Concord-Style Mail Coach

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.

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Narrator: When the first stage coach contracts were led in 1785 little was requested the operators other than carrying the mail.

Subsequent legislation and congressional influence use those postal funds to direct travel in communication beyond the Atlantic coast.

By 1830, postal funds had led stage operators to maintain regular schedules and move routes into the south and west.

The coaches used on these lines all had one thing in common.

They offered passengers miserably uncomfortable rides.

In 1828, Louis Downey and Steven Abbott came up with a solution.

Downey owned a wagon and wheelwright shop in Concord, New Hampshire and had heard a steady barrage of complaints about stagecoach rides.

The two teamed up to create a new mail coach, the Concord coach, a comfortable elegant vehicle.

It was an immediate success.