Central Overland’s Mail Monopoly

“The effect of the Pony Express on Washington was immediate and profound. Five weeks after the Pony was launched, a special Congressional committee recommended building a railroad along the Platte River route to Salt Lake City. On May 11, also just five weeks after the Pony Express got under way, Postmaster General Holt abruptly annulled George Chorpenning’s semi-monthly mail contract between California and Salt Lake and awarded the annual $83,241 fee to the Central Overland instead. For the first time, William Russell’s company help a monopoly on U.S. mail service over the entire central route, enabling it to compete head-to-head with Butterfield’s southern route for the primary transcontinental federal mail contract.”