After travelling in the United States, Upper and Lower Canada and New Brunswick, British Lieutenant E.T. Coke arrived in Nova Scotia in September. He made his way from Saint John, NB, to Digby, sailing up to Annapolis Royal and then going by coach up to Bridgetown and on to Kentville, where he stayed the night. He left the next morning for Windsor, where he stayed overnight, before leaving on his last leg of the journey to Halifax. He wrote; “We changed our coach at Windsor for one of larger dimensions, and the Halifax races commencing the following day, we had an addition to our party of half a dozen lawyers and attorneys returning from the circuit to enjoy the gaiety of the capital. What with…fifteen inside passengers upon a hot day, I was almost worked into a fever, and was therefore happy to escape when we stopped to change horses, and walk up the Ardoise Mountain…Night had set in by the time we had arrived within ten miles of Halifax, and we entered the streets just as the vivid flash of heavy gun from the ramparts, and the numerous bugles and drums of the garrison, announced that it was eight o’clock.” The next day, Coke attended a horse race in Halifax on the Commons and wrote; “I have seldom witnessed a livelier scene than the Halifax race-course presented on the 27th of September. The day was remarkably favourable; not even a passing cloud appeared to plead an excuse for not forming part of the show. By mid-day the city had poured forth all its inhabitants, both horse and foot, who were either grouped upon the ramparts or brow of the citadel hill, or listening to the military bands who played between the heats on the plain below…The races had been set on foot by the officers of the army and navy on the station, many of whom carried off the palm of victory in competition with professional jockeys. They were more suitably equipped too for running a race, according to an Englishman’s notions of dress, than the provincialists, who cut rather an outré appearance riding in their shoes and loose trousers. Many of the races were well contested, and the sports were kept up with great spirit for three days. The grand stand consisted of a few pine boards loosely tacked together, and was altogether a most frail and tottering erection, and prior to trusting one’s life in it, it would have been a matter of prudence to have insured it. We had one or two false alarms of “coming down,” from boys scrambling upon the roof, or gentlemen of heavy weight venturing upon the floor; but, the generality of the ladies preferring to witness the races from their own carriages, the show upon the stand was limited to about a dozen or eighteen people. All booths for the sale of spirituous liquors were prohibited near the course, but the law was evaded by the proprietors of contiguous fields letting them for the erection of tents, which proved of some service in attracting all those who had an inclination to be disorderly away from the peaceable portion of the assemblage.” Later in 1833 Coke published, under the title of A Subaltern’s Furlough, 12 illustrations and descriptives of scenes from the various places he visited, including Nova Scotia, during the summer and autumn of 1832. (From Letters from Nova Scotia, William Scarth Morrsom. Whitelaw, Marjory, ed. Toronto: Oberon Press. 1986.p.89 and p.42).