What if you wanted to know more about those Pony Express adventures? The problem was there was not much to read on the subject other than Buffalo Bill’s autobiography and show programs. The freighting firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell created the Pony Express to carry mail between Saint Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, in 1860. The service was wildly popular, especially in California, where it was memorialized in heroic tributes even as it began.
But it lasted only eighteen months. When it ended, in 1861, the Civil War had erupted. The epic clash of North and South at Shiloh, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness absorbed the energies of almost every American historian for the next three decades. Few attempted unpacking the West until the 1880s. Nobody wrote a book-length history of the Pony Express until after 1900.
Note 10 (p. 552):
The first history of the Pony Express was Frank A. Root and William Elsey Connelley, The Overland Stage to California (1901; rprt. Columbus, OH: Long’s College Book Co., 1950); followed soon after by William Lightfoot Visscher, A Thrilling and Truthful History of the Pony Express, or Blazing the Westward Way (1908; rprt. Chicago: Charles T. Powner, 1946), and Glenn D. Bradley, The Story of the Pony Express (Chicago: A. C. McClurg, 1913).