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a former system in the American West of carrying mail and express by relays of riders mounted on ponies, especially the system operating (1860–61) between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California.
(in the American West) a system of mail transport that employed relays of riders and mounts, esp that operating from Missouri to California in 1860–61

A system of mail service by relays of riders on horses, established in 1860 between Missouri and California, through the Rocky Mountains. It operated for only a year and a half, until a telegraph line eliminated the need for it.

Note: An early advertisement for Pony Express riders is well known: “Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”

Note: Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok were Pony Express riders in their youth.


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