Links to Relevant Websites
Chronology of Canadian Postal History
by the Canadian Museum of Civilization
In April 1754, a notice appears in the Halifax Gazette announcing
the establishment of a post office outside the South Gate. This unofficial
post office is considered the first post office in Canadian history.
An official post office is established the next year.
Postal History by FactsCanada.ca
In 1753 Benjamin Franklin was appointed deputy postmaster general for
the British colonies (which then included Nova Scotia, New Hampshire,
Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and
South Carolina). In 1755 Franklin organized the first regular monthly
mail packet service between Falmouth, England, and New York, and
opened the first official post office in Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia,
to link Halifax with the Atlantic colonies and the packet service to England.
A post office for local and outgoing mail had been started
by Benjamin Leigh in Halifax in April, 1754.
Hugh Finlay (c.1730-1801) Dictionary of Canadian Biography
...Hugh Finlay was appointed in 1788 as deputy postmaster general of
British North America with authority over Joseph Peters of Nova Scotia and
Christopher Sower of New Brunswick. He obtained a stopover at Halifax
of the monthly Falmouth-New York packets in each direction of their
transatlantic voyages, although it was practicable only eight months
of the year. In 1792 he negotiated a landmark postal convention with
the United States, reestablishing postal service with it and providing
for passage of mails between Britain and Lower Canada across American
territory in the four months of each year when the Halifax route could
not be used...
North Atlantic, Halifax and Bermuda Packets Falmouth Packet Archives
Post-Office Packets Falmouth Packet Archives
English mail services in the late 1700s and early 1800s:
Mails for the West Indies were made up twice monthly at the General
Post Office in London: on the first Wednesday for Jamaica and the
Leeward Islands and on the third Wednesday for the Leeward Islands only.
They were taken to Falmouth by mail coach to arrive on the Saturday
evening and the packet vessels sailed as soon as weather and tide
Similarly mails for Halifax, Quebec and New York were made up in
London on the first Wednesday of every month throughout the year and
for Surinam and Demerara on the second Wednesday, for Lisbon every
Tuesday, Cadiz every second Tuesday, Brazils and Madeira on Tuesday,
Mediterranean and Malta every third Thursday.
The mails for Jersey and Guernsey were made up every Friday night
for Weymouth and the packets sailed from there about four or five
o'clock on Saturday afternoons and returned the following Thursday
The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this website:
Mail Packets: English mail services
in the late 1700s and early 1800s
Archived: 2000 October 10
Archived: 2001 August 10
Archived: 2002 June 02
Archived: 2003 April 15
Archived: 2004 August 18
Archived: 2005 December 11
Archived: 2006 October 09
Archived: 2007 May 04
These links were accessed and found to be valid on 30 April 2010.