First rate Americana -- for here, implicit in the tales of places, people and events connected with the road familiarly called The Boston Post Road is a slice of our history. Its story dates back 100 years before the Revolution when a pioneer mail carrier made his way through what was scarcely more than a succession of trails and took a fortnight to get from New York to Boston. Stages come later -- and passengers were incidental. Post offices were casual affairs -- and the cost of sending dispatches, letters, communications was of more or less local decision. Those early years and the years when the stage-drivers were vital figures in the New England scene- and turnpikes and public houses- ""the taverns in the towns""- still provide color and drama as one reads. Gradually the old post road became three routes out of Boston: the upper road, the middle road, the lower road- until they merged into one below New Haven- and the opening up of the wilderness to settlements, the closer linking of people- all make a fascinating pattern of story and history up to the rejection of New York City as capital for the young nation. Delightful pen sketches as chapter heads in this one of Stuart Holbrook's most beguiling books.