Investigations

Snowshoe's Mailbag

The Case:

While browsing through a Montana antique store, a resident of Modesto, California, discovered an unusual leather satchel.

A tattered label on the bag read, “—oe Tho---son... presented …useum by the President… -merican Railway Express.” According to legend, a Norwegian immigrant by the name of John Thompson risked life and limb to hand-deliver the post across the high Sierra Mountains in the years before the Civil War.

“—oe Tho---son” appears to be “Snowshoe Thompson”, the mailman’s nickname.

Could this bag be one that Thompson used on his arduous journeys?

To find out, History Detectives heads to California and Nevada to explore the history of the U.S. Postal Service, shedding light on the tremendous contributions of this pioneering legend.

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Aired:
Season 3, Episode 6

Detective:
Wes Cowan Location:
Modesto, California

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