Tips for Stagecoach Travelers

  • The best seat inside a stage is the one right behind the driver. Even if you have a tendency to motion sickness when riding backwards, you’ll get over it and will receive less jolts and jostling. Don’t let any “sly eld” trade you his middle seat.
  • In cold weather don’t ride with tight-fitting boots, shoes, or gloves. When the driver asks you to get off and walk do so without grumbling, he won’t request it unless absolutely necessary. If the team runs away, sit still and take your changes. If you jump, the odds of your well-being aren’t good. Nine times out of ten you will be hurt.
  • In very cold weather abstain entirely from liquor when on the road because you will freeze twice as quickly when under the influence.
  • Don’t growl at the food received at the station; stage companies generally provide the best that they can get.
  • Don’t keep the stage waiting.
  • Don’t smoke a strong pipe inside the coach.
  • Spit on the leeward side.
  • If you have anything in a bottle, pass it around.
  • Procure your stimulants before starting, as “ranch” (stage depot) whiskey is not “nectar”.
  • Don’t lean or lop over neighbors when sleeping.
  • Take small change to pay for expenses.
  • Never shoot on the road as the noise might frighten the horses.
  • Don’t discuss politics or religion.
  • Don’t point out where murders have been committed, especially if there are women passengers.
  • Don’t lag at the wash basin.
  • Don’t grease your hair, because travel is dusty.
  • Don’t imagine for a moment that you are going on a picnic. Expect annoyances, discomfort, and some hardships.

Omaha Herald, 1877