The pony express was operated by the freighting firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell. As a business venture, it was unsuccessful. Before the pony express, letters to and from California had been carried by ships, wagon trains, and stagecoaches and had required much more time for the journey. The first telegram to San Francisco was transmitted Oct. 24, 1861, and the pony express was then gradually discontinued. Its existence was brief but picturesque, and the pony express lives in legend as well as in history. In 1992 the
See L. R. Hafen, The Overland Mail (1926); A. Chapman, The Pony Express (1932, repr. 1971); R. W. Settle and M. A. L. Settle, Saddles and Spurs (1955, repr. 1972); G. D. Bradley, Story of the Pony Express (2d ed. 1960); M. Mattes and P. Henderson, The Pony Express from St. Joseph to Fort Laramie (1989).
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