Russell’s Reason for Starting the Pony Express

The motive which prompted Russell to organize and operate the Pony Express has often been misstated. Briefly, it was an advertising proposition to fix public and Congressional attention upon the Central Route, with the result that the lucrative contract for carrying the mail overland to California would be given to the C.O.C. & P.P. H This cold, business-like purpose detracts in no manner whatever from the romance of the undertaking. He hoped the Pony Express would make money, but he was not fully convinced it would. In fact, his contract with the St. Joseph citizens permitted him to discontinue it after six months if it did not pay. Neither Majors nor Waddell thought it would, but they went along with him anyway.