My New Historical Crush

I first read about this gentleman here. You guys should really check out other historical stories on Futility Closet. They've got some dead interesting ones. Having done a bit of further research, I now present to you Louis Remme:

Remme was a cattle dealer in 1855, working around the California gold rush locations. He had just sold $12,500 worth of cattle and deposited his funds in the Sacramento branch of the Adams & Company bank. Almost immediately after, he reads in the paper that the parent company has failed and that depositors were losing everything. He runs over to his local branch where he had just barely been, but they, too, have received the news and the bank has already been liquidated.

Instead of despairing, he remembers that Portland, Oregon has a branch. What's more important, Portland does not have a telegraph office, nor do they have pony express mail service. A steamer had to be deployed that morning from San Fransisco to bring the message up personally.

So he jumps on a horse and rides. He rides for almost 700 miles in just 6 days. In all that time, he only gets 10 hours of sleep (mostly in the saddle), stopping only to grab food and change horses (which he nearly killed). He rode through snowstorms and dangerous strips of Indian country (the Modoc Indians, who were currently warring). Thankfully, the ship bearing the news also has to stop twice to deploy soldiers to fight these Indians, buying Remme a little extra time. They were neck-and-neck the entire journey, though neither knew just how close they were.

Remme arrives in Portland on the sixth day and sees that the ship has just barely pulled into harbor. He runs to the bank, terrifying the teller by how awful he looks, presents his receipt and gets his money. He bumps into the agent bearing the news as he walks out the door, beating him by about five minutes.

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