Fast Mail in 1891

My wife works at the National Library. While she was cataloguing an old book, the following clipping fell out She assumed it was from an Ottawa area newspaper, but there was nothing to say which one. As 103 years have gone by, any copyright has probably expired! The clipping is interesting both from a railway point of view and for the style of writing. There is a bit of a mystery as to date, but I am guessing the phrase "this morning" refers to September 2, 1891.

Further Details of How the C.P.R. Flyer made connections at New York

A New York despatch [sic] of Wednesday gives the following particulars of the great run of the Canadian Pacific flyer from the St. Lawrence eastward.
The mail from China and Japan, which left Yokohama on Aug. 19, was safely delivered on the steamship City of New York at 5 o'clock this morning and is now on its way to England. How this marvellous feat was accomplished is told as follows. The details are as interesting as those of Sheridan's ride: [an allusion to a Civil War event].

Aug. 29, The Empress of India arrived at Victoria, B.C. There a special train furnished by the Canadian Pacific took the mail bags (12 for England and 6 for New York City), and started a record-breaking ride across the continent. Assistant-Superintendent Bradley yesterday went up to Brockville, just across the St. Lawrence on the Canadian side. Morristown, N.Y. is just across the river on this [USA] side, and Supt. Voorhees of the New York Central railroad, had arranged to have a special train, composed of one baggage car and engine, ready at Morristown to bring the mails to the city. Supt. Jackson, of the railway mail service here, had arranged two trucks [pulled by horses] to be at the Grand Central depot to meet the special and transfer the mail bags to the steamer at her dock on the North

She was to sail at 5 o'clock this morning. Could connections be made? At noon yesterday Mr. Bradley telegraphed from Brockville to his chief that the Canadian Pacific train was 400 miles away and two hours late. At 2.16 p.m. another telegram was received saying the train was but 300 miles away. Every second was valuable. At 6.10 the special passed Chalk River, 153 miles from Brockville at 55 miles per hour. At 8 o'clock last evening the special made her last stop [Arnprior?] before reaching Brockville. It made the 74 miles in 93 minutes, including 12 minutes for a stop. The last 13 miles had been covered in 11 minutes.

the remaining 61 miles to Brockville and arrived at the depot panting and puffing, having crossed the continent in three days. She arrived at Brockville at 9.20.

The mail bags were at once hustled out, taken across [on] the ferry, put on the special furnished by the Central people at Morristown. At 9.45 the train started and came through with a bang to New York, arriving at 4.43. From Utica to Albany, 95 miles was made in 90 minutes; from Utica [sic - Albany?] to Hoffman's Ferry, 68½ miles, in 61 minutes; from Poughkeepsie to Cold Springs, 21 miles, in 20 minutes; from Croton to Yonkers, 19 miles, in 16 minutes.

The City of New York was to sail at 5 o'clock. Could the mails be transferred from the Grand Central depot in seventeen minutes? The Canadian Pacific people in this city and Superintendent Jackson, of the railway mail service had seen the Inman people and arranged for the holding back of the vessel for a few minutes.

Quick as lightning Assistant Supt. Bradley, who had come down on the special, had the twelve foreign bags dumped into a truck and jumping in, had the driver whip the horses into a breakneck speed through the streets.

Away they went. The horses were equal to the emergency and shortly after 5 o'clock the dock was reached. The ship set sail at 5.10 a.m.

The trial was a grand success. If the good vessel makes her voyage in the usual time Liverpool will be reached Sept. 9, twenty days from Yokohama.

Bytown Railway Society,  Branchline, October 1994, page 19.

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