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01. Encyclopedia Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge (1955), Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

02. Our Rich History (accessed March 9, 2014),

03. Wood engraving of the construction of the First Transcontinental Telegraph, with a Pony Express rider below, (November 2, 1867) Harper's Weekly

04. Maverick, War of the Silver Kings (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

05. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails

06. Maverick, Brasada Spur (1959), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

Western Union Telegraph Company


The first transcontinental telegraph line in the United States.


Founded in Rochester, New York as the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company on April 8, 1851. Its name was changed to Western Union Telegraph Company in 1856[1] to denote its connecting telegraph lines between the East and West coasts. On October 24, 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph line was established.[2]



War of the Silver Kings: In 1870, Richard Bixby sent a Western Union telegram[4] from Salt Lake City[5] to Phineas King in Echo Springs to inform King that Judge Joshua Thayer’s decision against King’s Silver Lady Mine had been overturned by a higher court in the territorial seat. Big Mike McComb was able to intercept the telegram and edit it slightly to change the apparent meaning of the message before it was delivered to King.[4]


Brasada Spur: On September 14, 1872, Rufus Elgree received a Western Union telegram from "Blackburn" inviting him to meet at the Union Club in Chicago to discuss Brasada Spur stock manipulation. The telegram was a ruse instigated by Bart Maverick to lure Elgree out of King City, Kansas, for several days so Bart and Roy Stafford put a plan into action without his interference.[6]

Wood engraving of the construction of the First Transcontinental Telegraph, with a Pony Express rider below.[3]










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