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Harry Jackson wrote, “There is a wonderful cowboy expression that you hear to this day – ‘packing the mail.’ If somebody goes by a mile a minute, I mean if he’s afoot or in an automobile, whatever it is, you say, ‘He’s packing the mail.’ It certainly comes from the pony express rider, who rode between St. Joe, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, along the North Platte and the Sweetwater rivers and with outlaws and Indians trying to stop him from doing what he set out to do and no law to protect him. He wasn’t interested in wiping them out, he was just interested in defending himself and standing them off, doing his job of packing the mail.”

The Estate of Harry Jackson

Larry Pointer and Donald Goodard, Harry Jackson (New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1981), pages 234-235, plate 299, illustrated

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