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[p. 78]

If the novelist could correctly reproduce for us these travellers, we might find them endowed with a charm akin to that of the Canterbury Pilgrims.

To accommodate all this early and later tide of travel, there were several taverns within a stone's throw of each other in the market-place, besides others within a half mile on the east and on the west.

Surely these were not maintained for the benefit of the towns-people, nor were so many necessary to Medford's small population. There is proof enough that many who travelled for business, pleasure or adventure stopped here for shelter and lodging.

The period of coaching days must have added no little extra excitement and interest to the daily life of the town.

The earliest stage line from the North to Boston was from Portsmouth. This was established in April, 1761, and the following notice announced the enterprise to the public.

For the encouragement of trade from Portsmouth to Boston a large stage Chair,

With two good horses well equipped, will be ready by Monday the 20th. inst. to start out from Mr. Stavers, innholder, at the Sign of the Earl of Halifax, in this town to perform once a week; to lodge at Ipswich the same night, from thence through Medford to Charlestown ferry, to tarry at Charlestown till Thursday morning, so as to return to this town the next day; to set out again on the Monday following. It will be contrived to carry four persons besides the driver. In case only two persons go they may be accommodated to carry things of bulk and value to make a third or fourth person. The price will be Thirteen shillings and sixpence sterling for each person from hence to Boston and at the same rate of conveyance back again, though under no obligation to return the same week in the same manner.

Those who would not be disappointed must enter their names at Mr. Stavers, on Saturday, any time before nine o'clock in the evening, and pay one-half at entrance, the remainder at the end of the journey. Any gentleman may have business transacted at Newbury or Boston with fidelity and despatch, on reasonable terms.

As gentlemen and ladies are often at a loss for good accommodations for travelling from hence, and can't return in less than three weeks or a month, it is hoped that this undertaking will meet

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Portsmouth, Va. (Virginia, United States) (2)
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