Home Page     Meet Boston Menu

by Jacob Marmor (pseudonym)

Friday, October 10, 1941

in What's New In Town

W. J. Sidis


        There is one spot in Boston that has had a longer history of connection with services of information and communication than possibly any place on earth.  About the 13th or 14th century, the Iroquois nations established the first courier route from Albany to Buffalo―the world’s first public message delivery service, the lineal ancestor of present American postal service.  This route was later extended East to the ocean, its terminus being at Mishawum (Charlestown), where canoe transportation completed the run into Shawmut (Boston).  The courier service also developed numerous branch routes (Broadway, New York, being one of these branches), making a network of communication covering a large part of the continent, with Boston as the Atlantic end of the main route.  With the coming of the Puritans, the Indian courier service was linked to boat service across the ocean, and the Boston courier terminal, whose location would now be described as 242 Washington Street, became America’s first regularly designated public post office.  In 1704, this post office issued a weekly bulletin mailed to subscribers―The Boston News Letter―the first genuine news periodical in the world, edited and mailed out from this same point through printed elsewhere.  The place is still being used in accordance with the old tradition.  The offices of the Boston Globe, and the New England headquarters of the Associated Press, occupy the same spot.


        Boston’s crooked streets are badly misunderstood.  They are really remarkable distance savers; if anyone doubts it, just compare the distance along two sides of a square with a gently wavy line you can draw from one corner to the opposite one right across the square.  Boston is truly a city of short cuts.


Home         Meet Boston Menu