Steamboats operating between Boston, Massachusetts, and St. John, New Brunswick, provided an important mail route between the United States and the Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Initially, the steamboat captains carried ship letters cross border. Independent express companies then began using the steamboats for package and letter expresses. Eventually, the United States Post Office appointed route agents, known as steamboat letter carriers, to carry mails on board the steamboats.
Steamboat Captains carry "Steam" or "Ship" letters on the run between Boston and St. John.
Beginning in 1845, independent express companies operated package and letter express service between Boston and St. John.
Bill of lading for the Steamer Admiral, November 25, 1848, for shipment of one bale for 50¢.
Steamboat Letter Carriers Operate Only to Eastport
The United States Post Office appointed route agents, known as "Steamboat Letter Carriers" to carry mail on the steamboats, but only only between Boston and Eastport.
Steamboat Letter Carriers Operate to St. John
Beginning in 1853, the United States Post Office extended the Steamboat Letter Carriers' route to St. John.
Exchange Office Markings Used on the Steamboats
Route Agent U.S. Express Mail Markings
Name of Boat Markings and Endorsements
Closed Mail Use of the Boston to St. John Steamboats