The Pony Express in a Nutshell
By Donna Schlachter
Most people know something about the Pony Express, but few realize it only operated from April 1860 through to November 1861. The first ride left St. Joseph, Missouri heading west, and from Sacramento, California heading east, on April 3rd, 1860.
The idea for a Pony Express was conceived in the minds of its owners because of the possibility of winning the contract for the overland US mail. Another company, Butterworth, was running a southern route that took up to three weeks to deliver to the west coast, and Majors and Waddell thought they could beat that time by taking the shorter northern route.
The irony of the matter is they never won the contract; instead, they merged with Butterworth to form the Overland Mail Company, and closed the Pony Express over $200,000 in debt.
My interest in this story came about because I met my friend Mary Davis at a writers conference, and I asked her what she was working on. At the time, she was doing the proposal for the book. I said I’d love to be part of it, but she said she had her authors. Still, I did some research, did a road trip, and when she emailed a month later to say one author dropped out, I was ready.
The time period, 1860, fascinates me as there were so many changes happening in America. The train is a near dream; the cross-country telegraph is nearing completion; the country is brewing for civil war; women are campaigning for voting and civil rights. In just a few short years, cameras will photograph the first war ever; telephones will be installed in people’s homes; electricity will light our lives into the dark of night.
Despite the changes, one thing is sure: the Pony Express lives on in our hearts and our folklore much longer than it actually ran.
Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid publisher who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. Her current release, Echoes of the Heart, a 9-in-1 novella collection titled "Pony Express Romance Collection" released April 1. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She will be teaching an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers in June 2017, “Don’t let your subplots sink your story”. Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both.
Echoes of the Heart: http://amzn.to/2lBaqcW