In the 1830s, demographic and economic growth in the Canadian colonies created a need for an efficient postal system that was less costly. Stagecoaches and steamboats were the backbone of a transportation network that made communication possible. But it cost more to send a letter from Halifax to Toronto than from Great Britain to Halifax. Reform was needed. The colonies wanted to manage their own postal systems. In 1851, Great Britain granted the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick control of their postal systems. This decision, the result of several years of discussions, was what the colonies had hoped to achieve, as they gradually moved towards self-government.

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Leather mailbag
Leather mailbags like this one were used to carry mail on stagecoaches and sleighs in the first half of the nineteenth century. Postmasters were instructed to coat their bags with oil regularly to preserve the leather. Canvas mailbags were gradually introduced after 1860.