ITEM - #EP-USC-1765
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US – COLONIAL PARLIAMENTARY
Circa 1765 New York to Philadelphia w/ Early Franklin Mark
and New York
Split Line Cancel
1 shilling 5 pence + 3 pence manuscript rates
1996 American Stampless Cover Catalogue (ASCC)
values this 2-line New York Cancel @ $1000
This cover shows a very early American "Franklin Mark" cancel. Patterned
after the British "Bishop Mark" (introduced in England by British PM
Henry Bishop in the 1660's) it was used to date stamp a letter to show
when it was received by the local post office. The intention was that
the "received by" date would document the time for local delivery and
thus prompt the postman to be diligent in his rounds. The American
version is in black with "day over month" in a circle with no dividing
line. The British mark has a dividing line and can have the day or month
on the top depending upon whether or not it was inland or foreign post.
There are also Scottish (oval in red) and Irish "Bishop Marks", as well
as Canadian. The American version was named after Benjamin Franklin the
first US Postmaster and is found on US delivered letters from the latter
part of the 18th century, disappearing from about 1800, much scarcer
than the British Bishop Mark.
COVERED BY OUR 5 YEAR PHILATELIC GUARANTEE
Showing "PmPost" Parliamentary Post docket and 1/5 or 1 shilling 5d rate
due and 3d red rate paid
US Franklin (Bishop) Mark 3/J[UL]Y
As in England they used an "I" for a "J"
I[J]A was January, I[J]U was June
Red Wax Seal
NEW YORK 2-LINE
with short tips UL "N" and LR "K"
Front: New York to
Philadelphia cover with manuscript markings: “1/5” meaning 1s (shilling)
and 5d (pence) or 17 pence in black, and, “3(d)” in red for a total of
20d (1s/8d). In the lower left is a manuscript “Pm/Post” or
“Parliamentary Post” franking. The ms red "3" is possibly a local charge
for delivery of the letter from point of origin to the New York City
post office where it met the Post for Philadelphia, or for delivery from
the Philadelphia Post Office to the final destination. The charge from
New York to Philadelphia at this time (for a distance of 60-100 miles)
was 6d for a single sheet, 12d (1 shilling) for a two-sheet letter, and
18d (1s/6d) for a three sheet letter. A possible explanation is that
this was a triple sheet letter (18d) to which was added the 2d charge
for carriage by private (not packet) ship between NY and Philadelphia.
This would make for the 20d total but it does not match well with the
accountancy marks themselves. This would also not be the normal rate as
the ship rate was usually added to the delivery rate from port of entry
not origin. Possibly it is a Trans-Atlantic packet letter (1s rate) that
passed through New York. In any case it is an excellent Colonial Post
Conundrum with the Rare Double Line New York Cancel, Type A1, in
Brownish-Red with Parliamentary Post Markings and a very early Franklin
Large Red Monogram "A. S." Wax Seal - Very Early Franklin Mark - Two line NEW/YORK
Type A1 [24 x 12 mm]
both brownish-red. When both cancels are used together the accepted
range is 1765-1769.
Notes: Nice example of Colonial Parliamentary Post. While
there were two prominent Samuel Morris's in the Philadelphia area at this time
who were "merchants", one was a prosperous Quaker who never married and
had no children and primarily lived out of town at his estate called Whitemarsh near current Germantown. The more likely candidate was Samuel
Morris, son of Anthony Morris, mayor of Philadelphia in 1738 and one of
the most influential members of the Society of Friends. His
Grandfather, also Anthony was also a mayor of the city in 1704. This
Samuel Morris (1711-1782 see photo below courtesy of U Penn archives)
was a successful merchant in Philadelphia and was chosen by Governor
Robert Hunter Morris in 1756 to audit the ill-fated Braddock
expedition. In 1777 he was appointed the Registrar of Wills and
from 1779 until his death he was a Trustee of what is now the University
of Pennsylvania. He was a zealous advocate for independence and
served on the Revolutionary Committee of Safety and the War Board. His cousin, also named Samuel, was elected Captain of the first troop of
cavalry from the City of Philadelphia and they acted as Washington's
personal guard through 1776-77 in the battles of Trenton and Princeton. The only reference to Deborah Morris we could find was an account book
by her from 1759-69 detailing board, clothing and schooling expenses.
Condition: Fine condition w/ some ink oxide deterioration
in top "F" flourish. Backstamp of two-line NEW/YORK cancel is
missing top part of "W" from paper tear out at time of opening.
Contents: Cover only no contents but faint offset mirror
image of letter still faintly visible on back of cover sheet.
of Cover Showing 2-Line "NEW/YORK" cancel and
Scarce early American Franklin Mark "3/JY"= British Bishops mark
Offered by EmpirePost.com
a Division of Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.
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