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Belfast in Queens County, Prince Edward Island — The Canadian Atlantic
 

Reliable Communication / Des Communications Fiables

Samuel Cunard, Mail Delivery / Samuel Cunard, la Livraison de la Poste

 

— Prince Edward Island Steam Navigation Company —

 
Reliable Communication /<br>Des Communications Fiables Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2019
1. Reliable Communication /
Des Communications Fiables Marker
Inscription.  
English:
At the same time that the Island was grappling with the issue of lighthouses, it found itself dealing with an issue of a different sort: Mail delivery.

Mail delivery was very important, representing the Island's primary means of communication with the outside world. Before 1832, the task of delivering mail during the navigation season fell to masters of sailing vessels, who were paid by the government to convey the mails to and from the Island and the mainland; however, this method proved inconsistent. Depending on the weather, sailing vessels could be ineffective. The government needed something reliable. That something was steam.

In 1842, after a decade of dealing with contractors outside the province, the Prince Edward Island Steam Navigation Company was formed. Based largely in Charlottetown, the company was composed of prominent merchants, shipowners, barristers, and politicians, who pooled their money, along with a hefty government investment, into operating a steamboat that could take over mail delivery. The company would leave its mark in more ways than one.

• During the winter
Marker detail: Samuel Cunard<br>and The Pocahontas image. Click for full size.
By W.R. MacAskill NSARM 1987-453 & PAROPEI Acc 4523/1
2. Marker detail: Samuel Cunard
and The Pocahontas
months, individuals were contracted to carry the mails across the Northumberland Strait. This task was accomplished by using iceboats, useful when open water was present, but dangerous when they had to be hauled by hand over ice floes.

• The concept of communication via steam-powered vessels was brought to the Island in 1832 by Halifax shipping magnate Sir Samuel Cunard. From 1832 to 1842, he operated two vessels, the Pocahontas and the Cape Breton, between the Island and the mainland, carrying mail and passengers.

• Directors of the Prince Edward Island Steam Navigation Company were such notable figures as James Peake, Sr., Thomas Heath Haviland, Sr., William Swabey, Samuel Nelson, Charles Hensley, Francis Longworth, and Andrew Duncan. Shareholders included Joseph Pope, William Douse, James Yeo, and future Father's of Confederation George Coles, Edward Palmer, and Thomas Heath Haviland, Jr.

Français:
À la même époque où l'Île traitait de la question des phares, elle devait faire face à un enjeu d'une autre nature : la livraison de la poste.

La poste était un enjeu capital, car elle représentait le principal moyen de communication entre l'Île et le monde extérieur. Avant 1832, la livraison de la poste reposait pendant la saison de navigation sur les capitaines de voiliers, que le gouvernement payait pour transporter le courrier
Marker detail: Joseph Pope, Charles Hensley,<br>and James Peake, Sr. image. Click for full size.
Courtesy PAROPEI Acc 4469/1, 3753/12, 4170/402
3. Marker detail: Joseph Pope, Charles Hensley,
and James Peake, Sr.
Newspaper advertisement for the Steamer St. George
Publicité du vapeur St. George dans le journal
entre l'Île et le continent; mais cette méthode n'était pas toujours fiable. La météo rendait parfois les voiliers inefficaces. Le gouvernement avait besoin d'une plus grande stabilité, que la vapeur pouvait lui procurer.

En 1842, après quelque 10 années à faire affaire avec des sous-traitants de l'extérieur, on a créé la Prince Edward Island Steam Navigation Company. Établie principalement à Charlottetown, cette entreprise était composée de marchands, d'armateurs, d'avocats et de politiciens bien en vue, qui avaient investi leur argent en commun, avec une importante contribution gouvernementale, afin d'opérer un vapeur pour le transport du courrier. Cette entreprise laissera sa marque de plus d'une façon.

• Au cours des mois d'hiver, des particuliers étaient embauchés afin de transporter le courrier d'une rive à l'autre du détroit de Northumberland. Cette tâche s'accomplissait à l'aide de bateaux à glace, capables de naviguer sur les eaux ouvertes, mais dangereux quand on devait les tirer sur les glaces flottantes.

• L'idée de naviguer à vapeur a été implantée dans l'île en 1832 par le magnat du transport maritime de Halifax, Sir Samuel Cunard. Entre 1832 et 1842, il opérait deux navires, le Pocahontas et le Cape Breton, qui reliaient l'Île et le continent, afin de transporter le courrier et les passagers.

• Les dirigeants de la Prince Edward
Marker detail: Iceboats on the Northumberland Strait /<br>Bateaux à glace détroit de Northumberland image. Click for full size.
Courtesy PAROPEI Acc 2702/s23/51
4. Marker detail: Iceboats on the Northumberland Strait /
Bateaux à glace détroit de Northumberland
Island Steam Navigation Company étaient des notables comme James Peake, Sr., Thomas Heath Haviland, Sr., William Swabey, Samuel Nelson, Charles Hensley, Francis Longworth et Andrew Duncan. Parmi les actionnaires, il y avait Joseph Pope, William Douse, James Yeo et les futurs Pères de la Confédération George Coles, Edward Palmer et Thomas Heath Haviland, Jr.
 
Location. 46° 3′ N, 63° 2.38′ W. Marker is in Belfast, Prince Edward Island, in Queens County. Marker can be reached from Point Prim Road (Prince Edward Island Route 209) 11 kilometers west of Trans-Canada Highway (National Route 1). Marker is located at the southwest corner of the Point Prim Lighthouse grounds, about 50 yards west of the lighthouse, overlooking Northumberland Strait. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2147 Point Prim Road, Belfast, Prince Edward Island C0A 1A0, Canada. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 19 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Lighthouse is Born / La Naissance du Phare (here, next to this marker); Point Prim Lighthouse / Le Phare de Point Prim (here, next to this marker); The Early Years / Les Premières Années (here, next to this marker); The 1864 Charlottetown Conference / La Conférence de Charlottetown de 1864 (here, next to this marker); Survey of Prince Edward Island / Arpentage de Ľîle-du-Prince-Édouard
Reliable Communication Marker <br>(<i>view west across Northumberland Strait</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2019
5. Reliable Communication Marker
(view west across Northumberland Strait)
(approx. 17.2 kilometers away); Port-la-Joye – Fort Amherst (approx. 17.8 kilometers away); The Deportation of the Inhabitants of Île Saint-Jean (approx. 17.8 kilometers away); The Grand Dérangement (approx. 18.2 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Belfast.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Point Prim Lighthouse, Belfast, PE
 
Categories. Colonial EraCommunicationsIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
Point Prim Lighthouse • <i>view looking southwest<br>(marker visible in right background)</i> image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2019
6. Point Prim Lighthouse • view looking southwest
(marker visible in right background)
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 28, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 28, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 29, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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