National Geographic : 1962 Aug
of Connecticut. While he was there, a Dutch fleet sailed through The Narrows, and New York became Nieuw Amsterdam again. Lovelace returned to England, and the Boston Post Road lost its first friend. THERE WAS NOT just one Boston Post Road; there were three of them, and branches of those, all existing at the same time. They followed sepa rate and sometimes roundabout routes. The object was not to speed from New York to Boston, but to pick up and drop off mail at towns along the way. Compare the historical map on pages 192-3 with the modern Atlas Map issued separately with this month's NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC; you can see where the first Post Roads ran, and where equivalent roads run today. The northernmost or upper Post Road went by way of Springfield and Worcester, Massachusetts. The middle The Author: Donald Barr Chidsey writes of the Nation's early years as if he had lived them. In the National Geo graphic Society's new book, America's Historylands-Land marks of Liberty, Mr. Chidsey describes the beginnings of the American Revolution. He has written many books of fiction, biography, and history, most recently Victory at Yorktown, The Battle of New Orleans,and a novel, The Wickedest Pil grim. At 60 he lives near Old Lyme, Connecticut, not far from the lower Post Road. Post Road slanted across north- eastern Connecticut from Hartford straight to Boston. The Shore Path, or lower Post Road, followed the coast to Rhode Island, thence to Boston. They are all still there. They are not always easy to find. "Let no pseudo-purist tell me just where the Boston Post Road made its way," warns Stewart Holbrook in his new book on this subject.* "Far too much has happened to towns and roads since 1700." But the search is worth it. Get off that superhighway long enough to look around, as I did, and you will be amazed to learn how much of the old New England charm remains. Sooner or later, you'll come to Old Lyme, Connecticut. Not long ago I stood in admiration of an elm in The Street of Old Lyme. The Street -it is never known, locally, as anything else-used to be part of the lower Boston Post Road when the Saybrook-Lyme ferry operated across the Connecticut River; but when a bridge was built upstream from the ferry, the Post Road swerved to meet this, leaving The Street to its arching trees, its trim white houses, and its memories. "Handsome thing, isn't it?" *The Old Post Road, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1962.