Stagecoach West is a comprehensive history of stagecoaching west of the Missouri. Starting with the evolution of overland passenger transportation, Moody moves on to paint a lively and informative picture of western stagecoaching, from its early short runs through its rise with the gold rush, its zenith of 1858–68, and beyond. Its story is one of grand rivalries, political chicanery, and gaudy publicity stunts, traders, fortune hunters, outlaws, courageous drivers, and indefatigable detectives. We meet colorful characters such as Charlie Parkhurst, a stagecoach driver who took an amazing secret to his death: “he” was actually a woman. Using contemporary accounts, illustrations, maps, and photographs to flesh out his narrative, Moody creates one of the most important accounts of transportation history to date.
Ralph Moody is best known for his eight Little Britches books, which have delighted three generations of readers.
Introducer Mark L. Gardner is the author of Brothers on the Santa Fe and Chihuahua Trails and Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade.
"The two decades between the California gold rush and the golden-spike ceremony in Utah comprised the golden age of stagecoaching in America. Around this sure-fire theme Ralph Moody has woven an accurate and colorful tapestry."—Journal of American History
"Step aboard [Moody’s] coach and take a rollicking ride through prime Americana."—Mark L. Gardner, from the introduction