Note: The following is one of a series of columns looking at the first road systems in Georgia and Bulloch County.
According to the "Journals of the Continental Congress" (1904 to 1937), on Sept. 25, 1767, a Congressional Committee met to discuss problems with a petition received from Nathaniel Twinning concerning over compensation he was receiving for his services.
Twinning was running numerous stage coach routes, throughout the Virginia routes, especially between the cities of Alexandria and Richmond, Virginia, He was now trying to get more of the southern routes, including the route from Savannah to Augusta.
He wrote that, "having undertaken the business of conveying the mails by stages through a great extent of country interrupted by many wide ferries and through very deep and sandy roads...the expense of this undertaking exceeded the allowance he (received) from the public."
Because of the lack of income, he had "been obliged to convey the mails during some part of the time and on some parts of the line, by horses instead of carriages, which (made him) liable to penalties which still add to his misfortunes."
Furthermore, the records showed the committee instructed, "the post master genl... remit to Mr. Twining the penalties he hath incurred by the failures of his contract by conveying the mail by horses instead of carriages."
Furthermore, they instructed "Mr. Twining (be allowed) to be conveyed on this route by horses in place of carriages in such parts of his line where they have already been so done."
Then, on Oct. 15, 1787, the Congressional committee "Resolved That the postmaster general be...authorized to contract for the transportation of the mail for the year 1788...as he may judge most expedient and beneficial; provided that preference is given to the transportation by stages to encourage this useful institution."
The Congressional committee then ordered, "the mail be conveyed (two or three times a week) from Portland, Massachusetts to Suffolk, Virginia; and (once or twice a week) from Suffolk to Savannah (depending on the season).
Furthermore, the committee ordered that "the postmaster general be...authorized to alter the route from Petersburgh, Virginia to Savannah (rerouting it through) Augusta (instead) provided...he establish cross posts...to the commercial towns on the sea coast.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. Email Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.