America's Historic Towns and Oldest Places
The Boston Post Road (est. 1673) was a system of mail-delivery routes between New York City and Boston, Massachusetts, that evolved into one of the first major highways in America. The three different routes or alignments were: Upper Post Road, Lower Post Road, and Middle Post Road. Portions of these postal roads were eventually incorporated into more substantial trails and pathways, leading to portions of several U.S. and interstate routes. The Boston Post Road became a portion of The King’s Highway, a 1,300-mile road laid out from 1650 to 1735 in the American colonies to link Charleston, South Carolina, to Boston, on the order of Charles II of England. In 1753, then-Deputy Postmaster Benjamin Franklin traveled the Boston Post Road to standardize postal rates based on distance. Stone markers were placed at mile points along the route. In 1783, the Boston Post Road carried America’s first long-distance stagecoach service from New York to Boston, corresponding with improvements in the road’s surface that resulted in a faster, safer, and more efficient transportation system. The success of the stagecoach service along this route convinced Congress to send mail by stagecoach instead of lone rider. Today, the three routes of the Boston Post Road are now the I-95, I-91, and I-94.