Death-Defying Sledges

Windows into History

Heland sledgeSnippets 97. In 1815 George Head, the assistant commissary-general of the commissariat of the 3rd division of the Spanish army, undertook a journey across North America, snappily titled Forest Scenes and Incidents in the Wilds of North America, Being a Diary of a Winter’s Route from Halifax to the Canadas. His diary was published in 1829. Starting his journey in November, in Halifax, he experienced the first fall of snow of the year and was astonished by the speed of all the sleighs that emerged to travel across the fresh snow.

Some of the drivers were good, others bad, but all drove fast, so that, notwithstanding people were obliged by law to have a certain number of bells about their sleigh, the eyes of Argus were insufficient to protect a foot-passenger, who, after all possible pains to get out of the way of the carriages, gained nothing more…

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