A stagecoach is a heavy, closed vehicle on wheels, usually drawn by horses, used to transport goods and passengers. Used in London at least by 1640, and about 20 years later in Paris, stagecoaches reached their greatest importance in England and the United States in the 19th century, where the new and improved roads made travel quicker and more comfortable. Prior to the railroads, coaches were the only means that many people had to travel over long land distances in the United States. In 1802 one could travel by coaches 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers) between Boston and Savannah, Georgia.
Stagecoaches varied in design. Typically they were drawn by four or six horses, which changed at the stages, or stations, along the route. The great period of the coaches ended by the mid-nineteenth century as railroads were built throughout Vermont.