Express riders on horseback delivered oral messages, letters, or documents before postal service and other means of communication were available. The term "express messenger" was used in England as early as 1619. Col. John Barnwell  on 30 Apr. 1712, during the Tuscarora Indian War  in North Carolina, "sent express" to New Bern to have boats and tools brought to him for the campaign against the Indians. On 22 May 1760  the provincial Assembly was directed to "pay the Expences of the Messenger (whilst in Town) which is sent to His Excellency with Express from the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia to this Province and to South Carolina, out of the Tax for Contingencies."
Fort Barnwell, NC Highway Historical Marker C-32: http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?ct=ddl&sp=search&k=Markers&sv=C-32%20-%20FORT%20BARNWELL 
Minutes of the Lower House of the North Carolina General Assembly North Carolina. General Assembly April 24, 1760 - May 23, 1760 Volume 06, Pages 362-420, DocSouth, UNC: http://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.html/document/csr06-0120 
1 January 2006 | Powell, William S.