Waybill for Boston, Lexington, and Concord Accommodation Stage, April 20, 1839. THE STAGECOACH

52. Waybill for Boston, Lexington, and Concord Accommodation Stage, April 20, 1839.  Printed paper form filled in by hand, in ink.  From the Nathan Brooks papers.

   Transportation by stagecoach to and from Boston was a regular part of Emerson’s life before the railroad came to Concord.  The ride one way took between two and three hours.  Conversation among passengers provided welcome distraction from the tedium and discomfort of long confinement in close quarters over bumpy, muddy roads.  Edward Emerson wrote of travel by stagecoach during his father’s early residence in Concord: “Lawyers going to court, ministers exchanging with their country brethren, traders going to supply their miscellaneous country-stores, ladies going visiting or to see the sights of the city were there.  Somebody always knew somebody, and thus cheerful conversation was sure to be set agoing.” 

   The Boston, Lexington, and Concord Accommodation Stage was operated from 1817 by William Shepherd, keeper of a tavern on Main Street (now 122 Main).  The line carried passengers and made deliveries three days a week.

   The waybill shown here reveals that Emerson shared a coach from Boston to Concord with eight fellow travelers—seven gentlemen and a lady—on April 20, 1839.

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