, and the mail needed to be delivered faster. The price at
the beginning for a half-ounce delivery was $5. Soon the price
dropped to $2.50. By 1861 the price was only $1 per half-ounce of
delivery. The Pony Express prices dropped quickly because
telegraphs were coming soon, and they promised lower prices. Their
prices were going to be $3.75 per half ounce.
The normal hours for the Pony Express
were Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. Deliveries in
winter were shortened to 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. On Sundays the
deliveries would be made between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Even though
the Pony Express route was extremely dangerous, only 1 mail delivery
was ever lost when a rider was killed. When riders were riding,
they would get a new horse every 10 to 12 miles. On June 4 ,1860,
after 10 weeks of the Pony Express at work, the Western Union started
to make the first transcontinental telegraph. On October 24, 1861, the
Pony Express ended because of the Transcontinental Telegraph. The
Transcontinental Telegraph’s construction was over, and the Pony
Express was over too.
In 1860 the Pony Express was started by William H. Russell, William B.
Waddell, and Alexander Majors. Plans for the Pony Express were
scattered by the threat of the Civil War and the need for faster
communication with the West. In 1845 it took President James K. Polk
six months to get a letter to California, which dramatically pointed
out the need to improve communication in the expanding nation.
The Gold Rush in the1840’s brought thousands of Americans to the far
West. Getting the letters between the nation’s coasts was an
increasingly important problem. Nothing meant more to citizens who went
west in the 1840’s and 1850’s than mail from home. The government had
struggled with the challenge of making a transcontinental mail service
ever since The Mexican War. The Pony Express helped improved
communication across the continent.
Pony Express route was almost 2000 miles. The trail was rough but easy
because of how they didn’t have any big problems. The trail went out
west from St. Joseph, the eastern part of the route and went along the
Oregon Trail from Kansas through what is now Nebraska and Wyoming. The
rider would pass by landmarks familiar to thousands of travelers. Then
the Pony Express went up the Little Blue River to get to Fort Kearney.
The route then proceeded up along the Platte River passing Courthouse
Rock, Chimney Rock, and also Scotts Bluff to Fort Laramie. Then the
Pony Express had to go along the Sweetwater River passing Independence
Rock, Devil's Gate, and Split Rock, to find Fort Caspar, through South
Pass continuing to Fort Bridger and Salt Lake City. Then the Pony
Express went across the Great Basin and Utah-Nevada Desert. They then
went around the border of Lake Tahoe to get to the Sierra Nevada and
over the rough Sierra Nevada Mountains and into California as fast as
man and horse could go; they went day and night. The entire trip of the
Pony Express would be completed in 10 days cutting the time of mail and
news delivery to the West Coast by more than half. No wonder a
lot of people wanted to use the Pony Express. When the mail
arrived in Sacramento, it was put on a boat and continued its way down
the Sacramento River to San Francisco for a total of 1966 miles. The
Pony Express went through the states now called Nebraska, Kansas,
Missouri, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, and California.
The Pony Express consisted of relays of people riding horses and
carrying bags of mail on a 2,000-mile trail. April 3, 1860, the Pony
Express officially opened. Riders left often from Sacramento,
California, and St. Joseph, Missouri. The first West-bound trip was
made in 9 days and 23 hours and the East-bound journey was made in 11
days and 12 hours. Riders traveled 250 miles in a 24 hour day. The
service only lasted 19 months until October 24, 1861.
The completion of the Pacific Telegraph line made it no longer needed.
Although California relied on the Pony Express for news early in the
Civil War, the line was never a political success, making the founders
broke. However, the drama around the Pony Express made it part of the
legend of the American West.
How The Pony
Express Changed America
The Pony Express had some positive and negative changes to
America. The Pony Express helped many people communicate across
country. Most people came to California from the mid-west. It
used to take months to get a letter from the mid-west to
California. With the Pony Express, it only took ten to thirteen
days to get from the mid-west to the West. The Indians did not
like the Pony Express and burned down some Pony Express stations.
So the Pony Express
did not have anywhere to drop off mail so no one got their mail.
The Pony Express helped show everyone that fast mail service was needed
between the mid-west and the west. The Pacific Telegraph line
replaced the Pony Express. The telegraph line was able to
immediately get messages to the West. The Pony Express changed
American history by improving communication.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PONY EXPRESS
Pony Express History