Earlier I made reference to a time when I wrote about a messenger on a horse, a man who rode into the square in York, PA. I shared that story, when I was writing about something that took place during the nine months when the Second Continental Congress met in York, rather than in Philadelphia. As I read more about that period, I discover more evidence of the important role played by horses.
The Congress needed to be informed about how the Continental Army was doing, while battling the British. It got messages from George Washington and from generals at other locations, where battles were being fought. A horse's gallop helped to ensure the speedy delivery of the news about the victory at Saratoga on October 17, 1777. Moreover, there must have been within York's borders a stable where a dependable set of hoofs could be kept, because news from the Congress had to be sent to other locations within the 13 colonies.
For instance, a decision by that body led to the first declaration calling for a national day of thanksgiving. Obviously, it would be foolish to declare a national day, if only a small part of the nation was aware of the Congress' declaration. That simple statement underscores the horse's role, in seeing that people were able to know what was happening.
Later, the members of Congress acknowledged the terms in the French Treaty of Alliance. Word of support from France was shared with the other colonies. Again, a horse played a major part in seeing that as many people as possible got the good news, namely that France had agreed to lend the colonies a hand.
York is proud of the fact that it was once a capital city of the United States. The Articles of Confederation were signed there. Today, a tourist can visit some of the historical sites in that former capital. However, there is no information available, regarding where horses were kept, in preparation for the time when a messenger would need to ride one. That rider/messenger carried a significant piece of news to waiting crowds, men and women who had gathered in another, rather distant, public square.