Welcome Sign-In | Register
Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 



The Pony Express was a fast mail service crossing the North American continent from the Missouri River to the Pacific coast, operating from April 1860 to October 1861. Messages were carried on a horseback relay across the prairies, plains, deserts, and mountains of the western United States. It briefly reduced the time for mail to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to around ten days. By traveling a slightly shorter route and using mounted riders rather than stagecoaches, the founders of the Pony Express hoped to establish their service as a faster and more reliable conduit for the mail and win away the exclusive government mail contract.

Founded By William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and Alexander Majors, it officially opened on April 3, 1860. The first trip, westbound, was made in 9 days and 23 hrs. The eastbound trip was made in 11 days and 12 hrs. Every 24 hrs they covered 250 mi. The Pony Express, established a year before the beginning of the American Civil War, reflected the need to provide fast and reliable communication with the West.

By 1860, the fastest route was the Butterfield Stage line from St. Louis, Missouri, through El Paso, Texas, which took 25 days. It was almost 600 miles (950 km) shorter to deliver the mail over a central or northern route. There were concerns, however, whether these alternatives were viable during the winter snows.

In 1854, Benjamin Franklin Ficklin, an employee of the firm of Russel, Major and Waddell is said to have first proposed a faster northern route to California Senator William M. Gwin. Russell, Majors and Waddell was one of the biggest outfitters for travelers on the Santa Fe and Oregon trails, operating out of a vast complex in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Missouri. The firm als

Service and Handling Description: Books & Catalogs (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Glossary of Terms

Auction Info

Auction Dates
November, 2007
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 5,872

Buyer's Premium per Lot:
19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

Heritage membership

sold in the last year

Join Now - It's Free

  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your

Consignments wanted

Consign to the 2016 February 27 The Merrill C. Berman Collection Part IV Americana & Political Grand Format Auction - Dallas.

Learn about consigning with us

Heritage Auctions takes a personal interest in client success, acting in policy for an absolute positive result and reflects this direct client interest in the quality account services you provide. Evaluation in product placement, optimum exposure and maximum result is more than appreciated in our fast pace world today.
Scott W. Halvorsen,
Sandy, OR
View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit:

Video tutorial

Getting the most out of search

Recent auctions

2015 September 26 The Merrill C. Berman Collection Part III Americana & Political Grand Format Auction - Dallas
2015 September 26 The Merrill C. Berman Collection Part III Americana & Political Grand Format Auction - Dallas

© 2015 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved