Nova Scotia
Pony Express

The Acadian Recorder
10th March 1849

Nova Scotia Pony Express, Acadian Recorder article 10 March 1849
The Acadian Recorder
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Saturday, March 10th, 1849
The article reads:
EXPRESSES —On Thursday last, the longest and
fleetest, if not the most exciting race that was ever
run in this country, was occasioned by the rivalry of
an association of the newspaper conductors of Bos-
ton, New York, and Philadelphia, and a company of
U. S. merchants, in procuring the latest intelligence
from England, by the Electric Telegraph from St.
John, N. B. Arrangements were previously made
for the conveyance of the news, by relays, hence to
Digby, where two steamers, the Commodore and
Conqueror, were engaged to be in waiting, to start
for St. John immediately after the expresses arrived.
Accordingly, on the arrival of the Europe, Mr. Hyde
and Mr. Barnaby, who were employed for the occas-
sion, despatched their riders, and the race was sus-
tained with unflinching spirit from the beginning to
the end. The distance was 146 miles. Barnaby's
express reached its destination in 8 hours 27½ mi-
nutes — Hyde's in 8 hours 30 minutes. The steamer
Commodore, however, which was engaged for the for-
mer, had not arrived, but the Conqueror was all
ready, so that in spite of every obstacle the news by
Hyde's express would reach St. John first.
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

It appears that nobody in the newspaper business in Nova Scotia was much
interested in the Halifax Express (which we call the Nova Scotia Pony Express)
early in 1849, when it was getting started. It is clear that the newspapers in
Saint John, and even in Fredericton, were much more interested than were
the Halifax newspapers.

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.
For more than a hundred years, historians in Nova Scotia believed that no
written record existed of the first run of the Halifax Express. No such record
does exist in Nova Scotia (that is, none is known as of this writing, in
November 2001), but in May 1999, two contemporary reports of that first run
were found in the archives of the Saint John Regional Library:

Two Contemporary Reports of the First Run
of the 1849 Nova Scotia Pony Express

Report of the Express
First Run, February 21-22, 1849

Saint John Weekly Chronicle, Friday, February 23, 1849
The steam ship Europa reached Halifax on Wednesday afternoon [February 21, 1849] at 5 o'clock, with the mail of 10th instant. The letter portion arrived this morning, but the news was anticipated by the arrival, at 8 o'clock last evening by the Steamer Commodore, Captain W.G. Browne, from Digby Basin, having received it in 11 hours from Halifax. The intelligence was immediately transmitted by telegraph to Boston, New York, &c., where it would no doubt arrive many hours in advance of the mail steamer.
Report of the Express
First Run, February 21-22, 1849

English Mail — American Express
New Brunswick Courier, Saturday, February 24, 1849
A little after eight o'clock on Thursday evening last, the steamer Commodore, Capt. Brown, arrived from Digby Basin, bringing Mr. Craig, an American gentleman, who had undertaken on behalf of the Associated Press of Boston and New York to express the news by the Steamer Europa, from Halifax to Saint John, and thence by Electric Telegraph to Boston and New York. The arrangements on the road from Halifax to Granville Point, were very complete, and the distance was accomplished with single horses, in a light sleigh, in eleven hours, being a speed of about thirteen miles an hour! The Europa arrived at Halifax on Wednesday afternoon at five o'clock, in eleven days from Liverpool, and on Thursday morning at four, the messenger with her news was at Granville Point, but owing to the unusual quantity of ice in Digby Basin, it was nearly four o'clock in the afternoon before the Commodore was got into clear water. On her arrival in Saint John the Electric wires were immediately set to work, and the operator here, Mr. Mount, transmitted the intelligence in a manner which, while it gave satisfaction to the American editors, proved that the management of the Office has been entrusted to very competent hands.
        The Post Office express by the land route from Halifax, with the letter Mail, reached Saint John at six o'clock yesterday morning, and the newspaper express arrived about seven o'clock this morning.

Granville Point is now known as Victoria Beach.

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

More About the
Nova Scotia Pony Express

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Photographs of the Nova Scotia Pony Express monument

The Pony Express Plaque Installed in 1949 100th Anniversary

Halifax Express The Novascotian, 26 February 1849

Halifax Express The British Colonist, 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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