A trip from Boston to New York, 1790 style

From Josiah Quincy III (1772-1864), mayor of Boston:

“The journey to New York took up a week. The carriages were old and shackling, and much of the harness made of ropes. We generally reached our resting place for the night, if no accident intervened, at ten o’clock, and after a frugal supper went to bed with a notice that we should be called at three the next morning, which generally proved to be half-past two. Then, whether it snowed or rained, the traveller must rise and make ready by the help of a horn-lantern and a farthing candle, and proceed on his way over bad roads, sometimes with a driver showing no doubtful symptoms of drunkenness, which goodhearted passengers never fail to improve at every stopping place by urging upon him another glass of toddy.”

This is how people travelled when they were well-off, like the mayor of Boston. I always think of anecdotes like this whenever I run into one of those pinheads who thinks that the past was a better time than the present.

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