Samuel Cunard

High-Speed Stage Coach Line
between
Halifax and Pictou
in Nova Scotia

Eight-Year Contract

Signed 14th December 1841

...by Coaches, to be drawn by four horses each...

...three times in each and every week, between the 1st day of May,
and 1st day of November, in each year, and twice in every week,
during the remainder of each year...

...between the Post Office at Halifax and the Post Office at Pictou...

...the said Coaches shall perform the whole distance between
Halifax and Pictou, each Journey, within 17 hours...

...shall and will convey in the Mail Coaches, all such Passengers
arriving at Halifax by Steam Packets from the United Kingdom,
and at Pictou by Steam Packets from Canada, as may from time
to time be desirous of travelling...

...the first quarterly payment to be made on the 5th day of January 1842...


Following is the complete text of this Contract.





This Indenture, made the Fourteenth day of December, in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty one, between the Honorable Samuel Cunard, of Halifax, in the Province of Nova Scotia, of the one part, and John Howe, of the same place, Esquire, the Deputy Post Master General of the said Province, of the other part:

Whereas, the said Samuel Cunard hath agreed to establish and maintain a line of Mail Coaches between the Towns of Halifax and Pictou, in Nova Scotia, for the Conveyance of the Mails and Bags of Letters, upon the terms hereinafter mentioned:

Now this Indenture witnesseth, that in pursuance of the said agreement, and in consideration of the said covenants and agreements hereinafter mentioned, on the part of the said John Howe, he, the said Samuel Cunard, doth hereby, for himself, his Heirs, Executors, and Administrators, covenant, promise, and agree, with and to the said John Howe, his Successors, Executors, and Administrators, in manner following, (that is to say) that he, the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors, or Administrators, from henceforth, and until the determination of this present Contract, as hereinafter provided, shall and will three times in each and every week, between the 1st day of May, and 1st day of November, in each year, and twice in every week, during the remainder of each year, and also twice in every month during the time in each and every year at which the Mails shall be conveyed between Quebec and Pictou, by Steam Boats, convey all such of Her Majesty's Mails or Bags of Letters, as the said John Howe, or other the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, or any of his Agents or Servants, shall from time to time require, from the Post Office at Halifax, and from the several Post Towns situate between the said Post Office at Halifax and the Town of Pictou, to the Post Office for the time being in the said Town of Pictou; and from the Post Office for the time being, in the said Town of Pictou, and the several Post Towns between that place and the Post Office at Halifax, to such Post Office at Halifax, and from and to any of such intermediate Post Towns, by Coaches, to be drawn by four horses each, and shall and will convey, in, or upon such Mail Coaches, all Bags of Bye or Cross Road Letters, or of any other description that may be delivered to him, or them, or his or their Agents or Servants, for Conveyance, by, or on behalf of the Deputy Post Master General, his Agents or Servants.

That the said Mail Coaches shall leave the said Post Office at Halifax, and Post Office at Pictou, on such days, and at such hours or times, as the said John Howe, or other the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, shall direct, and shall receive and deliver Mails and Bags of Letters at all such intermediate Post Towns and places, situate between Halifax and Pictou, as shall be directed by such Deputy Post Master General, his Agents or Servants, and the said Coaches shall perform the whole distance between Halifax, and Pictou, each Journey, within 17 hours.

That if from any accident or cause whatever, any Packet Boats or Vessels, employed in conveying the Mails and Bags of Letters, shall not have reached Halifax or Pictou, before the hours and times which shall be appointed and fixed for the departure from thence of the said Mail Coaches, the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors and Administrators, Servants and Agents, shall, in order to prevent the correspondence of the Public from being interrupted, detain any such Mail Coaches, for such space or time as the said Deputy Post Master General, or any of his Agents or Servants, shall from time to time require.

That the person or persons to be, for the time being, employed by the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, as the Coachmen, or Guard Coachmen, or Guards, of any such Coaches, shall have and take the custody, charge, and care, of such Mails or Bags of Letters, and shall and will safely and punctually leave or deliver the same at their respective places of destination, at such times or hours, in the day or night, as shall, for such purpose, be fixed or appointed by the said John Howe, or other the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, without any delay, neglect, or omission whatsoever; and shall and will, in the mean time, faithfully and securely keep the same in his or their respective custody or charge; and every such Coachman or Guard shall, upon being required so to do by such Deputy Post Master General, or any of his Agents, duly make and subscribe the Declaration required by Law from Officers of the Post Office.

That the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, shall and will, at his or their own costs and charges, and to the satisfaction of the said Deputy Post Master General, or other the person or persons to be by him appointed in that behalf, cause a fit and convenient box, with lock and key, to be affixed to some convenient part of every Coach to be employed under this present Contract, for the purpose of safely depositing and placing therein the Mails and Bags of Letters to be conveyed by every such Coach.

That the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, shall and will at all times use and employ steady, able, and sufficient Horses, for the conveyance of the said Mails and Bags of Letters by such Mail Coaches, as aforesaid; and also, good, sound, and sufficient Harness and Equipments for the said Horses, to the satisfaction of the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province; and shall and will, from time to time, if required so to do by such Deputy Post Master General, or any of his Agents, remove any of the Horses so to be employed in the conveyance of the Mails and Bags of Letters, and any of the Harness or Equipments of the said Horses, and substitute Horses, Harness, or Equipments, in the stead or place of the Horses, Harness, and Equipments, so to be removed, to the good liking of the said Deputy Post Master General.

That in case by reason of the viciousness, unsoundness, or faultiness of any of the Horses to be employed, as aforesaid, or through any default of the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, or his or their Servants, the said Deputy Post Master General, or any of his Agents or Servants, shall at any time or times be obliged to forward any of the said Mails or Bags of Letters at the public expence, over any part of the distance between Halifax and Pictou, then, and in every such case, it shall be lawful for the said Deputy Post Master General to retain out of the payments hereinafter agreed to be made, all such sums as shall be so paid or expended in forwarding any such Mails or Bags; or in case the same shall not be sufficient for such purpose, then the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, shall and will pay and reimburse the amount of such deficiency unto the said Deputy Post Master General, out of his or their proper monies.

That the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors and Administrators, shall and will convey from Halifax to Pictou, and from Pictou to Halifax, in and by the said Mail Coaches, all such Passengers as may from time to time be desirous of travelling by the same, arriving at Halifax by Steam Packets from the United Kingdom, and at Pictou by Steam Packets from Canada, at the rate of fare of £2 10 shillings Sterling, each, to be charged to, and paid for, by each such passenger.

That the want of Passengers shall not at any time be an excuse for the said Mail Coaches not being worked with all regularity and dispatch at all seasons of the year, and under all circumstances, except when the Roads shall be impassable by floods, or other events, which may render it impossible for carriages of any description to travel.

That the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, shall and will bear and pay all and all manner of Tolls for Turnpikes, Bridges, or Ferries, which may be legally demanded or payable, in respect of the said Coaches and Horses, Coachmen and Guards, when employed in the aforesaid service.  And generally, that the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors and Administrators, shall and will, to the utmost of his and their power, promote Her Majesty's Service, and the benefit of the Revenue, in and about the premises, and obey all such orders as he or they shall receive, either from Her Majesty's Post Master General for the time being, or from the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, in respect thereof; and also, shall and will keep indemnified the Post Master General for the time being, and the said Deputy Post Master General, and their respective Executors and Administrators, from all forfeitures, penalties, and demands whatsoever, which may happen or occur by reason of any neglect or transgression of the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators.

And this Indenture further witnesseth, that in consideration of the premises, the said John Howe doth hereby for himself, his Successors, Executors, and Administrators, covenant and agree to and with the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors and Administrators, that the said John Howe, or other the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, shall and will, out of the Revenue of the Post Office, pay unto the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, the sum of £1550 Sterling, per annum, by equal quarterly payments – the first quarterly payment thereof to be made on the 5th day of January 1842, which it is hereby declared shall be received by the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, in full satisfaction and discharge of all claims and demands which he or they may have on either Her Majesty's Post Master General for the time being, or the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of Nova Scotia, or any other person or persons, for or on account of the conveyance of the Mails or Bags of Letters as aforesaid, or for or on account of any other of the stipulations and agreements hereinbefore contained.

And it is hereby mutually agreed and declared between and by the said parties to these Presents, that this present Contract or Agreement shall remain and continue in force for the term or space of eight years, to be computed from the 5th day of January 1841, and any such further term as hereinafter mentioned, subject nevertheless to the Provisoes for determining the same, hereinafter contained.

Provided always, and it is hereby further agreed and declared between and by the said parties to these presents, that in case the said John Howe, or other the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, shall be minded and desirous that this present Contract or Agreement shall cease and determine, at any time during the said term of eight years, or at the expiration of such term, or at any time afterwards, and of such his mind and intention shall give twelve Calendar Months notice in writing, signed by the said John Howe, or other the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, to the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, or shall leave or cause the same to be left at the usual or last known place of abode or residence of the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, or with any of his or their Servants or Agents, then, and in such case, and from and immediately after the expiration of any such Notice, this Contract shall (subject and without prejudice to any right of action, or other proceeding, for breach of any of the Covenants herein contained, which shall have occurred to either of the said parties against the other of them) absolutely cease and determine.

Provided always, and it is hereby declared, that nothing hereinbefore contained shall be deemed or construed to authorize the said John Howe, or other the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, by such notice as aforesaid, to determine this Contract before the thirty-first day of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty-three.

And it is hereby provided, agreed, and declared, that in case the said John Howe, or other the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, shall, by giving Twelve Calendar Months Notice as aforesaid, put an end to this present Contract on the thirty-first day of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty-three, or at any time afterwards, before the expiration of the said term of eight years, the said John Howe, or other the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, shall pay or cause to be paid unto the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, over and above any sum or sums that may be due and payable to him or them for the performance of the aforesaid service, the sum of Seven Hundred and Seventy-five Pounds, Sterling, by way of compensation for any loss or injury he or they may thereby sustain; but if this present Contract shall continue in force for the whole of the said term of eight years, no compensation shall be payable on the determination thereof at that or any subsequent period.

And it is hereby further agreed and declared, that notwithstanding any thing hereinbefore contained, in case the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, or any of the Coachmen, Guards, or Servants, employed by, or acting under him or them, shall at any time, during the continuance of this present Contract, make breach or default in any of the Covenants or Agreements hereinbefore contained, and on the part and behalf of the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, Coachmen, Guards, or Servants, to be observed and performed, then, and in every such case it shall and may be lawful to and for the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, at any time thereafter, and without any previous notice to be given to the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, by writing under his hand, absolutely to revoke, determine, and make void this present Contract, and all and every the Covenants, Agreements, Matters, and Things, herein contained, and thereupon the same (subject and without prejudice to any right of action or other proceeding for breach of any of the Covenants herein contained, which shall then have occurred to the said Deputy Post Master General) shall be and become absolutely null and void – any thing to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

And it is hereby further agreed and declared, that in case any dispute or difference shall arise between the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors or Administrators, and the said John Howe, or other the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, in respect of, or in respect to any of the Covenants, Agreements, Matters, and Things, herein contained, or the true meaning and construction thereof, the same shall be referred to the determination of Her Majesty's Post Master General for the time being, whose decision therein shall be final.

And for the due performance of all and singular the Covenants and Agreements hereinbefore contained, which, on the part of the said Samuel Cunard, his Executors and Administrators, are and ought to be performed, he, the said Samuel Cunard, doth hereby bind himself, his Heirs, Executors, and Administrators, unto Our Sovereign Lady the Queen, Her Heirs and Successors, in the sum of £2000 Sterling, to be recovered as liquidated damages, and not by way of penalty, and to be recoverable, notwithstanding the Deputy Post Master General for the time being, of the said Province, may put an end to this Contract in manner hereinbefore mentioned.

In witness, &c., we have hereunto affixed our Seals and Signatures this 14th day of December, 1841.

S. CUNARD (L.S.)
J. HOWE, D.P.M.G. (L.S.)
Witness:
JAMES LESSEL,
FREDERICK R. PASSOW





–Source: The Journal of the House of Assembly of the Province of Nova Scotia, 1844

Note:
D.P.M.G. means Deputy Post Master General
(L.S.) following the signatures denotes the presence of a Legal Seal on the original document.






References

Chapter 24:  Transportation: Stage Coaches
History of Nova Scotia: The Road To Being Canada (1815-1867)
by Peter Landry

Page 455:  North American Mails, Cunard's contract
Hunt's Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, Volume 1, 1839
Google e-book

A Contract With Cunard
by H. F. Ellis, The New Yorker, 4 February 1961






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