Taking Stock of the Pony Express
By Frederick J. Chiaventone
Young, wiry riders delivered the mail 150 years ago when the Pony Express ran on determination, a tight schedule and an even tighter budget.
Gold Teeth and Lead Bullets
By Lee Shackelton
A Ballarat brute nettled a miner with a mouthful of gold, which started the lead flying one summer morning among hard-drinking citizens in this California mining town.
Ambush and Siege at Paint Rock
By Wayne R. Austerman
Jack Hays’ Texas Rangers laid a trap for Comanche raiders, then beat back the larger force—or so the story goes.
Jack Slade: Western Jekyll and Hyde
By Dan Rottenberg
The steadfast Central Overland stage superintendent once impressed Mark Twain but often transformed into a hard-drinking ruffian—once too often to suit Montana vigilantes.
Jack Watkins, the Laramie Terror
By R.K. DeArment
He was a man with a sketchy past and not much of a future, but for a few short months and deadly moments in Wyoming Territory, Watkins was an outlaw king.
Glacier National Park commemorates its 100th year. Read all about it and other West-related news and events, plus the Top Ten myths (and realities) involving the Pony Express.
By Candy Moulton
Historian Quintard Taylor writes about frontier blacks in his books and on his popular Web site.
Gunfighters and Lawmen
By Ramon Julian Vasconcellos
It started as strictly a Tong fight in Los Angeles, but after one gang member shot a policeman, vigilantes were out for Chinese blood.
Pioneers and Settlers
By Pam Potter
Sentenced to five years at Yuma Territorial Prison for shooting down her lover, May Woodman turned to the judge and said, “May God curse you forever!”.
By David T. Zabecki
Although famous French observer Alexis de Tocqueville never ventured west of the Mississippi, he had plenty to say about Indians and their expected fate.
By John Koster
Union Pacific “gandy dancers” walked in line like a gaggle of ganders while carrying 28-foot rails to their resting places on the ties.
Best known as a horse thief and regarded as a courageous crook, Doc Middleton looks like he could stare down a pack of hungry wolves.
Guns of the West
By Lee A. Silva
Although seldom used in battle, Gatling guns made their presence felt on the wild frontier and promised enough deadly firepower to rattle an enemy.
By Les Kruger
Most Western boomtowns depended on mining, but Mondak, on the border between “dry” North Dakota and “wet” Montana, was built on booze.
By Linda Wommack
The relic-rich Museum of Northwest Colorado commemorates outlaws and working cowboys.
Art of the West
By Johnny D. Boggs
Montana Crow artist Kevin Red Star has created an acrylic-on-canvas portrait of the fearsome Sioux warrior Rain-in-the-Face.
Must-read books and must-see movies about the Pony Express, as well as a Pony DVD. Plus a bonanza of recent books and Bonanza on DVD.
Make tracks to Utah’s Golden Spike National Historic Site.
On the cover: April 3, 2010, marks the sesquicentennial of The First Ride of the Pony Express, a nearly 2,000-mile trip that began in St. Joseph, Mo., on April 3, 1860, and was captured in this 20th-century oil by American artist Charles W. Hargens Jr. (Pony Express National Museum, St. Joseph, Mo.)
Discussion: The Pony Express marks its 150th anniversary this year. How would you rate that short-lived venture (April 1860–October 1861) compared to, say, the Adams Express Company, Wells Fargo and Company, Butterfield Overland Mail, Brigham Young Express and Carrying Company and the Holladay Overland Mail and Express Company?
The Pony Express: Riders of Destiny: Author Christopher Corbett writes, “The story of the Pony Express is a bit like the story of Paul Revere’s ride—an actual historic event, rooted in fact and layered with fabrications.”
Pinta Trail Crossing: Five years before the ambush and siege at Paint Rock, Jack Hays led his Texas Rangers into a similar fight with Comanches at Pinta Trail Crossing.
Also be sure to visit GreatHistory.com, where you can read and write about history, even if you don’t know a ‘blog’ from a Pony Express mochila