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The Stagecoach

1851 red Concord stagecoach on display at the National Postal Museum
1851 Concord stagecoach on display at the National Postal Museum.

Concord-style mail coaches first appeared in the 1820s and remained in use into the early 1900s. After 1845, federal law prohibited the Post Office Department from awarding extra fees to stagecoach contractors. Horseback riders soon replaced many of the stagecoaches. This coach was built in Concord, New Hampshire, by Lewis Downing in 1851. The mail was carried under the driver's seat. The driver or his boss contracted to carry this mail with “celerity, certainty, and security” between White River Junction and Woodstock, Vermont.