What we collect!
Stamporama Discussion Board Logo
For People Who Love To Talk About Stamps


82 visitors online

United States/Covers & Postmarks : U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

AuthorPostings
Rhinelander
Members Picture
Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
04 Nov 2011
11:28:40pm
I thought this stampless folded letter from Williamsport, June 18, 1841 to Hagerstown, Maryland was a real beauty and, thus, I could not resist picking it up.

Image Not Found


The penmanship is just beautiful. Just check out the word "Cashier" in the recipient's address. On the back of the folded letter someone noted in pencil "rate?"

Now, I know very little about covers from the stampless period. I did some preliminary research and found that the postage rates adopted January 1, 1816, which were still in force in 1841, provided for a 6 cents rate for distances less than 30 miles (and higher rates for longer distances). Mapquest tells me the two towns are about 8 miles apart, so, not knowing anything else, that should have been the rate. There must be a reason why someone, presumably more knowledgeable than I, put "rate?" on the back. So, any ideas?

Image Not Found

Like
Login to Like
this post
Walden
Members Picture
05 Nov 2011
12:15:57pm
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

The letter may have contained additional pages or enclosures. Letters during this period were assessed by the page, so this letter may have contained three enclosures ($0.06 x four pages = $0.24).

Like
Login to Like
this post

www.banknotestamps.com/
Rhinelander
Members Picture
Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
05 Nov 2011
12:30:33pm
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

Yes, walden. That could be the solution. If this was'nt so hard to read, the solution could be right in the letter. Doesn't it say about in the middle of it "I enclose ..."? Who can read this?

The folded letter, however, is not large. The first picture is about original size. I did not enlarge or reduce it.

Arno


Like
Login to Like
this post
michael78651
Members Picture
SOR Auctioneer
05 Nov 2011
02:49:29pm
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

The letter is mostly a list of names. Definitely hard to read! Appears to be an accounting for payment to or from the various people. The total is $10,000, a good sum in those days.

Like
Login to Like
this post

"My book, "The Whitechapel Fog" is available on Kindle!"

www.hipstamp.com/store/the-online-stamp-shop
Patches
Members Picture
Liz
05 Nov 2011
04:21:20pm
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

I think it says something to the effect that he is enclosing cheques and lists the names of the persons on the cheques and it says he also has several copies and......associates $630-. The next line says notes of other barters $1370.-

Like
Login to Like
this post
michael78651
Members Picture
SOR Auctioneer
05 Nov 2011
04:39:51pm
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

Liz, you have better eyes than me!

Like
Login to Like
this post

"My book, "The Whitechapel Fog" is available on Kindle!"

www.hipstamp.com/store/the-online-stamp-shop
Walden
Members Picture
05 Nov 2011
11:16:06pm
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

The letter is sent to Elie Beatty, who was the Cashier at the Hagerstown Bank. Beatty served as cashier for nearly fifty years, and several thousand of his letters survive (a dealer once told me that a large hoard of them was found in an old warehouse.) I have several of his letters in my collection, and all of them contain banking correspondence similar to the contents of this letter.

The list contains credits and debits, and the names likely correspond to bills of exchange (the predecessor to the modern check). The second half contains a list of enclosures, and the last line reads "notes of other banks $1370" (see explanation below*). Because the letter was sent from one bank to another, the letter likely contained notes for redemption. It was not uncommon in this period for bankers and merchants to send large sums of money through the mail.

*During this period, the United States government did not issue banknotes. Instead, most transactions were conducted using notes issued by private banks. These notes circulated at different exchange rates depending on the perceived credibility of the bank and the likelihood that the note would be redeemed for specie.

Like
Login to Like
this post

www.banknotestamps.com/
Rhinelander
Members Picture
Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
06 Nov 2011
11:45:45am
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

Looks like we solved the mystery -- the letter contained enclosures which led to a charge of four times the regular rate, 4x 6 cents = 24 cents. Thank you all for the help. I do have one other stampless cover where I do not understand the rate and I will post it later. Hope you again can help me figuring it out.

Arno

Like
Login to Like
this post
amsd
Members Picture
Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
06 Nov 2011
05:33:30pm
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

nicely done, Frank; and thanks for posting Arno so we got this great history lesson

Like
Login to Like
this post

"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

juicyheads.com/link.php?PLJZJP
Rhinelander
Members Picture
Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
07 Nov 2011
12:54:04am
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

Ok, here is my other unsolved case. The cover was mailed July 23, 1846 from Wiscasset to Augusta, Maine. The "5" in the top right corner reflects the appropriate rate for letters up to 300 miles distance in effect since July 1845. The paid designation of course indicates the pre-payment of postage.

Image Not Found

What puzzles me is the "chg 4" in the top left corner. It is my understanding that the practice of pre-paying postage only slowly evolved over time. Most mail was send postage due. The postage written on the cover, for instance in the above 24 cents folded letter, was collected from the recipient. Unless the letter was marked as pre-paid with a PAID marking. So, why was there an additional charge of 4 cents? Or is there another explanation for this marking?

Like
Login to Like
this post
amsd
Members Picture
Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
07 Nov 2011
05:12:30am
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

Arno,

the script is in the sender's hand, not a third party's, so I believe it's not a postal rate marking at all, but something else completely. Now, I'm making a wild stab here: is it possible that that the G is not a G in chg, but a double SS, and this is his fourth move in a game? Exhoribantly costly game, and I really have no idea when long-distance chess came into vogue.

David

Like
Login to Like
this post

"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

juicyheads.com/link.php?PLJZJP
Walden
Members Picture
07 Nov 2011
10:58:09am
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

It could be an abbreviation for "charged for postage." The sender could have written it on the face of the cover before realizing that the post office had a hand stamp?

Like
Login to Like
this post

www.banknotestamps.com/
Rhinelander
Members Picture
Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
07 Nov 2011
09:19:33pm
re: U.S. stampless covers -- help with rates

Hi David and Walden

I am not sure if the "chg 4" is in the hand of the sender. We have not much to go by. The "h" in chg is notably different from the h in Hugh. However, it is possiblte that the sender put some notation on the cover. It is equally possible, maybe even more likely, that the recipient marked the letter.

I have not looked at my few stampless covers for a long time. This is fun.

Now, I googled around a little bit and there were some hits for "charge box" markings on stampless covers. Unfortunately, I could not find the term defined. But if it means that a frequent mailer could run a tab with the post office, drop letters of, and have his account charged that could be an explanation ...

Arno

Like
Login to Like
this post
        
Please Note:
Postings that were loaded from the old Discussion Board cannot be edited.

Contact Webmaster | Visitors Online | Unsubscribe Emails


This site is provided by Roy Lingen at www.buckacover.com

User Agreement

Copyright © 2019 Stamporama.com