Saturday, November 15, 2008
The Pony Express Bible
The history of the pony Express forms a fascinating part of the history of the American West. These dedicated and resourceful riders carried the mail from St. Joseph, Missouri, over nineteen hundred miles through dangerous Indian country, to Sacramento, California. The Pony Express acquired five hundred of the strongest and fastest horses the company could find. Incredibly, forty brave men rode these magnificent horses in relays with each man riding fifty miles to the next stations. Using four relays per day, the Pony Express riders traveled up to two hundred miles a day. A letter could be delivered in relays covering the complete nineteen hundred miles in only ten days.
In order to cut down on any unnecessary weight the riders would use the lightest saddles made, with very small, flat leather bags holding the mail. Amazingly, to cut down on the weight the riders carried no rifles. Mail carried by the Pony Express was written on very thin paper. However, the postage rate was $5 an ounce (equal to $200 per letter in today’s currency). The managers of the Pony Express believed that the Holy Scriptures were so important that they presented a special full size Pony Express Bible to each rider when they signed up to join this unusual company. Surprisingly, despite their overwhelming concern for reducing the weight of their rider’s equipment, every one of the riders carried a full size Pony Express Bible as part of his regular gear.