The above editorial states that people in the Annapolis Valley
"depended for their mail upon the riders of the Pony Express"
This phrase perpetuates an unfortunate and persistent misunderstanding
of the purpose and operation of the Nova Scotia Pony Express.
The Nova Scotia Pony Express of 1849 did not carry mail.
The Nova Scotia Pony Express of 1849 did not work for the Post Office.
It received no money from the Post Office, and the Post Office was not
involved in any way with the Pony Express.
The Pony Express did not carry mail or anything else for delivery
to any point in the Annapolis Valley.
It did not carry any mail at all. (A well-known television series on Canadian
history produced a one-hour program in 2002 on Samuel Cunard, that, in the
version first released for broadcast, stated that the Nova Scotia Pony Express
carried mail to Saint John that was then "forwarded to Quebec." Not true.
The Pony Express carried no mail at all, for delivery anywhere.)
The Nova Scotia Pony Express of 1849 carried just one item on each trip,
a small package for the Associated Press of New York and Boston. This small
package contained just one document, a brief – about 3000 words – summary
of the news from England and Europe during the week immediately before the
departure each Saturday at noon from Liverpool, England, of the weekly Cunard
steamship to Halifax and Boston. When the Cunard steamship arrived at Halifax
about ten to twelve days later, the Associated Press package was hastily
transferred to the waiting Pony Express rider.
This news package was immediately carried at the hard gallop from Halifax
across Nova Scotia to Victoria Beach (not to Digby, another persistent error)
and by specially-chartered steamship across the Bay of Fundy to the new
electric telegraph office in Saint John. It was immediately telegraphed
southward to Boston and New York, where special typographers speedily set it
in type for each of about ten subscribing newspapers, collectively known as
the Associated Press of New York and Boston.
These newspapers paid for the whole operation – the expensive horses and
riders in Nova Scotia, the expensive chartered steamship across Fundy, and
the very expensive 3000-word telegram from Saint John.
No mail was carried anywhere. The newspapers wouldn't allow anything to interfere
in any way with the fastest possible delivery of the European news to New York.