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[102] the latest intelligence from the front a full day in advance of his competitors.

The Charleston Courer was then published by Wm. S. King, a man of rare judgment and journalistic enterprise, and to him Mr. Beach proposed a co-partnership in a pony express that would accomplish what they desired. Mr. King was delighted with the idea, and accepted the proposition at once. Without delay the necessary arrangements were perfected and the line went into effect at once. The first intelligence received in this way was published in Charleston, exclusively, on the 27th of March, 1847. This news, full twenty-four hours in advance of the United States mail, was printed in thousands of extra copies and distributed gratuitously to an eager crowd. From that time until the end of the war the express was operated exclusively by these papers to the great pecuniary advantage of their owners.

The route covered by the pony express was from Mobile to Montgomery, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles, over which the regular mail was carried by stage in thirty-six hours. This ground was covered by contract with J. C. Riddle in twelve hours. A regular system of relays was established, and the riders carrying not less than three or more than five pounds of mail matter rarely ever failed to overtake the previous day's mail. The system was an expensive one, as $750 was paid for every successful trip. Numbers of horses were killed, and one rider lost his life in a manner that has forever remained a mystery.

Leaving Charleston the news was carried to Richmond by the regular route and was sent from that point—then the Southern limit of telegraphic communication—to the Sun in New York by ‘magnetic Telegraph.’

The bombardment of Sumter.

It is interesting in this connection to note the comparison between the way news is handled now and the way it was handled in the sixties. Now no big daily paper would deign to give less than from two to ten pages to the news of a great battle. This would be fully illustrated and embellished with half and quarter page cuts unlimited. When the war broke out the New York Tribune, then the leading ‘hustler’ in America, had a man ready in Charleston to send the first intelligence, and when Fort Sumter was attacked he spread himself to the extent of three columns. This was printed in the third page, under a single column ‘scare head,’ containing twenty-two


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