Sale 290

The Ed and Jean Siskin Collection
of Colonial and Early United States Mails


Parliamentary Post (1692-1783)
 
 
Lot Photo Description
Lot 1

1662 (Apr. 14) Chelmsford, Ms., datelined folded letter addressed to "to the his worshipful Mr. Thomas Banford at Cambridg…be delivered I pray", no postal markings, possibly carried by subscription post; part of letter removed, light soiling, Fine.
Estimate 3,000 - 4,000

ONE OF THE EARLIEST COLONIAL COVERS IN PRIVATE HANDS.
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Lot 2

1677 (Aug. 4) Medford, Ms. to Boston, Ms., datelined folded letter from George Barber addressed to "The much honored John Leverett Governor of the Massachusetts Colony at his house in Boston these", no postal markings, likely carried by subscription post, some soiling, a Very Fine colonial letter.
Estimate 4,000 - 5,000

AN EXTRAORDINARYILY EARLY COLONIAL COVER.

In the latter part of the 17th century, a group of merchants jointly contributed to a subscription post that ran between Boston and other cities. There are references to this post in letters held at the Antiquarian Society in Boston. Medford would have been one of the towns served by this post.

John Leverett, 1616-1679, held a variety of government posts in Massachusetts including Deputy Governor in 1671-1672 and Governor from 1672 until his death in 1679.

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Lot 3

1685 (May 9) New York to Boston, Ms., dateline on folded letter addressed to "Roger Gordon, Merchant in Bostown in New England", no postal markings; some soiling and internal splitting, Fine.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

AN EXCEPTIONALLY EARLY COVER FROM NEW YORK WITH A LETTER DESCRIBING THE SENDER'S 27 DAY JOURNEY FROM BOSTON TO NEW YORK.

Most likely carried by the overland post from New York City to Boston that was re-established by Governor Dongan of New York in 1684.

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Lot 4

1690 (May 11) Boston, Ms. to London, England, dateline on folded letter written in French to a merchant in London, carried by private ship, endorsed "per Capt. Sampson", Very Fine.
Estimate 1,500 - 2,000

"Q D G" is a delivery talisman.

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Lot 5

1693 (Oct. 26) Boston Ms. to Rotterdam Netherlands, dateline on folded letter with earlier heading of Sep. 7, red crayon "XI", some soiling and stains, Fine.
Estimate 4,000 - 5,000

A RARE EARLY TRANSATLANTIC COVER WITH A RATE TO A NON-ENGLISH DESTINATION.

This letter was carried by the Ship
Dolphine to London. The rate from London was 8 stuyvers plus an additional 3 stuyvers for internal delivery. The red crayon "XI" rating was applied by the Rotterdam postmaster for collection from the addressee.

Manuscript "squiggles" below address signify "In sight of God" for safe carriage.

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Lot 6

1694 (Oct. 2) Cohanzy N.J. to London England, datelined folded letter from a minister newly arrived in West Jersey to one of New Jersey's proprietors, carried by private ship to a port in England more than 80 miles from London, flap with "JA / 25" Bishop mark, 4 4 4 and squiggles which are delivery talismans, soiling and small faults, Fine.
Estimate 3,000 - 4,000

REPUTED TO BE THE EARLIEST EXAMPLE OF A LETTER ORIGINATING IN THE COLONIES BEARING A HANDSTAMPED POSTMARK.

The writer of this letter, Reverend Thomas Bridge, had been the subject of some controversy about whether or not he had actually traveled from Bermuda to New Jersey to minister to a flock there. McFea, in a PhD thesis used this letter as proof that Reverend Bridge did indeed make the trip to New Jersey.

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Lot 7

1696 (Apr. 16) Boston Ms. to Rotterdam Netherlands, dateline on folded letter, endorsed "P. Mr. Henry Hill", manuscript "Squiggles" and "Q:D:G:" delivery talismans; some fold separation, Fine.
Estimate 1,000 - 1,500

Letter carried courtesy of Henry Hill by private ship contrary to British postal regulations.

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Lot 8

1698 (May 21) New Castell, England to Boston Ms., dateline on folded letter, carried by private ship, no postal markings, manuscript "squiggles" delivery talisman; light toning, small tear, Fine.
Estimate 1,000 - 1,500
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Lot 9

1698 (Aug. 9) Portsmouth N.H. to Boston Ms., datelined folded letter signed by Jonathan Bridger, William Partridge, and Benjamin Jackson, endorsed "On his Maj: Service", addressed to "Wm: Partridge, Lt. Gov & Commander in cheif of his Maj: Province of New Hampshire and Assembly", carried by courier, Very Fine and choice.
Estimate 4,000 - 5,000

Letters marked with "On His Majesty's Service" or similar statements generally were carried without charge. Normally they were either handled by military courier or the cost was reimbursed by the government.

In May 1698, John Bridger arrived in New England at the port of Boston as part of a four-member commission appointed by the Navy Board to encourage the production of naval stores (pitch, tar, resin, turpentine, masts, and spars) in the northern colonies and to investigate wasteful wood cutting practices. This letter is from Jonathan Bridger, signed by his fellow commissioners William Partridge and Benjamin Jackson, to the New Hampshire assembly requesting that they encourage the planting of hemp to support the Royal Navy. In 1699, the New Hampshire Assembly passed such a law, but the experiment was unsuccessful.

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Lot 10

1699 (c.) New Hampshire Hemp Act, handwritten original copy of the act that was passed sometime in 1699 promoting the planting of hemp to support the British Royal Navy, Very Fine, interesting historical collateral.
Estimate 750 - 1,000

THE ONLY RECORDED ORIGINAL COPY OF THE HEMP ACT PASSED BY NEW HAMPSHIRE.

The manuscript copy reads, "Application being made to 3d Lt. Governor & Council & Assembly by Gov. J. Bridger & Co. that encouragement may be given to good inhabitants of this province for sowing of hemp good ……. in order to gain a right understanding (of how much) this province may be able to produce of that kind toward their supply of his Majesty's Naval Stores.

Ordered that good Gentlemen of that Assembly do give notice hereof to the Inhabitants within their respective towns & endeavored the promoting this … good a work sending to his Majesty's Service & their own …

(In another hand) Passed by the Assembly (signed) Theodore Attkinson Clk."

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Lot 11

1698 (Aug. 10) Chester River, Md. to Philadelphia, Pa., dateline on folded letter from Elizabeth Webb to Mary Rogers, no postal markings, Very Fine.
Estimate 3,000 - 4,000

This was most likely carried by the short-lived Maryland Provincial Post. This post made several (perhaps as many as eight) round trips between Annapolis, Md. and Philadelphia, Pa. in the 1690s.

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Lot 12

1699 (Sep. 25) Burlington, N.J. to The Falls, N.J., datelined folded letter addressed to "Phinehas Pemberton at The Falls, These" (current day Trenton), no postal markings; some ink erosion and toning, Fine.
Estimate 4,000 - 5,000

ONE OF PERHAPS THREE OR FOUR EXAMPLES OF PAPER FROM THIS ERA MADE BY AN AMERICAN PRODUCER AND ALMOST CERTAINLY THE ONLY EXISTING COVER IN PRIVATE HANDS.

The paper of this folded letter is watermarked with the fleur-de-lis and cloverleaf of William Rittenhouse, the first paper manufacturer in the American Colonies.

It is highly probable that this cover, as Robeson Lowe had thought, had been carried by the Waddy Post. Waddy ran a postal service in the 1690s from the Maryland line to Trenton (called at the time "The Falls").

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Lot 13

1701 (May 16) Charles Town to London, England, datelined folded letter, endorsed "p. Capt Nickings a Bristol", "Squiggles" and "Q:D:G:" delivery talismans, carried by private ship to Bristol and received with "JY/4" Bishop mark on flap, manuscript "7" rating, Very Fine, double the 3d inland rate plus 1d ship captain's fee.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

A VERY EARLY USE OF A RATE ON AN AMERICAN COVER.
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Lot 14

1707 (Jan. 20) Brinton, Ms. to Bristol, Ms., dated folded letter forwarding an indenture, endorsed "in his Maigte Servise", some soiling, Fine.
Estimate 1,500 - 2,000
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Lot 15

1707 (Jun. 9) Boston, Ms. to Bristol, Ms., folded letter from John Campbell addressed "to the Honble Nathaniel Byfield in Bristol", free frank endorsement "f frank J:C", letter was turned and returned dated "Bristol June13th 1707" via post to John Campbell, a second letter is included that had been contained in the original mailing addressed to John Campbell postmaster and datelined "New York 30th May 1707", without postal markings, John Campbell mentions the N.Y. letter saying "it came to me last post", enclosed letter Very Fine, some aging on first, Fine.
Estimate 7,500 - 10,000

THE EARLIEST RECORDED AMERICAN FREE FRANK. ADDITIONALLY, THE EARLIEST RECORDED AMERICAN LETTER OFFERING INDISPUTABLE PROOF OF BEING SENT BY POST.

Prior to the enactment of the Queen Anne Act of 1710-1711, most mail was carried by courier, by favor, etc. The few that actually went by post bear no markings as they were prepaid. In the case of the cover offered here, the free frank displays that the cover went by post free of charges. Additionally, concerning the envelope Postmaster Campbell sends to Byfield, he says "it came to me by post." Both of these, we can conclude, definitely traveled by post.

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Lot 16

1709 (Aug. 8) New York, N.Y. to Boston, Ms., datelined folded letter bearing "NY" postmark at bottom, some wear; small tear through postmark, Fine.
Estimate 10,000 - 15,000

THE EARLIEST RECORDED POSTMARK FROM BRITISH NORTH AMERICA IN PRIVATE HANDS.

The letter included an invoice for seven barrels of Virginia tobacco on consignment from two Virginia merchants.

The letter mentions the expedition of Col. Nicholson: "It's believed he will Push for Mount Royall" presumably a reference to Francis Nicholson, former Governor of Virginia and Maryland, and Lt. Governor of New York, who captured Port Royal, Nova Scotia in October 1710.

Also mentions an expedition of 110 "upon the Laiks" (possibly the Lake George and Lake Champlain areas) which returned with only five men missing.

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Lot 17

1712 (May 13) Philadelphia Pa. to Liverpool England, datelined folded letter from the same Brown correspondence yielding the 1712 Bristol packet letters, carried to New York with manuscript "10" rating, apparently carried via private ship to England, "IY / 22" Bishop mark, manuscript "16" crossed out and updated to "In all 1N10"; slight toning and tiny holes in front, Fine.
Estimate 1,000 - 1,500

The rate of "10" was 9d from Philadelphia to New York and 1d for delivery to the ship, rated "In all 1N10" for one shilling 10 pence British transatlantic plus inland postage.

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Lot 18

1712 (Jun. 10) Philadelphia Pa. to Liverpool, England via Bristol Packet, datelined folded letter endorsed "Pr: the Harley pqt" and bearing complete strike of "NEW / YORK" handstamp on flap, manuscript ratings "10", London "IY/30" Bishop mark, manuscript "1N" crossed out and updated to "1N4", some internal tape reinforcement and minor paper edge faults, Very Fine.
Estimate 50,000 - 75,000

THE TWO LINE NEW YORK POSTAL MARKING IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED HANDSTAMP USED IN NORTH AMERICA. OF THE THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES, THIS IS THE FINEST.

The rate of "10" was 9d from Philadelphia to New York and 1d for delivery to the ship. The packet ship
Harley sailed June 30th and arrived at Bristol on July 28th. The letter reached London on July 30th. The "In all 1N4" includes one shilling for the packet postage from New York to London and 4d for British inland postage from London to Liverpool.

The New York handstamp is believed to have been applied by John Hamilton, the British Packet Agent in New York.

"The New York marking had its origin in the War of the Spanish Succesion (1702-13), a conflict that so disrupted normal ship passage between North America and Great Britain that the English Government, at the urging of merchants and to serve its own needs, established packet ship mail service to speed communications. The plan, submitted by William Warren, was adopted in 1709. It called for service between the English harbor town of Bristol and New York City. For the first time postage rates were fixed for the overseas mail traffic at 1s for single letters, 2s shillings for double letters, and 4s per ounce for packets of greater weight. The service began in late September 1710. John Hamilton, the postmaster for North America placed an adverstisement in 'The Boston News Letter' announcing the intended departure dateof the packet for Bristol and enjoined those interested to forward their mail to New York to meet the deadline. In 1711 Hamilton proclaimed in 'The Boston News Letter' that "a packet will be ready to sail the last of every month for New York (Wind and Weather permitting)". With the ending of the war in mid-1712 and the increased sailings of merchant ships, there was little need for a packet service as letters could now be sent by the first available sailing. Service was discontinued in 1712." (A.S.C.C.).

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Lot 19

1712 (Dec. 23) Newcastel, Pa. to Liverpool, England via Lixa, datelined folded letter endorsed "pr: Capt: Henry Smith via Lixa", letter accompanied produce shipment on the ship Neptune from Philadelphia to the North African port "via Lixa", transferred to a ship bound for Bristol, "MR/30" Bishop mark on flap, originally enclosed two enclosures and rated "3/", crossed out and re-rated "3N8", some small faults, Fine, triple the 1 shilling transatlantic postage plus 8 pence inland British postage.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

THE EARLIEST DOCUMENTED COVER FROM THE UNITED STATES TO PASS THROUGH AFRICA.

Lixa is a port on the North coast of Africa in Morocco.

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Lot 20

1713 (Feb. 9) Dartmouth, Ms. to Bristol, Ms., datelined folded letter addressed "to the Justices of the Court of quater sessions at Bristol" and endorsed "This Deliver with Care", no postal markings; some toning, Fine.
Estimate 1,000 - 1,500

This 1713 letter is from Deliverance Smith, a Quaker, declining to serve on the Grand Jury, explaining that, "I cannot be accepted without an oath which in conscience to words God and fear of offending him I Dare not Take; do therefore pray that I may be Excused Being Ever Ready to serve my Queen and Contry."

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Lot 21

1713 (Mar. 12) Philadelphia Pa. to Liverpool, England via New York Forwarder, datelined folded letter with manuscript "New York 16th March 1712/13" and "Forwarded by Patrick & Macknight" forwarding agent endorsements, via private ship to Exeter with "B" (Bristol) with "AP/27" receiving postmark, manuscript "9" rating crossed out and re-rated "1N3"; splitting along central fold, Fine, the 1 shilling transatlantic packet plus 3 pence British inland postage.
Estimate 4,000 - 5,000

THE EARLIEST RECORDED AMERICAN FORWARDING AGENT.
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Lot 22

1714 (Jul. 30) Newport R.I. to Boston, Ms., datelined folded letter addressed to "Town Clerk of Boston", manuscript "R" postmark and "4d" rating for postage to Boston, additional "1" rating for the way fee totaled to "5d", religious contents; minor edge tape reinforcement, quite fresh and Very Fine.
Estimate 7,500 - 10,000

THE EARLIEST RHODE ISLAND LETTER, THE EARLIEST AMERICAN WAY LETTER, AND THE EARLIEST EXAMPLE OF THE QUEEN ANNE RATES USED WITHIN AMERICA.

Provenance: Jarrett

One of only a few letters showing the way fee as part of the rating. The sender usually paid the fee in cash to the post rider.

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Lot 23

1716 (Feb. 6) St. Paul's S.C. to London, England, folded cover with docketing, addressed to the Secretary of the Society for Propagation of the Gospel, by private ship from Charleston to London, placed in the Parliamentary post with "28 / MA" Bishop mark on flap, manuscript "6" rating and additional "paid 6" on flap, docketed "recd the 15th June 1716", couple light stains, Fine, rated 5 pence British inland postage plus 1 pence ship fee.
Estimate 1,500 - 2,000
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Lot 24

1717 (Jun. 20) St. Paul's S.C. to London, England, folded cover with docketing on flap, addressed to the Secretary of the Society for Propagation of the Gospel, by private ship from Charleston to an English port, placed in the Parliamentary post with "16 / SE" Bishop mark on flap, manuscript "11" rating and additional "paid 11d" on flap, docketed "recd 20th Sept 1716", "SHIP" handstamp on flap docketed "p Capt. Mede" and matching "give a receipt for this letter"; file fold, Fine, rated 10 pence British inland postage plus 1 pence ship fee.
Estimate 3,000 - 4,000

AN EXCEPTIONALLY EARLY EXAMPLE OF A "SHIP" HANDSTAMP MARKING.
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Lot 25

1718 (Apr. 1) Attleboro, Ms. to Bristol, Ms., datelined folded letter addressed "To the Clerk of the Court at Bristol", endorsed "pray deliver with care with the fee" and "fee 10d", the letter contained 10 pence to register five marriages performed in 1717; small tear at upper right, slightly toned, Fine.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

AN EARLY PRECURSOR OF A MONEY LETTER.
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Lot 26

1720 (Apr. 10) Duck Creek, Del. to Putton Stoke near Wiltshire, England, datelined folded letter apparently carried privately to Philadelphia where "paid via N york 10d" was applied that includes 9d postage to New York and 1d for delivery to the ship, traveled via private ship to England, flap with London "JY/13" Bishop mark, manuscript "5" rating crossed out and re-rated "In all 8" for 8 pence British inland postage; toning, small faults, Fine.
Estimate 6,000 - 8,000

THE EARLIEST RECORDED COVER FROM DELAWARE.

The letter concerns a yellow fever epidemic in what is now Smyrna Delaware.

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Lot 27

1722 (Jul. 1) Kittery, Ms. to Bristol, Ms., datelined folded letter with "p. post" endorsement and "money", the letter indicates that 15£ 9s being sent, while the marking on the cover indicates an additional shilling was included that may have covered a money letter fee, Very Fine.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

A VERY EARLY MONEY LETTER PRECURSOR.
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Lot 28

1723 (Apr. 1) Barbados to Salem, Ms. via Boston, datelined folded letter endorsed "pr. Capt. Peter King" carried by ship Mary Gally to Boston, manuscript "B Sh" postmark and manuscript "1/9" rating, some fold reinforcement, Fine; rated 8d sterling for double weight letter under 60 miles plus 1d ship fee, multiplied by 2.3 to account for the devaluation of Old Tenor paper currency, equaling 1 shilling 9 pence.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

ONE OF SIX RECORDED OLD TENOR PAPER COVERS AT THE 2.3 TIMES CURRENCY RATE IN PRIVATE HANDS.
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Lot 29

1727 (Jun. 24) London, England to Philadelphia, Pa., datelined folded letter signed by King George II and his Privy Council announcing the death of King George I and proclaiming the accession of George II, addressed to Patrick Gordon Lt. Gov. of Pa. and endorsed "On his Majesty's Special Service", warships carried such messages to Boston, New York, and Philadelphia; toning and fold splitting, Fine.
Estimate 15,000 - 20,000

THE ONLY RECORDED KING GEORGE II ACCESSION ANNOUNCEMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA IN PRIVATE HANDS.

Provenance: Carson

George Augustus (16831760) succeeded his father, King George I as King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1727 to 1760. He led Britain in several military engagements including the War of the Austrian Succession, in which he personally led his troops at the battle of Dettingen (1743) the last time a British monarch did so. By the 1750s, England was expanding as a commercial and colonial power, clashing with France over America (French and Indian War, 1754-1763) as well as in Europe (the Seven Years War, 175663). Patrick Gordon was the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania from June 22, 1726 to August 5, 1736.

Illustrated, "The Posted Letter in Colonial and Revolutionary America 1628-1790", Alex L. Ter Braake, p. F-23.

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Lot 30

1729 (Jul. 3) London, England to Philadelphia, Pa. via New York, folded cover with docketing carried by private ship to New York, manuscript "NY Sh:" postmark and "1/2 | 1/9" rating; some splitting at folds, fresh and Very Fine, the 1 shilling rate from New York to Philadelphia plus 2 pence ship fee, rated 1 shilling 9 pence in local currency.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

Provenance: Lounsbery, Jarrett
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Lot 31

1738 from Georgia, folded cover addressed in the hand of James Oglethorpe to Sir Robert Walpole, docketing reads "Letter from Oglethorpe from Georgia North America 1738"; some tears and splitting along edges and folds, Fine.
Estimate 3,000 - 4,000

THE EARLIEST RECORDED LETTER FROM GEORGIA.

James Oglethorpe was a founder and early leader of the Colony of Georgia. In January of 1733, he landed with Georgian colonists in South Carolina. He traveled south to the mouth of the Savannah River, sailing 18 miles upstream, and landing at the site of present-day Savannah.

Sir Robert Walpole held many English political offices including "prime minister" from 1721 until 1742, when he was forced to resigned as a result of failing health.

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Lot 32

1740 (Mar. 24) Salem, Ms. to York, Pa., datelined folded cover addressed to "Clerk of the Inf Court for the County of York" and endorsed "p Post & Paid", per post with no town or rate marks as was normal in this period, small faults, lightly silked, Fine, the rate was 2 shillings 4 pence.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

FEW COVERS PRIOR TO 1755 CAN CONCLUSIVELY PROVE, AS DOES THE EXAMPLE OFFERED HERE- WITH ITS "P POST & PAID", THAT THE LETTER INDEED WENT BY POST.

The letter states in part: "Enclosed are two writs Returnable to your April Court in both of which Mr. Jones is plaintiff & in one of them Benj. Masury is Deft., who is most Probably Long Since dead, for the Vessel in which he was, pout out of Montseratt in a Hurricane 2 years ago & has not been heard of since."

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Lot 33

1741 (c.) London, England to Philadelphia, Pa. via New York, folded cover addressed to "George Thomas, Lieutenant Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania and Counties of New Castle Kent & Sussex on Delaware", bearing manuscript "NY" postmark and "9 dwt" rating; small edge faults and some splitting, Fine, triple the published 3 dwt (9 pence) rate from New York to Philadelphia.
Estimate 1,500 - 2,000

George Thomas was the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania from June 1, 1738 to May 1746.

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Lot 34

1745 (c.) Boston, Ms. to Hartford, Ct., folded cover bearing manuscript "Bo" postmark and "2/8" rating, Fine.
Estimate 1,500 - 2,000

From 1733 to 1746, the inflation factor was 3.5. The rate on this 1745 cover to Connecticut was 9d for 100-200 miles times the 3.5 inflation factor, or 2 shillings 8 pence Old Tenor.

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Lot 35

1748 (Feb. 20) Boston, Ms. to Newport, R.I., folded cover bearing manuscript "Bo" postmark and "paid 7/" rating, endorsed "Post Paid", Very Fine.
Estimate 1,500 - 2,000

From 1747 to 1749, the inflation factor was 5. The rate on this triple rate 1748 cover to Rhode Island was three times the 4d single rate, times the 7 inflation factor, or 7 shillings Old Tenor.

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Lot 36

1749 (Apr. 27) Newport, R.I. to Boston, Ms., datelined folded letter bearing manuscript "R" postmark and "2/4" rating, Very Fine and choice, the 4 pence single rate from Newport to Boston, times the 7 inflation factor, or 2 shillings 4 pence Old Tenor.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

THE SECOND EARLIEST RHODE ISLAND COVER.

See lot 22 for the earliest Rhode Island cover.

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Lot 37

1749 (Dec. 25) New York, N.Y. to Boston, Ms., datelined folded letter bearing manuscript "NY" postmark and "dwt 4:-" rating, endorsed "P post"; fold splitting, Fine, the 4 dwt (1 shilling) rate for 200-300 miles.
Estimate 1,000 - 1,500
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Lot 38

1750 (Jul. 12) New London, Ct. to Piscataqua, N.H., datelined folded letter bearing manuscript "NLn" postmark with matching "8/" rating, endorsed "pr. post", Very Fine.
Estimate 3,000 - 4,000

THE EARLIEST RECORDED CONNECTICUT POSTMARK.

From 1750 to 1751, the inflation factor was 7.5. The rate from New London to Boston was 9d for 100-200 miles plus 4d from Boston to Portsmouth for up to 60 miles. This 13 pence was multiplied by 7.5 and rounded off to give 8 shillings Old Tenor.

Piscataqua was the original name for Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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Lot 39

1750 (c.) (Oct. 12) London, England to Newport, R.I. via Boston, datelined folded letter endorsed "per Capt Gardner" and "Q:D:G", carried via private ship to Boston where entered the post with manuscript "Bo Sh" postmark and "4/" rating, couple light stains, Very Fine.
Estimate 500 - 750

The 4d rate from Boston to Newport plus the 2d ship fee. This 6 pence was multiplied by the 7.5 inflation factor and rounded off to give 4 shillings Old Tenor.

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Lot 40

1753 (May 24) Philadelphia, Pa. to Newport, R.I., datelined folded letter bearing manuscript "Phi." postmark and "dwt 7" rating, small faults, Fine, the single 7 dwt (1 shilling 9 pence) rate for 300-400 miles from Philadelphia to Newport.
Estimate 1,500 - 2,000

ONE OF THE EARLIEST PHILADELPHIA POSTMARK.
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Lot 41

1753 (Jul. 28) Salem, Ms. to Boston, Ms., datelined folded letter bearing manuscript "2/6" rating and "Squiggles", Very Fine, the 1 dwt 8 grains rate (4d Sterling) for 0-60 miles, rated 2 shillings 6 pence in depreciated local currency.
Estimate 1,000 - 1,500
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Lot 42

1754 (Apr. 25) Lisbon, Portugal to Newport, R.I. via Salem, datelined double-rate folded letter carried by private ship to Salem Mass., entered post with manuscript "Salem Sh" postmark and "16/6" rating; some small faults including silked corners, Fine, a very high postal rating.
Estimate 4,000 - 5,000

THE FIRST RECORDED SALEM POSTMARK.

The rate was 3 dwt from Salem to Newport plus a 16 gr ship fee totaling 3 dwt 16 gr. The cover is rated in inflated paper currency. Salem was the seventh American post office to use a town mark.

Reference:
Listing illustration in the American Stampless Cover catalog.
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Lot 43

1754 (Jun. 10) Boston, Ms. to Piscatuqua, N.H., datelined folded letter bearing manuscript "Bo" postmark and "3/" rating; slight soiling, a Very Fine usage.
Estimate 500 - 750

The letter contains in part a merchant's inquiry on the current prices of molasses & sugar, whale oil, and various fish, in addition to complaining that the sale of indigo is "miserably slow."

From 1752 to 1754, the inflation factor was 9. This 1754 Boston cover to New Hampshire was rated 4d for 0-60 miles times the 9 inflation factor, or 3 shillings Old Tenor.

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Lot 44

1755 (Apr. 28) Boston, Ms. to Salisbury, Ms., datelined folded letter bearing manuscript "Bo" postmark and "dwt 1-8" rating, Very Fine.
Estimate 750 - 1,000

A letter from merchant Joshua Blanchard to a Capt. Frost, expressing his anger that the ship whose construction Frost was supervising is still not ready to sail, outlining what the delays are costing him, etc.

Starting in 1754, Benjamin Franklin, the new Deputy Postmaster General tried to eliminate the confusion caused by inflated paper currency by having postmasters use silver as the currency of accounts. The rate from Boston to Salisbury was 4d for 0-60 miles, or 1 dwt 8 grains of silver.

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Lot 45

1755 (Aug. 3) Petersburg, Va. to Whitehaven, England, folded letter datelined "Petersburg up Appamatox James River Virginia", endorsed "P the How / Capt Eilbeck", carried by private ship to England bypassing the Post Office, Fine, the long letter gives a description of General Braddock's defeat and of Washington's heroism, at a battle that occurred 25 days earlier.
Estimate 15,000 - 20,000

The content of the letter includes: "I am sorry to informe you of our bad success in our first enguagment this year with the French and Indians…On the 9th of the last instant at Mongohala within six miles of the French Fort Gen. Braddock with 1300 chose men and officers were attacked by the French and Indians supposed to be in number about 400 and after a bloody action three & a half hours our troops yielded ground for want of officers to rally the men as most of them were either killed or wounded by that time as to the particulars no certainty yet we lost all our provisions Artillary Stores and Baggage of every kind. and by much the greatest part of our Officers and at least half the whole number of men was carried to field…and what makes a greater addition to our loss our Famous General Braddock was shot thro the arm and body mounting his fifth horse. The detachment of light Horse that attended him out of twenty nine had twenty five filled…

We are informed the French and Indians were not in number above 400 whose method of fiting were sticking on every side behind the logs and bushes and by aying a train of powder and setting it on fire our troops kept firing at the smoak till the were half killed and not knowing what they fired at and the Indians firing from every side drop'd them like Bees…

It is reported that Washington a Virginian who was our late General in our expadition last year rode up to General Braddock and advised him to breack his men and take the Indian method of fiting behind the bushes but he refised so by that means lost the battle…

Washington last year with three hundred men was attacted by Nine hundred and by his good noshons of there ways Kill's upwards of three hundred of theirs with the loss of Seventy Kill'd and wounded and when a parley was called out for by the French he had the better of the Battle notwithstanding there numbers"
.

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Lot 46

1756 (Jun. 14) Philadelphia, Pa. to Bedford, England, datelined folded letter, received in London with "21 / JY" Bishop mark, manuscript "5" crossed out, "N8", and "16/2" markings, wear and small faults, Fine, double the 8 pence British inland postage rate.
Estimate 1,000 - 1,500
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Lot 47

1756 (Nov. 22) New York, N.Y. to London, England via Falmouth Packet, docketing on folded cover bearing two-line "NEW / YORK" handstamp, carried via the Falmouth Packet, received with "11/FE" Bishop mark, manuscript "3oz¼" weight and "13N" rating; tear in flap and wax seals removed, Very Fine, thirteen-times the 1 shilling per ¼ ounce transatlantic packet rate.
Estimate 4,000 - 5,000

A VERY FINE EXAMPLE OF THIS VERY EARLY HANDSTAMPED POSTMARK AS WELL AS AN EXTREMELY HIGH TRANS-ATLANTIC PACKET RATING.

Provenance: Mayer

The Falmouth packet service was initiated by the British Post Office on November 15, 1755, dispatching from Falmouth to New York. Regular service continued until approximately the 1780s. The agent for the Falmouth packet applied the New York handstamp, which was similar to the example originally used by the agent for the Bristol Packet in 1710.

The cover is addressed "To the Honourable Thomas Penn, Equire", who was the son of William Penn.

Illustrated, "The Posted Letter in Colonial and Revolutionary America 1628-1790", Alex L. Ter Braake, p. D-21 & F-33.

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Lot 48

1757 (c.) Lancaster, Pa. to Philadelpia, Pa., folded cover with large red manuscript "Paid 2" postal rating, the letter originally contained a postmaster appointment (located in archives), flaps separated from front, Very Fine appearing, the single 2 dwt (6 pence) rate for 60-100 miles from Lancaster to Philadelphia.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000
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Lot 49

1757 (Apr. 19) Hanover, N.J. to Philadelphia, Pa. via Elizabeth Town, folded letter datelined at Hanover, hand carried and posted at Elizabeth Town, N.J. with manuscript "Eliz" postmark and "2 Draper, Welsh & Co.", "10d" ratings, manuscript notes on front, Fine, the rate was 2 dwt for 60 to 100 miles, which was 10 pence in local currency.
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

THE SECOND EARLIEST NEW JERSEY POSTMARK.

Provenance: Carson

Illustrated, "The Posted Letter in Colonial and Revolutionary America 1628-1790", Alex L. Ter Braake, p. II-90.

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Lot 50

1757 (Apr. 26) York, England to Philadelphia Pa., dateline on folded letter bearing "YORK" straightline handstamp and "29/AP" Bishop mark, matching two-line "New York" and circled "PD" handstamps, manuscript "5", "6d", "6dw", and "2/6" ratings, endorsed "to be left at Pensilvania Coffee House & Forwarded", stain at left, Fine, prepaid 5 pence for British postage to port plus 1 pence ship fee, and rated double the 3 dwt (9 pence) for 100-200 miles from New York to Philadelphia, charge 2 shillings 6 pence in local currency (18d sterling postage).
Estimate 2,000 - 3,000

The circled "PD" indicates it was prepaid in England.

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