plank-faq

The Pony Express Home Station frequently receives questions of general interest on the Pony Express. Below is a listing of the most recent. If you wish to ask a question you may either use the Guest Book or just click here.

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Question:

Where does the expression “Express Mail”, which is know all over the world” actually come from? Was this introduced with the Pony Express, or are the origins much older than that?

Answer:

The word "express" is most frequently used with the idea of something done with a definite purpose. The term "express train," now meaning one that travels at a high speed over long distances with few intermediate stoppages, was, in the early days of railways, applied to what is now usually called a " special," i.e. a train not running according to the ordinary time-tables of the railway company, but for some specific purpose, or engaged by a private person. About 1845 this term became used for a train running to a particular place without stopping.

Similarly in the British postal service, express delivery is a special and immediate delivery of a letter or parcel by an express messenger at a particular increased rate. The system was adopted in 1891.

In the United States express companies for the rapid transmission of parcels and luggage and light goods generally perform the function of the post office or the railways in the United Kingdom and the continent of Europe. Not only do they deliver goods, but by the cash on delivery system the express companies act as agents both for the purchaser and seller of goods.

They also serve as a most efficient agency for the transmission of money, the express money order being much more easily convertible than the postal money orders, as the latter can only be redeemed at offices in large and important towns. The system dates back to 1839, when William Frederick Harnden (1813-1845), a conductor on the Boston and Worcester railway, undertook on his own account the carrying of small parcels and the performance of small commissions. Obliged to leave the company's service or abandon his enterprise, he started' an "express" service between Boston and New York, carrying parcels, executing commissions and collecting drafts and bills.

Adams followed in 1840, also between Boston and New York. From 1840 to 1845 the system was adopted by many others between the more important towns throughout the States. The attempt to carry letters also was, stopped by the government as interfering with the post office.

In 1854 began the amalgamation .of many of the companies. Thus under the name of the Adams Express Company the services started by Harnden and Adams were consolidated. The lines connecting the west and east by Albany, Buffalo and the lakes were consolidated in the American Express Company, under the direction of William G. Fargo, Henry Wells and Johnston Livingston, while another company, Wells, Fargo & Co., operated on the Pacific coast.

The celebrated "Pony Express" was started in 1860 between San Francisco and St Joseph, Missouri; the time scheduled being eight days. The service was carried on by relays of horses, with stations 25 miles apart. The charge made for the service was $2.50 per oz. The completion of the Pacific Telegraph Company line in 1861 was followed by the discontinuance of the regular service.

Source: Click here for a complete dissertation on “Express”.

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Question:

I am looking to find information on how many miles the PE covered in each state.

Answer:

Here is the approximate mileage:

Kansas – 131
Nebraska – 351
Colorado – 97
Nebraska – 214 (This makes the total mileage in Nebraska 565)
Wyoming – 406
Utah – 263
Nevada – 417
California – 87
TOTAL – 1966

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Question:

Was there standard gear for each Pony Express rider? And if so, what did this include?

Answer:

You will find a good description of the weapons carried, the saddle, and the Mochila on the HISTORY Page of the web site. In addition, you will find information on the Bible and Ceremonial Outfits on this Page. http://www.xphomestation.com/faq.html

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Question:

The family history tells that my great great grandfather rode for the Pony Express. Why is his name not on your list of riders?

Answer:

To date, none of the Central Overland and California Pony Express company records containing an authentic list dating back to the days when it was in operation have ever been found. The list of riders has been compiled from various sources, including accounts from people who knew riders, relatives of riders and newspapers.

The Central Overland Pony Express of 1860-61 was not the first nor the last venture to transport and deliver mail by horseback. While most attention has always been focused on the Transcontinental Pony Express route to California, there were many comparable services scattered throughout the west. Often these services lasted but a short time.

The list other riders and other routes and to provide a means of recognizing those gallant riders who provided the communication links that helped to bind our country together. If you have a name that you wish to submit please use this form.

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Question:

Who was the oldest Pony Express rider?

Answer:

According to Jackie Lewin, Curator of History at the St. Joseph Museum, the last of the living riders was Broncho Charlie Miller who died in 1955 at the age of 105. The oldest rider (while he was riding) was Major Howard Egan who was in his mid 40s.

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Question:

I am looking for information on an oil lamp that I have. The lamp is brass with a base that is 7 inches across with a rod that is in the middle that is 23 inches tall with an adjustable lamp and burner that move up and down on the rod. On the shade it has a stamp that says PONY EXPRESS EST. 1860, PROPERTY OF C.O.C. & P.P. EXPRESS COMPANY.

Answer:

I have seen these lamps often on eBay. I cannot authentic them as being real artifacts. It seems to me that with the quantity I have seen, someone must have a where house full. They might still make a nice collectible, just don't expect it to be real.

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Question:

What do the initials COC&PP stand for?

Answer:

The Central Overland California and Pike's Peak Express Company was the parent company for the Pony Express. Later when the company began to experience financial problems, some said that they stood for "Clean Out of Cash and Pay Poor".

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Question:

Who was the last Pony Express Rider?

Answer:

I am not sure who the last rider was. On the eastern end, the two who said they were riding at the end were Gus and Charlie Cliff, so I would say one of them might have been the last on this end. In their book The Pony Express, Nathan & Boggs say that the last mail reached San Francisco on November 21, 1861. The last arrival at Atchison was on November 7, 1861.

The last of the living riders was Broncho Charlie Miller who died in 1955 at the age of 105.

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Question:

Was it common place for pioneers going west on wagon trains to give mail to Pony Express riders as they passed each other?

Answer:

In my opinion it is unlikely that a letter would have been carried by a Pony Express rider as he passed by the wagon train. These fellows were on an extremely tight schedule. They had no time to stop. Three of the pockets on the Mochila were locked. The forth pocket was only for the way bill. All mail had to be stamped.

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Question:

I keep getting conflicting "facts" concerning what, if any, firearms were carried by Pony Express riders. For years I thought, based of something I read in the last century, that since every ounce of weight of riders and everything they wore or carried was carefully restricted, that they were instructed safety was in light weight with the resultant speed to outdistance any dangers from other humans of whatever race or intention rather than a shooting defense.

My question: Were they instructed, or even allowed to carry firearms, and if so, what?

Answer:

All of the riders were pretty good shots and were allowed to carry firearms. However, overall weight on the horse was always of concern. It was often found that a fast horse was the best defense. You may find more information on the weapons carried by the Pony Express here.

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faq-buckle Question:

Attached is a photo of what I believe to be an original belt buckle (pony express) from Tiffanys NewYork. could you tell me anything about it. I believe it to be an original because of the way it is made and the material it is made from. any information you could provide would be appreciated.

Answer:
I do not think that this is an "original" belt buckle if by original you mean it was worn by pony express riders. The date of 1849 is not correct; the Overland Pony Express was in service from 1860-61. The saddle bags do not represent the mochila that was used to carry the mail. This is probably a commemorative piece, but I cannot authenticate it.

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Question:

I was searching the Internet for any information about a bronze statue my father gave me called "The Pony Express" and found your site. The statue is by Thomas Holland. I know nothing else about it. The only thing I can find other than the plaque on the front is a small sticker on the bottom that says 049-2026. We are trying to get an appraisal on it. Do you know of anyone that could help me?

Answer:

I believe what you have is a miniature replica of the Pony Express Statue that is in Sacramento (see STATUE Page of the web site). As I remember a number of these were sold. I do not know the value, but you might check with a good auction house like Christie's.

Follow-up:

I ended up talking to someone that specializes in Western art at the Coeurd'alene Auction House. He said he had never heard of the artist before and that the market has been filled with so many contemporary bronze statues that values are not very good. Told me I would be lucky to get $500 for it. I asked him about one I saw for sale on a web site that was going for $15,000 and he said that many people will put incredibly inflated prices on such things and hope that a sucker comes by and buys it. He said I should just keep it, since it's not worth selling. Which I definitely agree with. I think it's such a need piece of work. The Pony Express was such a big part of the American West if you ask me. Thanks again for telling me about Christies. They directed me to Coeurd'alene.

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faq-bible Question:

I think that I may have a copy of the Pony Express Bible. I have recently found that there is a town called "MAXWELL" several miles east of North Platte where my grand father Maxwell grew up. The town is only about 250 Population. It was through this grandfather that I received the bible. My mother knew of the bible and did some research on it, but if it had any relationship to my family she never supplied it. Three of the employees of the Genoa, Nevada, museum stated that it is a genuine pony express bible. My grandfather received it when his mother died in 1926. On the front in worn gold print it reads "Presented by Russell, Majors & Waddell" This is in two lines, below that in has a date 1858...I will try to send a scan to you.

Answer:

I do not know to whom it could have belonged. As far as I know the riders were never "numbered". Also it could have belonged to another of Russell, Majors and Waddell employees. The date (1858) was of course before the Pony Express. The company presented all of its employees with a Bible, although the stock of 1858 Bibles were all given to the Pony Express riders. If indeed this is an authentic Bible, it could be a rare and valuable find. As far as I know there only 12 Bibles still in existence. For value, you might try a major auction house like Christies. For preservation you might contact the Bancroft Museum at UC Berkeley.

Follow-up:

The people at the Genoa museum made the same comments regarding the value. They have had their bible removed to the state vaults some time in the 1970's with a value well into the thousands at that time. They told me to make a special effort to keep mine in good condition. This bible shows the riders count of chapters read in pencil on the inside cover, as well as a very light signature of my great grandmother. I would be very interested in the value.

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Question:

My 10 year old son read somewhere that the donut was first made by the girlfriend of one of the Pony Express riders. Is this true?

Answer:

You are correct. Pony Express lore does say that donuts were invented when the girl friends of Johnny Fry passed them to him as he rode.

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Question:

I became interested in the Pony Express after watching a public TV special on the the history of the mail service last night. During the special, they spoke of the Pony Express and displayed a help wanted ad. I would like to obtain the wording or a copy of it if you are familiar with the ad. It started like this:

Wanted - Wirey young men, preferably orphans to ride 20 miles.......

Answer:

I saw that program also. It was pretty good and fairly accurate. However, the ad that was referred to about the "orphans preferred" has NEVER been found in all of the research of the Pony Express. My guess is that it was the product of creative writer. However, that being said, one can obtain a "copy" of such an ad from the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph.

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Question:

While doing a quiz on the net recently, I answered a question concerning the pony express with information from your web page. The question was "Between which two cities did the pony express operate" ..... I answered with the info on your page i.e. St. Louis and San Francisco.... but it turns out that it was not San Francisco, it was Sacramento. Are you right.. or is the quiz right, I have subsequently visited many other sites about the pony express and they all say Sacramento also.... please clarify the mix up for me.

Answer:

The correct answer was that the Pony Express was routed between ST. JOSEPH and San Francisco, NOT ST. LOUIS and San Francisco. Also while it is true that the riders normally went to Sacramento and thence by boat to San Francisco, the Pony Express operation was established to carried mail between St. Joseph, Missouri, and San Francisco, California.

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Question:

Is there an archives of Pony Express related material?

Answer:

The three museums in St. Joseph (Patee House, St. Joseph Museum, and Pony Express Memorial) all have quite a bit of material as you might expect. The Lexington Historical Museum has much of the collection of Waddell Smith. Finally the Library at the University of the Pacific in Stockton also has many of the papers collected by Waddell Smith.

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Question:

Is "Saddles and Spurs" still the most definitive Pony Express book in print? Are other books in the works?

Question:

I´m very interested in the Pony-Express history and I wonder if you will help me. I want to hear your opinion of the best book written about it and which is available to buy, maybe from Amazon. I have searched on your webside, but it was so many books, I couldn´t find the best.
Answer:
Until recently the most complete books on the Pony Express are Saddles and Spurs by Raymond & Mary Settle and Pony Express: The Great Gamble by Roy Bloss. However, neither are annotated which is frustrating for a researcher. Settle does have a good bibliography. Settle was not pleased with that. Settle wrote in the mid-1950s and was the first to use the Waddell Collection at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California. Bloss wrote for the Pony Express Centennial.

Joseph J. DiCerto has written the latest book relating the history, legend and lore of this most remarkable venture. In The Saga of the Pony Express. Di Certo covers all of the requisite areas of historical interest: the Founders, the Route, the Stations, the Riders, the Historical Significance, and the Financial Problems. He has taken steps beyond just a recitation of known facts and fiction and has gone to great lengths to place the Pony Express within the historical context of the turbulent events of the mid nineteenth century.

Jacqueline Lewind and Marilyn Taylor have written On the Winds of Destiny: A Biographical Look at Pony Express Riders, which contains photographs and biographies of 61 Riders, 3 Founders, 1 Superintendent, and 4 Division Superintendents. This is one of the most complete books of its type.

Orphans Preferred, the Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express by Christopher Corbett is the latest of these relating the history, legend and lore of this most remarkable venture. While Corbett covers all of the requisite areas of historical interest: the Founders, the Route, the Stations, the Riders, the Historical Significance, and the Financial Problems, he goes a step further by presenting the myriad collection of facts and fiction surrounding the Pony Express. To current historians who may not have access to primary source material, Corbett has done an exhaustive research. Often he presents all of the conflicting facts about one subject. Of particular interest to this reviewer, who has an extensive collection of books about the Pony Express, is Corbett’s research in to how many of the histories have been written including the accuracy of the facts and biases of the authors.

All of these books are available from Amazon.com.

For more discussion on the relative merits of some of the books on the Pony Express go to the BOOKS Page of this web site.

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Question:

I've written a paper on Mormon pioneers who crossed the plains by handcart from Florence to Salt Lake City in 1860. Though none of the journals mention seeing Pony Express Riders, the handcart company's captain send a letter from Ft. Laramie to SLC saying they were running low on supplies and would need help. I believe the letter may have gone by Pony Express, although it could have been sent by stage mail. Did mail still go by stage over the route in 1860?

Answer:

There was fairly regular stage service on the Overland Route that would have been able to carry mail between Ft. Laramie and Salt Lake City. Most of the mail carried by the Pony Express was between St. Joseph and Sacramento/San Francisco. There is not much records about mail delivered in between. Although military messages were carried. I guess if it were important (like "we're out of food") a message could have been delivered.

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Question:

I am the mother of a home schooled fourth grader. I am using a literature approach to California History using text books and the state standards for my curriculum. We are currently reading "Riders of the Pony Express" by Ralph Moody. It's a perfect book for his age.

The only discrepancy I have found concerns Buffalo Bill. So why is there a bit of confusion? Moody says that Buffalo Bill was a great rider, but is doubtful that he rode for the mail. He says that Bill was 14 at the time of the Pony Express and was a messenger boy at Leavenworth, Kansas. He also says that Wild Bill Hickok worked on the route as a stableman in Rock Creek, but not as a rider. So what should I tell Luke? This book was written in 1958. Since I don't have the time to really look into this, I am anxious to hear your opinion! There are conflicting reports about the characters of John Fremont, John Sutter and Kit Carson, I enjoy reading as much as I can. I grew up in Philadelphia, so these history lessons are all new to me. I am loving being in 4th grade!

Answer:

The information on Wild Bill Hickok is correct. He was never a Pony Express Rider. You can find more info by going to the Nebraska Stations Page, then to Rock Creek Station.

As for Buffalo Bill, this has always been a controversy. He certainly says that he was a Pony Express rider. In fact, his was claimed to be one of the longest rides ever. One of the things that intrigues me and others is the legend and the lore of the Pony Express. Not every thing that is included may be factual. There are many who believe the Buffalo Bill did ride for the Pony Express, but recent research tends to prove otherwise. However, I do believe that Buffalo Bill had a great deal to do with "putting the Pony Express on the map". Every presentation of his Wild West Show featured the Pony Express. Innumerable books were written about Buffalo Bill and his exploits in the Pony Express. This was all publicity to promote himself and his shows, but at the same time he created much of the legend of the Pony Express. You can check out his page on the web site.

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Question:

My wife has found a saddle bag we think might have been used in the pony express. It is marked, LA County with a US in the middle. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

There were certainly a number of "pony express" type operations throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the saddle bag you describe does not sound as if it were used by the Overland Pony Express of 1860-61 which used a mochila.

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Question:

Some of what I have read on the pony express has mentioned a ceremonial outfit that the riders put on when they left St. Joseph. This outfit was supposedly left on the boat when they traveled across the river, and then donned again by the rider who returned with the mail from California on the last leg of the journey. Has any research been done on what the outfit really looked like?
Answer:
I forwarded your question to Jackie Lewin, Curator of History at the St. Joseph Museum. Here is her reply:

"In the 1908 book by Visscher, a letter from Jack Keetley is quoted. He says "We always rode out of town with silver mounted trappings decorating both man and horse and regular uniforms with plated horn, pistol, scabbard, and belt, etc., and gay flower-worked leggings and plated jingling spurs resembling, for all the world a fantastic circus rider. This was all changed, however, as soon as we got on to the boat. We had a room in which to change and to leave the trappings in until our return." However, his letter has a lot of errors in it about other facts. Also, in other sources, he said he rode from Seneca to Big Sandy - not out of St. Joe. I do think he was in St. Joe when the first rider left. Also, Keetley's description doesn't match that of what Johnny Fry wore. I just don't know what to make of the letter. I just can't imagine an outfit like he described. It seems like it would have been remembered by others who talked about seeing the riders leave St. Joe.

"When we dressed our mannequin at the Pony Express Museum (Johnny Fry on a horse ready to ride out of the stables), we put a red shirt on him. We did use brown pants because we thought that the most common at the time. He is also wearing a slouch hat since that is what one eyewitness described. He also has tall boots with his pants tucked in. "

An account by Arthur Chapman that says in part:

"A hint of showmanship was evident at the St. Joe end of the route -- probably the work of the astute Russell, who know the value of little touches in advertising. Each rider who left St. Joe and the neighboring "home" stations, where there was some population to which appeal could be made, wore a red shirt, blue trousers, fancy boots and, to be donned in case of cold weather, a buckskin jacket. Later on, as the grind developed, that thought of special costuming was dropped."

BTW this is the uniform worn by members of the National Pony Express Association.

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Question:

I was just wondering why is it that EVERY website about the pony express has conflicting information? Some say there were 600 horses, others say 400 horses. Some say 185 riders, while others say 80. I have to give a speech on the pony express and am wondering how to know which information is correct??

Answer:

Those are some very valid questions.

A problem that one has when researching the history of the Pony Express is the almost total lack of company records that have survived until today. I would say that 400 is a pretty good number for the original purchase of horses, but over the year and a half that the Pony Express was in operation many more could have been purchased, particularly after the Indian wars in Nevada and Utah where a great many of the livestock were either killed or stolen.

There were approximately 80 riders on the pay roll at any one time, but they came and went, so the larger number is closer to the total riders.

Pat Hearty, NPEA Member, offers this additional insight.

The events of the Pony Express took place right on the brink of the Civil War. When the War broke out in early 1861, it understandably caught all the headlines, and the attention of the historians. It was nearly half a century before they looked back and realized they had overlooked something significant. The earliest real book of which I am aware is Visscher, 1908. By that time, the company records were lost, many stations had been moved or destroyed, many of the riders had died, or their memories had faded somewhat. Some memories may have improved ("Boy, it would have been great to have been a Pony rider, and the more I think about it, maybe I was!"). By the early 1900's, Pony Express history and myth were irretrievably intermingled, and everybody who told it, told it just a little different.

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Question:

All articles I have read have listed the business dates as April 3,1860 to October 1861. You have it listed as November 1861. Why is this? Do you have an exact date for the closing of the Pony Express?

Answer:

The Pony Express was to end its operations when the Transcontinental Telegraph was completed October 26. On that day the Pony Express was officially terminated, but it was not until November that the last letters completed their journey over the route. I chose to pick the November date.

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Question:

How often a full reenactment is ridden?

Answer:

The NPEA conducts the Annual Pony Express Re-Ride in June of each year. The last one was from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, June 8 to 18, 2003. For information on all of the recent Re-Rides please go to the NPEA Page on the web site.

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Question:

I would like any information you can give me on a telescope - it is 4" long when compressed and approx. 7 1/2" long when fully extended. It has a medal pony express logo on it stating "pony express - est.1860 - property of c.o.c. & p.p. express company". It also has a medal cap on the end to protect the lens. I would like to know if it is from the original pony express or perhaps a replica.

Answer:

I have seen these telescopes offered for bid on eBay. The ads usually say that they are replicas. None of my research ever stated that the Pony Express carried such telescopes.

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Question:

How can I become a Pony Express Rider and ride in the Annual Re-Ride?

Answer:

In order to participate as a rider in the Annual Re-Ride one has to be a member of the National Pony Express Association. You may find out more information on NPEA Membership here.

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Question:

We have an old lock and key that has inscribed on it "property of Pony Express station # l". We are interested in information as to where station # 1 was.

I have a padlock and keys that say "Pony Express Station #8" we were just wondering where they came from.

Answer:

I have seen a number of these for auction on eBay and really doubt their authenticity, unless someone found a warehouse full of them. As for the #1, at the time of the Pony Express the company did not number the stations. Mattes in his book The Pony Express, From St. Joseph to Fort Laramie has number the stations with a "Research Number". "Kansas #1" was Elwood. He also includes the 1859 U.S. Mail Station Numbers, however, there is no #1 or #2 listed.

The Pony Express Stations of 1860-61 were not numbered, however, many of the stations had been or were U.S. Mail Stations that had been taken over by William B. Russell in 1859. U.S. Mail Station No. 8 corresponds with Pony Express Cottonwood Station in Kansas.

If the lock actually is stamped with the words “Pony Express” I do not think it is authentic.

Here is a very good discussion of fake locks. Thanks to Richard Kamis for this information.

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Question:

Were there ever any female Pony Express riders?

Answer:

There is no historical record that there were ever any female Pony Express riders. This not mean that there were none, just no record. There have been a number books written that had a girl being a rider. Jo's Triumph by Nikki Tate is a recent book that I found to be very good. Another book, Impetuous: Mattie's Story by Jude Watson is also a good one.

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Question:

Could you please tell me how many Pony Express riders were killed in the line of duty and the cause of death?

Answer:

Broncho Charlie tells in detail the story of Billy Tate being killed by Indians. It is in such detail that he would have had to have been there. His book is the only one that even names Billy Tate as a rider. Then there is Bart Riles. Most accounts say he was killed accidentaly at the station. During the Paiute uprising there is at least one contemporary account of a rider being killed, but no name is given.

Information provided by Jackie Lewin, St. Joseph Museum.

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Question:

How much mail was lost?

Answer:

Out of all of the mail carried, there are only two accounts of lost mail:

After the Paiute uprising in May 1860 a number of stations between Carson City and Salt Lake City were destroyed. The New York Daily Tribune of May 31, 1860, reported in a dispatch to the Tribune from St. Joseph that the mail that was supposed to arrive in St. Joseph on May 28 was a day late. It had dispatches from Salt Lake City, but not California. The Tribune quotes the following note from Salt Lake City which it says was attached to the waybill:

"The rider has just come in. The Indians have chased all the men from the stations between Diamond Spring and Carson Valley. The pouch in which the express matter is carried is lost."

Another account of accidental lost mail was in the New York Tribune around September 1, 1860, as a dispatch from San Francisco written around August 18:

"The pony which should have brought the express letters, with St. Louis dates to Aug. 4 arrived at Carson River on the morning of the 15th, without rider or letter bags. The supposition is that the horse threw the rider and got away, or else that the Indians killed the rider, took the letter-bags, and allowed the horse to escape-the latter part of the theory not being probable, as the Indians would have kept the horse also. The pony arrived at the station only a few hours behind time; so that the accident or whatever was the matter, must have happened but a short distance east of Carson Valley."

Another source states that only one Mochila was lost. It is believed that a letter from the missing Mochila was delivered to its destination in 1863. It was marked with a note indicating that the letter had been recovered from a Pony Express Mochila some Indians had taken during an attack on a rider.

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Question:

Did the Pony Express brand their horses?

Answer:

The following information was provided by Jackie Lewin, Curator of the St. Joseph Museum:

"During our research we have continually looked for information about the horses having a brand - especially since one of our early curators thought there was one. However, we have found no documentation about a brand. When I spoke with our now retired curator who is elderly, he could not recall where the information came from other than to say it was on a horse hide in our collections. He said that is what was used to fashion a replica brand with an XP. Upon looking very closely at the hides, there was nothing. It seems that in the 40s, 50s, and early 60s, there were several things started about the Pony Express that just can't be verified. Maybe it is folklore. It is a mystery to me since I don't think our former curator would have just made it up. The closest thing we could find to a brand mentioned was from a newspaper article in the Utah area that said some horses were branded to thwart rustlers."

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Question:

What was the distance between stations?

Answer:

To maintain the rigid schedule, 157 relay stations were located from 5 to 20 miles apart. At each Swing Station riders would exchange their tired mounts for fresh ones, while Home Stations housed the riders between runs. This technique allowed the mail to be whisked across the continent in record time. Each rider rode about 75 miles per day. For more information on stations, click here.

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Question:

How fast did the horses run?

Answer:

The horses traveled at a speed of about 10 miles per hour and at times they were galloped at speeds up to 25 miles per hour. For more information on the horses, click here.

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Question:

We read an article about Pony Express in a class and found out the price for a letter was $5.00 and we wanted to know how much that would be in today's dollar amount.

Answer:

Based on today's dollars the cost of a letter would have been almost $75.

The Pony Express was used frequently by the British Government in forwarding its Asiatic correspondence to London. In 1860, a report of the activities of the English fleet off the coast of China was sent through from San Francisco eastward. For the transmission of these dispatches the British Government paid $135 for Pony Express charges. That would have been more than $2000 today.

The commercial houses of the Pacific Coast cities did not appear to mind a little expense in forwarding their business letters. Often there would be up to twenty-five $1 "Pony" stamps and the same number of Government stamps (for a total of $27.50) on a single envelope. That would have been over $400 per envelope.

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Question:

No doubt, you have heard about the new Disney movie called, "Hidalgo" that is coming out in March 2004. It is supposed to be based on a true story about Frank T. Hopkins, who entered his Mustang, Hidalgo, in the Oceans of Fire 3000 mile race across Arabia in 1890. A lot of the websites with information about this movie say that Frank was a Pony Express rider. I tried to find out information about his life and so far, have not found anything about him being a PE rider, although he was called, "The greatest endurance rider the west had ever known". I have scanned over the lists included in your website and again, found no mention of him as a rider.

Answer:

I am afraid it seems that Frank T. Hopkins was a fraud. Check here for the details.

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Question:

What was the motto of the Pony Express?

Answer:

"The mail must go through."

Also the motto of the U.S. Postal Service is often used to refer to Pony Express Riders.

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Question:

Why did the Pony Express end after such a short time?

Answer:

The Pony Express ended with the completion of the Transcontinental Telegraph. From more information click here.

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Question:

My friends father rode in the re-ride back in 1960 & bought 2 comemmorative pistols. Were there many sold? My husband, who has been riding in the re-ride for many years would love to have one. If you have any info on any of the guns ever used I would appreciate it.

Answer:

The Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co., Inc., specially manufactured 1000 Pony Express Centennial .22 caliber revolvers. They also manufactured another 1000 revolvers as Pony Express Presentation Models in .45 long Colt caliber. I have infrequently seen these up for auction on eBay.

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