Reading and Writing
Students will know the difference in ways we communicated then and now.
September 18, 2017
History of Pony Express
Pony Express Riders
Pony Express resources from The Smithsonian
Early American Letter Writing
The first Pony Express rider left California, headed towards Missouri, in April, 1860. The young men who were Pony Express riders were selected for bravery and weight. It was important for the riders to be light so the ponies could carry both a rider and heavy bags of mail, at a gallop, for many miles.
Ponies were changed out about every 10-15 miles, but riders continued for between 30 to 100 miles, before another rider took over. One of the most important messages carried by the Pony Express was the news that Abraham Lincoln had been elected president. The Pony Express carried the news about 1800 miles, between the start and finish of the brand new telegram lines. By October 1861, the telegraph lines were finished. They now reached from east to west. About 18 months after the first Pony Express rider left California, it was over. Ponies were fast, but the telegraph was faster.
Pony Express of the Future