Stagecoach Etiquette

Stagecoach passengers were expected to observe a few rules of the road, most of them directed at gentlemen. (1) Take small change to pay expenses. If you have anything to drink in a bottle, pass it around.  (2) Don’t keep the stage waiting, or smoke a strong pipe inside the coach. (3) Don’t complain about the food at the station stops, and don’t lag at the washbasin before eating. (4) While traveling, spit on the leeward side of the coach.  (5) Don’t lean or lop over fellow passengers when sleeping, and don’t discuss politics or religion. (6) Don’t point out where murders have taken place, especially if there are women passengers. (7) Never shoot on the road, as the noise might frighten the horses. (8) If the team runs away, sit still and take your chances. (9) Expect annoyance and discomfort. (10) If asked by the driver to get out and walk, do so without grumbling.   Read more about stage travel in The Stagecoach in Northern California: Rough Rides, Gold Camps & Daring Drivers, available at Amazon.