Not so express, if that’s the expression

Want ad for the Pony Express.

Yes, it’s taken me more time than I would have liked to post, as I’m traveling this week. But the idea of ‘posting’ got me thinking about what ‘posting’ would have meant during the days of the Pony Express. We may have an idea of a lone determined mid-19th century mail carrier galloping over the American plains, but while a letter sent from the East coast to California was supposed to take three to four weeks, the riders rarely achieved their goal.

Still, the Express, begun in 1860, raised the standard of information delivery. “Can somebody tell us what has become of the U. S. mail for this section of the world?” the Los Angeles Star asked readers in 1853. “Some four weeks since it has arrived here. The mail rider comes and goes regularly enough but the mail bags do not. One time he says the mail is not landed in San Diego; another time there was so much of it the donkey could not bring it, and he sent it to San Pedro on the steamer — which carried it up to San Francisco. Thus it goes wandering up and down the ocean . . . .”