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Pony Express advertisement
Pony Express Postmark, 1860, westbound

The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages, newspapers, mail, and small packages from St. Joseph, Missouri, across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento, California, by horseback, using a series of relay stations. Officially operating as the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company of 1859, which in 1860 became the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company, this firm was founded by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell all of whom were notable in the freighting business.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn |bracket_year_left = ( |bracket_year_right = ) }} During its 19 months of operation, it reduced the time for messages to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about 10 days.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn |bracket_year_left = ( |bracket_year_right = ) }} From April 3, 1860 to October 1861, it became the West's most direct means of east–west communication before the telegraph was established and was vital for tying the new state of California with the rest of the United States.


Pony Express sections
Intro  Inception and founding  Operation  Pony Express route  First journeys  Mail  Fastest mail service  Attacks  Famous riders  Horses  Saddle  Closing  Commemorations  Legacy  In popular culture  Gallery  See also  Notes  References  Bibliography  Further reading  External links  

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