A More Analytical Perspective

Photograph of engraving of Sir Richard Burton
An engraving of Sir Richard Burton, an explorer and author who traveled to the West by stagecoach and wrote of his journey in the book, "City of the Saints and Across the Rocky Mountains to California," published in 1861.
Courtesy of Kansas State Historical Society

In 1861, British explorer, Sir Richard Burton's "The City of the Saints" was published in London. Burton's book chronicled his journey into the west and time spent in Salt Lake City. Unlike Twain's "Roughing It," Burton's book was not widely read. Burton's depiction of the Pony Express service and riders was more analytical than Twain's.

Among Sir Burton's observations were depictions of station houses that were shared by the Pony Express and passenger stage line services. Among the station houses he chronicled was Nevada's Sand Springs station.

"The water near this vile hole was thick and stale with sulphury salts: it blistered even the hands. The station house was no unfit object in such a scene, roofless and chairless, filthy and squalid, with a smoky fire in one corner, and a table in the centre of an impure floor, the walls open to every wind and interior full of dust."