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Orphans Preferred - Christopher Corbett

Paperback Published: 1st September 2004
ISBN: 9780767906937
Number Of Pages: 288

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—California newspaper help-wanted ad, 1860

The Pony Express is one of the most celebrated and enduring chapters in the history of the United States, a story of the all-American traits of bravery, bravado, and entrepreneurial risk that are part of the very fabric of the Old West. No image of the American West in the mid-1800s is more familiar, more beloved, and more powerful than that of the lone rider galloping the mail across hostile Indian territory. No image is more revered. And none is less understood. Orphans Preferred is both a revisionist history of this magnificent and ill-fated adventure and an entertaining look at the often larger-than-life individuals who created and perpetuated the myth of “the Pony,” as it is known along the Pony Express trail that runs from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California. The Pony Express is a story that exists in the annals of Americana where fact and fable collide, a story as heroic as the journey of Lewis and Clark, as complex and revealing as the legacy of Custer’s Last Stand, and as muddled and freighted with yarns as Paul Revere’s midnight ride. Orphans Preferred is a fresh and exuberant reexamination of this great American story.

Industry Reviews

"A lively and conversational probe that lays out the real facts about this stirring slice of Americana."--Albuquerque Journal

"A rollicking tale of frontiersmen, showmen, hustlers, hucksters, and frauds."

"It's the West in microcosm, and Corbett's breezy writing turns what we thought we knew into a compelling search for fact . . . It's a romantic story that won't die."
--Denver Post

Mapp. xii
Prologue: How the Story Goes, or What Do We Know?p. 1
In the Days of the Ponyp. 11
"Capital Fellows"--Russell, Majors & Waddellp. 13
"A Wild, Uninhabited Expanse"p. 29
"The Greatest Enterprise of Modern Times!!"p. 45
Pyramid Lakep. 63
"Orphans Preferred" and "The Worst Imps of Satan"p. 81
Captain Sir Richard Burtonp. 95
The Telegraph: "Our Little Friend the Pony is to Run No More"p. 115
After the Ponyp. 129
Mark Twain ... "To the Territory Ahead"p. 131
Billy Cody's Big Adventurep. 147
Buffalo Bill's Wild West: "Wholly Free from Sham and Insincerity"p. 161
The Colonel and His Thrilling and Truthful Historyp. 173
Pony Bob Haslam: A True Rider of the Purple Sagep. 187
"Memory at the Best is Treacherous": The Story of the Story of the Pony Express and How it Grewp. 201
The Borderland of Fablep. 219
Broncho Charlie Miller, "The Last of the Pony Express Riders"p. 231
Epilogue: The Girl Who Remembered Johnny Freyp. 247
Bibliographyp. 257
Acknowledgmentsp. 265
Illustration Creditsp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780767906937
ISBN-10: 0767906934
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st September 2004
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.4 x 13.4  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.22
Edition Number: 1