Nova Scotia
Pony Express

The British Colonist
10th March 1849

Halifax Colonist banner, 10 March 1849

Nova Scotia Pony Express, Colonist article 10 March 1849
The British Colonist
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Volume I, Number 96
Saturday, March 10th, 1849
The article reads:
The Expresses
    On Thursday morning, immediately after the
arrival of the steamer from England, two Ex-
presses (one on behalf of the associated Press
of Philadelphia, New York, and Boston — the
other got up, in opposition, by some Mercantile
gentlemen in the United States) left this city,
travelling at a rate of speed that is, we believe,
unprecedented in this country. The parties en-
gaged here to convey the rival expresses over-
land to Digby, were Mr. Hyde and Mr. Barnaby.
Hyde's Express arrived at Digby Neck at 28
minutes before 12 o'clock, accomplishing the
distance of 146 miles in 8½ hours — having met
with several accidents and interruptions. At
Windsor a delay of 20 minutes occurred; and
after starting, Mr. Hamilton, the courier from
that place, when crossing the bridge broke his
stirrup, and was thrown from his horse with such
force, that he lay insensible for some time; he
however remounted, and, though lamed, with one
stirrup performed his route with astonishing
dispatch. A distance of 18 miles, from Kent-
ville, was performed by Mr. Thad. Harris, in 53
minutes. The steamer Conqueror, chartered to
convey Hyde's Express to St. John, was wait-
ing in readiness when the express arrived.
        Barnaby's Express arrived 2½ minutes before
Hyde's, but the steamer Commodore, engaged by
his party, had not made her appearance at the
latest accounts.
This Halifax newspaper item
reports the second run of
the Nova Scotia Pony Express

8 March 1849
No Halifax newspaper reported the first run of the Pony Express.

The First Pony Express Run:
departed Halifax about 5pm Wednesday, February 21st, 1849
arrived Saint John: about 8pm Thursday, February 22nd, 1849
travelling time, Halifax to Saint John: about 27 hours
Weekly Chronicle, Saint John, February 23, 1849

ICS comment (written 10 March 2002):
It appears that nobody in the newspaper business in Nova Scotia early in 1849 was much interested in the Halifax Express (which we call the Nova Scotia Pony Express). It is clear that the newspapers in Saint John, and even in Fredericton, were much more interested than were the Halifax newspapers.

Nobody has found any mention in any Nova Scotia record, earlier than 26 February 1849 — the item reproduced below — and it is only a reprint of an item in a Saint John newspaper!

And this item appeared in the Novascotian (edited and printed in Halifax) five days after the Halifax Express had made its first run from Halifax. That first run is not mentioned in any known Nova Scotia record (and numerous people have been researching this history for a hundred years).

Here's a bit of advice for future historical researchers — for information about the Nova Scotia Pony Express, you will do much better looking at sources in New Brunswick, and in Boston and New York, than here in Nova Scotia.

Novascotian, Halifax, February 26, 1849
Nova Scotia Pony Express, Novascotian, Halifax, 26 Feb 1849
      The St. John N. B. Observer learns
that it is intended to run an Express from
Halifax to St. John, by the way of Annapolis,
on the arrival of every English Mail, to be
telegraphed to New York, on account of the
Associated Press of that city.

Microfilm copies of The British Colonist and many other nineteenth-century Nova Scotia newspapers are available at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, University Avenue, Halifax.

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The Pony Express Plaque Installed in 1949 100th Anniversary

Halifax Express The Novascotian, 26 February 1849

Halifax Express The Acadian Recorder, 10 March 1849

The Second Run of the Nova Scotia Pony Express 8 March 1849

Nova Scotia Pony Express 1849, by John Regan 5 January 1912

Nova Scotia Pony Express 1849, by George Mullane 1 Jan 1914

Nova Scotia Pony Express 1849, by Murrille Schofield 1973

Nova Scotia Pony Express, by D. A. MacNeill April 1940

Nova Scotia Pony Express, by CBC Radio 11 June 1999

The Cunard Steamship fleet, 1849
These ships brought the news carried by the Pony Express

Burket's Exchange News Room Halifax 1848-1849

Pony Express Editorial, Halifax Chronicle-Herald 15 Feb 1999

Radio Station X1J1F Victoria Beach, Nova Scotia, 1999
set up in recognition of the 150th anniversary
of the 1849 Nova Scotia Pony Express

The Oregon Boundary dispute, 1849
Britain and USA close to war – the Nova Scotia Pony Express
was the fastest link carrying breaking news to U.S.A.

Go To:   Nova Scotia History

Photographs of War Memorials, Historic Monuments and Plaques in Nova Scotia

Go To:   Nova Scotia Quotations

Go To:   History of Telephone Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Electric Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Automobiles in Nova Scotia

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