One of the principal patrons of the service was the English government, the official communications of which were, as a rule, forwarded by this route. A report of the operations of the English squadron in China waters required $135 to cover the pony-express charges. The most important service rendered by it was the carrying of communications between Washington and the government officers and Union men on the coast. To it may be attributed the information that enabled them to forestall the plans of the Southern faction to carry California out of the Union. The events then taking place, foreshadowing our Civil War, were of overwhelming interest, and for this reason public attention was directed more to the service than would have been the case under ordinary circumstances.