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Pony Express

Definition: Horse-powered mail service that ran 2,000 miles from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, in 1860 and 1861. Carriers boasted that mail could be delivered along the entire route in 10 days. Each rider traveled about 75 miles, then handed off the mail to another rider. This system worked, even through the winter. This was a novel idea, but the organizers didn't make a whole lot of money. And when the telegraph became a reality in October 1861, the Pony Express made its last delivery.

Related Resources:
The Westward Movement
Find out more about Americans' travels west.

The 19th Century
Get a glimpse of what life was like in the exciting 1800s.

Elsewhere on the Web:
Pony Express School House
Find many sources of good information on this site, including maps, a quiz, and articles written by students just like you.

American West: Pony Express
Lots of important facts about the Pony Express, its founding, its route, and its dangers.

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