Friday, October 14, 2011

The Stage Doesn't Stop There

Geneva Palladium
August 28, 1822

Mr. Editor -
   Among the many improvements which have of late taken place in our country, there are few, if any, which have been more rapid in their progress, of which have added more to the comfort and accommodation of the traveller, than is found in the Post-Coach Line for the conveyance of passengers from Albany to Buffalo. Yet in this line, respectable and useful as it is, there is at least one defect, the
evils of which are seen and felt every day, and which, but for the obstinacy of one individual, might be remedied without expense, and the Line thereby rendered more respectable, more profitable to the Proprietors, and by far more useful to the public - I alluded to the arrangement by which the Stage Drivers are now allowed to receive or land passengers at the Hotel in this village.
   This establishment has an airy and commanding situation - is among the oldest and most respectable in the western country, and is now kept in a style which would not perhaps suffer by a comparison with any house of entertainment in this state. Yet the Stage Proprietor, who has the control of the regular line, in consequence of a paltry quarrel with the keeper of the Hotel, has interdicted all communication between the Stages and that house, and will not suffer his Coaches to stop there to deliver or receive passengers or baggage under pain of dismissal to the driver that dares offend against his stern decree. Hence we often witness the aged and infirm, the young and the feeble, compelled to traverse the streets on foot, or be left to hire conveyances to pursue their journey upon the mail road.
  The stages in Albany, Schenectady and Utica will call at any public house in those places for passengers, and on their arrival travelers are set down at such places as they direct;  but in this village the traveller is not allowed to call at the place of his choice without going on foot from the stage-house, although the coaches are daily driven directly by the front door of the Hotel, and within fifty feet of it, on their way to the stables and carriage-yard of the proprietor for the purpose of changing horses. One instance of this description will be sufficient to satisfy the public, that the conduct of the individual above alluded to merits the severest reprobation of an insulted community, and particularly of every citizen who has the least spark of independence, or the slightest reverence for age and respectability.
   In the mail coach which arrived in this village on Sunday morning last, among other passengers was the venerable Egbert Benson, Esq. late one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of this state, who has usually, heretofore, when in this village, put up and Faulkner's Hotel. At the arrival of the coach at the stage-house, he requested to be taken to Faulkner's, but was told that the coach did not go any farther, and that if he wanted to to to Faulkner's, he must walk there. Mr. Benson, thereupon, got out of the carriage, in which he had arrived, driven past him, and within a few feet of the Hotel door, on its way to the stables to change horses. The next morning, wishing to go to the west, he sent to the stage-house to engage his passage, and requested that the coach might call for him at Faulkner's, and received for answer that the coach could not call for him, and that if he wished to go on, he must walk to the stage-house, which, with a becoming spirit he refused to do, and Mr. Faulkner then sent him on in a gig.
 Upon  such an outrage I leave the public to make its own comments. Numberless other instances of a like nature might be mentioned, but the above will suffice to apprise travelers and others of the treatment  they are subjected to in this village by traveling in that line.        
                                                                   A CITIZEN.                                                

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