"In mid-19th Century America, communication between St. Joseph, on the fringe of western settlement, and gold mining communities of California challenged the bold and made skeptical the timid. Into this picture rode the Pony Express. In rain and in snow, in sleet and in hail over moonlit prairie, down tortuous mountain paths . . . pounding pony feet knitted together the ragged edges of a rising nation.” Frank S. Popplewell
The Donner Party was a human tragedy of immense dimensions. 90 people led by George Donner started from Missouri to California in 1846 in a wagon train. They expected to be there by Sept. but bad guiding & poor decisions found them in the mountains in heavy snow in November. They began to starve. They ate all their food and animals then ate each other. Some groups attempted to reach rescue, dying along the way. A few made it & rescue teams set out. 48 people survived, located by March or…
The Sand Creek Massacre On November 29, 1864, seven hundred members of the Colorado Territory militia embarked on an attack of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian villages. The militia was led by U.S. Army Col. John Chivington, a Methodist preacher, as well as a freemason. After a night of heavy drinking by the soldiers, Chivington ordered the massacre of the Indians. Over two-thirds of the slaughtered and maimed were women and children.
The need for quicker mail service was a direct result of Gold Rush and Mormon exodus. Thousands of people began moving out west during to gain riches and adventure. The postmaster general decreased mail service to California during this same period. Several companies filled the gap but the service was very slow, taking weeks to deliver. I can use this background information to help establish why the Pony Express came to be.