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United States/Covers & Postmarks : The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

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smauggie
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25 Oct 2015
10:09:48am
The cover is addressed to the Surgeon General's office in Saint Paul, MN. This would be the Surgeon General's office for the state of Minnesota (as Saint Paul is the capital city).

It's hard to say what the content of the communication may have been.

And I love it when two collecting interests come together. Auxiliary markings and Minnesota postal history.

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CapeStampMan
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Mike
25 Oct 2015
06:51:41pm
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

Great cover, Smauggie. Congrats on the find.
Mike

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smauggie
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26 Oct 2015
08:45:31am
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

Thanks, Mike.

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Ningpo
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26 Oct 2015
08:45:10pm
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

Smauggie,

Can you throw any light on the 'Due' marking? I notice a '3' in manuscript; was the letter overweight perhaps? Or might there have been another reason?

I guess as you haven't mentioned it, there's no indication of where it was sent from ?

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smauggie
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27 Oct 2015
08:15:11am
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

There is really only one good explanation I can think of for the postage due and that was that the letter weighed more than a 3 cent stamp would pay for. It strikes me as interesting at this time that they did not have a "Due" hand-stamp with a value as part of the stamp. I suspect this is an early hand-stamp for postage due that was used for all values of amounts of postage due with a manuscript marking for the amount due.

Obviously it originates from Cincinnati but there is no indication of the name of the sender.

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Ningpo
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27 Oct 2015
09:12:30am
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

Quote:

"It strikes me as interesting at this time that they did not have a "Due" hand-stamp with a value as part of the stamp."



I think at that time, the post offices of most countries didn't have those. Just think of the cost involved having to manufacture a stamp for every permutation of postage due surcharge.

What would be interesting to find out is whether the 3 cents charge included a 'fine'. For example, some countries applied a multiplier to the amount the envelope was under-franked. So, if the stamp on the envelope was short by say 1 cent, did the post office multiply this by 1½ or perhaps 2?

What were the US postal systems regulations at that time? And did this vary across states?

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smauggie
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27 Oct 2015
10:30:39am
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

Postal regulations were a federal matter in the United States, so the rules were universal for the entire country. There are times when postage due rates are double the normal rate, but I believe in the 1860's it was just a matter of having to pay the correct weight.

Here in Minnesota you find a lot of covers from Scandinavia from the 1920's-40's where the relatives send the letter without any postage, and the recipient would have to be double the rate in postage due to collect the letter.

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Ningpo
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28 Oct 2015
06:19:34am
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

Thanks for the information.

What struck me was your comment about unpaid letters from Scandinavia. This very situation influenced the pre-paid postal system in Britain in 1840. Up until that time, the recipient paid for the mail, which for the poor was a great burden. I understand that crafty senders would use an obscure code (understood by the recipient) on the letter. Postman would hand over the letter; recipient would see the code and refuse the letter; no payment made; postal system out of pocket.

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smauggie
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28 Oct 2015
07:39:51am
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

Yeah I guess the family in the old country thought that the family in the new country must be striking in rich. Winking

I don't hearing about that code, but that makes sense.

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
28 Oct 2015
10:46:51pm
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

A very nice cover Antonio. Thanks for sharing it here.

Regards ... Tim

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jthurd
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28 Oct 2015
11:04:48pm
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

It appears to me that the cover is addressed to the Surveyor General's office, rather than the Surgeon General's office.

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smauggie
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29 Oct 2015
07:22:16am
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

I guess my eyes aren't so good. I Don't Want To See

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smauggie
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12 Nov 2015
09:24:10pm
re: The Search Continues - 1860's "Due" Marking on cover sent to Saint Paul, MN

I am trying to think what was going through the mind of this postal clerk. Many post offices in this day and age used postage due stickers instead of the old hand/stamp. I suspect this guy decided to make his own provisional sticker not realizing he could have just stamped the envelope directly. And what he used for a sticker is most interesting, it is a blank APC (automated postal counter) label.

I welcome other ideas or conjecture.

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