Pony Rider Photograph

refer to caption
Frank E. Webner, Pony rider
Courtesy of the National Archives.

This photograph was taken in the 19th century and is a primary source for that time period. This rider is identified as Frank Webner, a pony express rider, but some historians argue it was taken in the 1890s. What do you think? What do you see in the photograph? Examine the details closely. Write 1 or 2 questions that will help you better understand the context and perspective of this photograph.

A black and white photograph of Pony Express rider from the Historical Photograph File of the Bureau of Public Roads, 1896- 1963. There is some confusion on the real identity of the rider. Historical records (including census data) do not indicate that anyone of that name was in the right area or years to have been a rider. However, records also indicate that individuals with similar last names (Wegner, Wagner, etc.) did live at the right time and place to have been a rider. It is not unusual for family names to have a multitude of spellings due to census taker's mistakes or even simple lack of standardized spelling between family members.

Date: 1861