Stagecoach by Philip L. Fradkin
Wells Fargo and the American West

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Sweeping in scope, as revealing of an era as it is of a company, Stagecoach is the epic story of Wells Fargo and the American West, by award-winning writer Philip L. Fradkin.
The trail of Wells Fargo runs through nearly every imaginable landscape and icon of frontier folklore: the California Gold Rush, the Pony Express, the transcontinental railroad, the Civil and Indian Wars. From the Great Plains to the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean, the company's operations embraced almost all social, cultural, and economic activities west of the Mississippi, following one of the greatest migrations in American history.
Fortune seekers arriving in California after the discovery of gold in 1849 couldn't bring the necessities of home with them. So Wells Fargo express offices began providing basic services such as the exchange of gold dust for coin, short-term deposits and loans, and reliable delivery and receipt of letters, money, and goods to and from distant places. As its reputation for speed and dependability grew, the sight of a red-and-yellow Wells Fargo stagecoach racing across the prairie came to symbolize not only safe passage but faith in a nation's progress. In fact, for a time Wells Fargo was the most powerful and widespread institution in the American West, even surpassing the presence of the federal government.
Stagecoach is a fascinating and rare combination of Western and business history. Along with its colorful association with the frontier -- Wyatt Earp, Black Bart, Buffalo Bill -- readers will discover that swiftness, security, and connectivity have been constants in Wells Fargo's history, and that these themes remain just as important today, 150 years later.

About Philip L. Fradkin

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Philip L. Fradkin is the author of eleven books, including A River No More, The Seven States of California, Magnitude 8, Wildest Alaska, The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906, and Wallace Stegner and the American West, all available from UC Press. Alex Fradkin is a fine art photographer whose work has been widely exhibited and is held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Portland Art Museum. His work also appears regularly in print and online publications around the world.
Published April 24, 2002 by Free Press. 272 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Professional & Technical, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Fradkin, who has written eight books about the American West, offers a swashbuckling account of Wells Fargo's early mail and express delivery service. In the 1850s, executives hit upon a scheme

Jan 14 2002 | Read Full Review of Stagecoach: Wells Fargo and t...

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