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Essay/Term paper: Pony express

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Humanities

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On April 3rd, 1860, the Pony Express started. The first rider named Henry Wallace left St. Joseph, Missouri. On April 13th the last rider reached Sacramento, California. To become a rider you had to be a brave young man, and an orphan, because it was a dangerous job. They had to be very good riders, and able to shoot good. And they must not fear Indian attacks. Every rider had to ride sixty miles at very high speed. He had to travel the 60 miles with six different ponies and in six hours. Every day except on Sundays a rider left Missouri at 12 o"clock. The rider in Sacramento arrived at 8 o"clock in the morning. The pony express lasted only for one and a half year. The completion of the transcontinental telegraph line between Missouri and California was the reason the pony express ended. "Tele" means distant and "graphein" means to write, in greek. They could send messages and news over long distance. The first inventor of the telegraph was Samuel Finley Breese Morse. Groups working to finish the transcontinental telegraph meet at Fort Bridger in Utah territory. The first transcontinental telegraph was sent from San Fransico to Washington. The message was from the states Chief Justice to President Lincoln. http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/gen_act/travel/pony1.html The telegraph line only went as far west as St. Joseph, Missouri in 1860. It was 2,000 miles from St. Joseph to the west coast as Sacramento, California. It took over months for messages to be carried by ships, wagon trains, or stage coaches to reach California. They needed a faster way for mail and messages to get to the west coast. A system of horse riders, called the Pony Express was started. The riders would bring the mail quicker. The first rider of the Pony Express left St. Joseph, Missouri, on April 3, 1860. The stations where the riders could stop were 10 to 15 miles apart from each other. At some stations, a rider could get a new horse. Each rider had to ride about 75 miles before the mail was passed on to another rider. The schedule allowed eight days for mail to be carried from Missouri to California. The Pony Express was much faster than carrying mail and messages by ships, wagon trains, or stage coach. The man who managed the Pony Express system was Alexander Majors, from Kentucky. At one time it cost $5 to send a letter weighing half an ounce to California. Later on it cost $1 per half ounce. The fastest Pony Express run was in 1861 when President Lincoln was inaugurated. His speech for the inaugural was carried to California in seven days and seventeen hours. One of the most famous riders was Buffalo Bill Cody. In October of 1861 the first telegraph line was completed. It connected through California. With the telegraph line, messages could be sent in minutes not days. In two days, the Pony Express began to lose business, and it ended. The Pony Express riders had given the United States a vital service for eighteen months. What Affects Did The Transcontinental Telegraph Have On The Pony Express? By: Laura Simonetti 1003 "Pony Express", Comptons Interactive Encyclopedia. Softkey Multimedia Inc. 1996 The Southern Overland mail where Wells Fargo came to own a controlling interest was founded on Sept. 15, 1858 by John Butterfield. Butterfield was an American Express Company director. The Overland Mail stagecoaches went from St. Louis to San Fransico in 24 days through desert, mountains and bands of hostile Indians. There were little Pony Expresses before 1860. The Pony Express that rode its way into American legend was started by Russell, Majors, and Waddell on April 3, 1860. Russell, Majors, and Waddell had its Pony Express riders travel over a central route 2,000 miles between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California in ten days. If it did do it in ten days, it would beat the time taken by Butterfields Southern Overland to cross the continent. The Pony Express was successful at a time, but it was a financial failure. It lost its owners more than $200,000 in eighteen months of its existence. It played a big role in establishing rapid communications between the north and the west coast during the Civil War. The Pony Express helped keep California in the Union. The completion of the Transcontinental telegraph line ended the Pony Express in Oct of 1861. Hawgood, John. American Western Frontiers. Alfred A Knopf: New York. 1972 The Pony Express was born on April 3, 1860. It took only mail from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, in under ten days, at the cost of $2 to $5 an ounce. The Pony Express carried 34,753 items of mail before it was discontinued on October 26, 1861, two days after the transcontinental telegraph line was completed. The Pony Express carried too little amount of mail and cost too much for its promoters. The Pony Express was only one of the many enterprises of Russell, Majors, and Waddell. Russell and Waddell began their western activities as government freight contractors on the Sante Fe Trail in their early 50"s. The Overland Mail contract provided a daily service between St. Joseph and Sacramento, it took thirty five days or less. The Central Overland Company was to operate the section between the Missouri River and Salt Lake City. The Butterfeild Company was to retain the lucrative route from Salt Lake to Virginia City, Nevada. The western end of the route from Virginia City to Sacramento was subleted to the Pioneer Stage Company. From there to San Fransico the river-streamer service was by this time so good that even the Pony Express used it. May, Robin. History of The American West. Exter Books: New York. 1984 It cost a lot of money to run the Pony Express. The pony Express is so famous it hasn"t been forgotten. The Pony Express had 190 stations staffed by 400 station men. Twenty-five of the stations were for the riders to change horses. These twenty-five stations were called "home" for the riders. Some 500 fast, wiry horses were bought and 80 riders were hired. The riders had to be at least 18 years of age, not weigh too much or too little. They had to be strong. They sworn to be sober, descent in speech and gentlemanly in conduct. They had to be brave, because if they got attacked by Indians, and weren"t brave, they would try to escape and get killed. The famous sign for the Pony Express read: "Wanted- young, skinny, wiry fellows, not over 18. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. Wages $25 a week" Seventy five horses was used in each direction for a run. At every station, the rider would have two minutes to throw his saddle bags with the mail in it onto his next mount and race again. The first rider left St. Joseph on April 3, 1860 to Sacramento. The young riders usually survived attacks by Indians, blizzards, raging rivers and wild animals. The Pony Express ended in Oct of 1861. The reason of the ending was because of the completion of the first transcontinental telegraph line.  

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