The North American Review/Volume 1/Mail Coaches

For works with similar titles, see Mail Coaches.


It is surprising, that in a country where the spirit of improvement and enterprise is so strong, the establishment of mail and other coaches, should be so miserably wanting in every thing, for the comfort of the traveller, which is still more remarkable, because there being no post-horses on the roads, almost all our journeying is in these vehicles. Hitherto nothing seems to have been aimed at but speed, and the rapidity with which the mail is transported, equals that of the most improved countries in Europe. Yet no change has been made in the coaches. In Massachusetts they are in a degree better than in other states: but, when you get out of this state, they are mere inconvenient waggons, in their primitive construction. Certainly, the great roads from Portland to New York, and some of the roads in Pennsylvania, will admit of better carriages.

In addition to more comfortable carriages, an arrangement for transmitting small parcels is exceedingly wanted. In England, this is found to be a lucrative branch of the business; every town has a coach office, where parcels are booked, and are transmitted daily to all parts of the kingdom, for a trifling charge; every package is delivered immediately, and very often the persons, to whom they are addressed, receive them as early as they would a letter by the mail. Such an appendage attached to any of our lines of coaches, would not fail of meeting with encouragement, as every person has experienced the difficulty of transmitting small packages from one city to another.