Thursday, June 24, 2021


Nineteen weeks? Nineteen months?  Nineteen years? How long did young men race across the West as Pony Express Riders?

What's your guess? The Pony Express is so much a part of my image of the West that I might have guessed nineteen years. What about you?

I would be wrong. Amazingly, the Pony Express lasted only nineteen months. With so much written about it or shown in movies I was sure it would have been longer than that.

A series of way stations that allowed for new horses made it possible for these men, mostly orphans, to deliver a letter from Missouri to California in only ten days. At least, that was the company's guarantee. One even did it in eight days.

Ad in the Sacramento Union, March 19, 1860

"Men Wanted"
The undersigned wishes to hire ten or a dozen men, familiar with the management of horses, as hostlers, or riders on the Overland Express Route via Salt Lake City. Wages $50 per month and found. (

Though the riders ran into dangers and not all survived, the Pony Express Company delivered on their promises and ran a successful business. Why did it fail in the end?

The telegraph. Even while riders raced across country, the young men saw wires and poles being strung along their way. Train tracks also stretched across the plains to the West Coast. That made it possible to deliver packages and such cheaper and with equal speed--or even faster.

After only a year and a half of business, the Pony Express could not meet the same speed of the telegraph. The message that took riders days to deliver could be sent in mere minutes. The Pony Express riders carried their last letter in 1862 (though the company official terminated in October, 1861).

Still, that didn't stop them from entering into the legend of the West...

Want to read about crossing the country? Pre-order my wagon-train romance today.

A cat, an accident, and a pile of mixed-up letters send a bride to a man she otherwise would never have met. Only time will tell if she and this new marriage can survive the match.

 Francine 'Francy' Dinsmore loses the security she's always known with the death of her father. Coincidentally, her father sent a letter to a matchmaker to give his daughter a home far from Chicago.  Life so far has treated Francy tenderly and expected very little from her.

Beau LeFevre abandons a hopeless future to venture west. He packs a wagon to head for Oregon. The only thing he needs before he leaves is a wife. When the elegant woman arrives from the matchmaker, he marries her wondering all the while what made the matchmaker send this bride to him.

How can he make a marriage work with this spoiled woman? Life on the trail leads him to believe someone made a mistake!

Or will this turn out to be a happy accident and a sound pairing with the only woman who can win his heart?


  1. As you mentioned, I was surprised when I learned the Pony Express was in operation for a short time. Your post explains why very well. Thanks for sharing. Best wishes for many sales of BEAU'S ELEGANT BRIDE!

  2. I remember how surprised I was when I learned how brief this iconic western enterprise was. And one should always be wary of the dangers involved when the want ad reads "Orphans Preferred. Thanks for a great post.


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