U. S. Mail Stage Line, From Philadelphia to Great Egg Harbor. John C. Briggs.

U. S. Mail Stage Line, From Philadelphia to Great Egg Harbor.

Philadelphia: Young, Printer, Black Horse Alley, 1841. Illustrated broadside, 24.25” x 19”. Recently reinforced with Japanese tissue paper on verso.

A scarce broadside advertising a U.S. mail stage-line that ran from Philadelphia to Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey, and announcing a newly-established accomodation line between the same two locations.

From the late-18th century to the mid-19th century, the stagecoach was the principal carrier of mail on America’s main post roads. Following the spike in passengers on U.S. mail stage-lines, staging increasingly freed itself from the freight business and came under the influence of hotel-owners and innkeepers who catered to the needs of passengers. Groups of such owners formed stage-lines with scheduled staging stops for meals and lodging. In time, mail-coach proprietors began establishing accommodation stage lines—such as the present one—which focused on the comfort of passengers.

This broadside promotes the line running from Philadelphia to Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey. The stage left Pierson's Ferry, upper side of Market St., at 4 o'clock AM and John Knisell's Ferry, Camden, NJ at 4:30 o'clock AM on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with stops at Haddonfield, Long-a-coming, Tansborough, Blue Anchor, Winslow Glass Works, Weymouth Iron Works, Mays' Landing, Bargintown, Somers' Point, Smith's Landing, and finally Absecom, NJ. Returning, the line left Absecom at 4 o'clock AM, and Somers' Point at 4:30 o'clock AM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The proprietors take the opportunity to announce the establishment of an accomodation line that also runs from Philadelphia to Mays' Landing via the same stops using Eliptic Spring Coaches. Interested parties could purchase seats at these stops and several other hotels, ferries, and stops listed here.

Curiously, the printer’s name, Young, appears on the doors of the stage coaches (where one might more typically find the name of the stage line), which are shown carrying passengers and luggage. Six proprietors of the line are listed below, including John Briggs who was manager of the Weymouth Iron Works.

After being designated the seat of Atlantic County, Mays Landing, NJ saw an increase in its population, as well as the arrival of hotels, law firms, and businesses, the town soon gaining commercial importance. To profit from the influx of travelers to Mays Landing, Samuel Richards built the American Hotel which opened in 1840 as Wescott's Hotel (named for its operator, who also called it Mays Landing Hotel) and became a stop on the stage-line. It is advertised here William Wescott’s Hotel.

No copies recorded in WorldCat.

REFERENCES: Roth, Steven M. Stage Operations and the Mails in New Jersey (New Jersey Postal History Society, 1972) at njpostalhistory.org; Mays Landing Historic District at livingplaces.com

CONDITION: Very good.

Item #6767

Price: $2,250.00

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