The reason that the Pony Express was organized is of far more importance than the question of who conceived the idea for it. In attempting to explain that reason, the history of mail to the Pacific Coast must be briefly reviewed. The necessity of communication with that far-off portion of the continent was introduced to the American public when Jason Lee and his fellow Methodist missionaries settled in Oregon in 1833. In 1836, Marcus Whitman arrived with a party of Presbyterians. Before long the American population of that region increased until there were sufficient people to organize the Oregon Territory in 1848. This, plus the Gold Rush of 1849, made it imperative that an overland mail line be authorized. Bills providing for that service were introduced in Congress in 1855, but failed of passage.