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The Overland Mail
1849–1869
By LeRoy R. Hafen, Edited by David Dary
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$21.95 $15.37 Paperback

In the development of the American West, no two decades were so full of romance and change as the years from the California gold rush of 1849 to the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869. In two decades, the West was conquered and the secession movement rose and fell. From slow ox-team and prairie schooner to the dashing Pony Express, the overland mail service mirrored these monumental strides.

Originally published in 1926, The Overland Mail was the first scholarly work to examine the impact of the postal service on the expansion of the West as the service evolved from a private endeavor to a government-contracted business. LeRoy R. Hafen details how the mail service tied West to East, influenced politics and economics, promoted use of the overland trails, aided in settlement, and helped usher in the railroads.

This classic work is here available in paperback for the first time. In a new foreword, David Dary assesses Hafen’s contributions as a writer and historian.


About The Author

LeRoy R. Hafen (1893-1985) was Professor of History at the University of Denver and Brigham Young University, Executive Director of the State Historical Society of Colorado, and author/editor of numerous books on the American West, including Ruxton of the Rockies, Fur Trappers and Traders of the Far Southwest: Twenty Biographical Sketches, and Handcarts to Zion: The Story of a Unique Western Migration, 1856-1860.

David Dary is Professor Emeritus and former head of what is now the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of more than 20 books, including Red Blood and Black Ink; The Oregon Trail: An American Saga; and Stories of Old-Time Oklahoma.
Book Information
4 b&w illus., 3 line drawings, 1 map
368 Pages
Paperback 978-0-8061-3600-4
Published April 2004
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