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:
More About the
The 1849 Nova Scotia Pony Express
Counter started 10 May 2002