What an event that was in Portsmouth
when the ‘Flying Stage-Coach’ set out on its trip of over fifty miles! what an event, too, when it passed over the Medford
roads on its way to Boston
With what eager curiosity the crowd gathered at the inn watched its departure, and how, perhaps even more so, they looked for its return!
The humor of the name struck Portsmouth
's witty son, that delightful Bad Boy, for he says the Flying Stage-Coach
‘crept back from Boston
Let us look at one whose portrait a poet has given us:
One hundred years ago, and something more,
In Queen Street, Portsmouth, at the tavern door,
Neat as a pin, and blooming as a rose,
Stood Mistress Stavers in her furbelows,
Just as the cuckoo-clock was striking nine.
Above her head, resplendent on the sign,
The portrait of the Earl of Halifax,
In scarlet coat and periwig of flax,
Surveyed at leisure all her varied charms,
Her cap, her bodice, her white folded arms,
And half resolved, though he was past his prime,
And rather damaged by the lapse of time,
To fall down at her feet, and to declare
The passion that had driven him to despair.
For from his lofty station he had seen
Stavers, her husband, dressed in bottle green,
Drive his new Flying Stage-Coach, four in hand,
Down the long lane and out into the land,
And knew that he was far upon the way
To Ipswich and to Boston on the Bay!
In 1767 a line was started from Salem
, in 1772 one from Marblehead
, and an advertisement of the line from Newburyport
may be seen in the Boston Gazelle
, May 10, 1773.
With what pleasure these coaches must have been watched as they came bowling along the Salem