Early Cross Border Mail
(Mail to 1817)
Prior to the Revolutionary War, all of the colonial postal systems were under British Administration. There were no scheduled mail routes between the Maritime Provinces and what is now the United States. Postal relations between the Maritime Provinces and the United States were severed during the Revolutionary War. Beginning in 1788, the monthly Falmouth admiralty packet, made port calls in Halifax and New York. On July 1, 1792, Hugh Finlay, Deputy Postmaster General of British North America, and the Postmaster General of the United States entered into a postal agreement, whereby mail could be exchanged between the the provinces and the United States. Mail from British North America could be paid to the lines, or fully prepaid. Mail from the United States could be entirely unpaid, or be paid to the lines. Boston and St. John were the initial exchange offices; however, there was no scheduled mail route between the ports, and mail bags were sent by merchant ship. Postal relations were severed again during the War of 1812. There was no land mail route connecting the Maritime Provinces with the United States until the post office in St. Andrews, New Brunswick was opened in 1817, in order to exchange mail with Robbinston, Maine.