Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #47

In this article by William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about travel on Sundays in the early days of Rochester.

STAGECOACH TRAVEL IN 1824 — It was considered a sin to travel on stages on the Sabbath

The early churches of Rochester were interested in public morals and in civic affairs as well as in Sunday schools and revivals. Several of their pastors came from New England, where pastors had a standing in politics. The question of the public observance of the Sabbath, slavery, public amusements, and of the liquor traffic, all of these held theirs attention at the time they were live questions before the country. The Sabbath question, as applied to the transportation of mail and running of canal boats and stage coaches on Sunday, agitated the Rochester fathers not a little. In 1824 certain church leaders established a line of stages from Rochester to Canandaigua, that operated only on week days. As is often the case with the righteous, they did not get their reward in terms of excess profits. Although mass meetings were held, and sermons preached, and petitions sent to Congress and the Legislature, the old New England Sabbath was doomed. A federal law, of 1825, required postmasters to deliver letters and packages on every day of the week at seasonable hours..