One Hundred Years Over the Waters (Col)
One Hundred Years over the Waters, Mail by Ship in and around Nova Scotia from Mid-18th to Mid-19th Century, 2006 by Dr. J. J. MacDonald. Gems from a lifetime of collecting illustrate how mail was carried by sea to, from and within Nova Scotia, before Nova Scotia entered Confederation. BNAPS Exhibit Series No. 40. Colour version. Spiral bound, 54 pp.
J.J. MacDonald, a true Nova Scotian, was the pre-eminent postal historian of his native province and author of The Nova Scotia Post: Its Officers, Masters and Marks, 1700–1867 (Unitrade, 1985). In addition to describing the development and organisation of the postal system in Nova Scotia, the book had the primary objective of presenting a complete listing, with accurate illustrations, of all Nova Scotia postal markings.
J.J. viewed his exhibit, One Hundred Years over the Waters, Mail by Ship in and around Nova Scotia from Mid-18th to Mid-19th Century, as a fun project. Gems from a lifetime of collecting are used to illustrate how mail was carried by sea to and from Nova Scotia, as well as within Nova Scotia, from the mid-1700s to the time Nova Scotia entered Confederation. During this era, prepaid letters replaced collection of postage on delivery; towards the end of the period steam ships were replacing sailing ships.
Features of the exhibit include letters from the 1750s and 1760s, scarce ship letter markings, covers bearing the name of the ship that would transport them, one salvaged from a shipwreck and others that had a gratuity paid to the ship’s captain for transport on a private vessel, an example carried by a friend as a Letter of favour, and unusual rates. Nova Scotia changed from sterling to decimal currency on October 1, 1860. One of the covers, used on October 2, 1860, is the only recorded cover franked with both sterling and decimal stamps.
There are also two genuine bisects: an 1857 cover from Parrsborough to Liverpool, UK has a bisected 3d Nova Scotia stamp, and a 1865 cover from Halifax to St. John’s has a bisected 2¢ stamp.
One Hundred Years over the Waters will be of interest not only to postal historians, but to anyone interested in the history of Nova Scotia itself.