the Colonial Era, roads were built between cities for
the purpose of delivering the mail, hence the name Post
Road. By the late 18th century, several thousand miles
of post roads ran along the Atlantic seaboard from Portland,
Maine to St. Augustine, Florida. Many of these roads
were commissioned and paid for by state or federal organizations.
The map on the right shows the main
post roads circa 1770.
Of all of the posts roads, the most
famous is Route 1. Between Boston and the South, Route
1 provided the means for conveying the mail. There is
one notable exception. Between Wilmington/New Castle
and Baltimore, Route 1 does not follow the main post
road. Instead, Route 40 (now designated SR 7) in northeast
Maryland was the main post road.