The Pony Express was a
Officially operating as the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company of 1859, in 1860 it became the
During its 18 months of operation, it reduced the time for messages to travel between the
The idea of a fast mail route to the Pacific coast was prompted largely by California's newfound prominence and its rapidly growing population. After
In the late 1850s, William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell were the three founders of the Pony Express. They were already in the freighting and
Russell was a prominent businessman, well respected among his peers and the community.[
By utilizing a short route and using mounted riders rather than traditional
Russell, Majors, and Waddell organized and put together the Pony Express in two months in the winter of 1860. The undertaking assembled 120 riders, 184 stations, 400 horses, and several hundred personnel during January and February 1861.
Majors was a religious man and resolved "by the help of God" to overcome all difficulties. He presented each rider with a
I, ..., do hereby swear, before the Great and Living God, that during my engagement, and while I am an employee of Russell, Majors, and Waddell, I will, under no circumstances, use profane language, that I will drink no intoxicating liquors, that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employers, so help me God."
The Pony Express demonstrated that a unified transcontinental system of communications could be established and operated year-round. When replaced by the telegraph, the Pony Express quickly became romanticized and became part of the lore of the
From 1866 until 1889, the Pony Express logo was used by stagecoach and freight company