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Item - #EP-USC-1798-3
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AMERICAN POSTAL HISTORY
UNITED STATES STAMPLESS
COVERS

1798 BOSTON TO WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS MOURNING LETTER
 WITH "BOSTON" S/L + FRANKLIN (BISHOP) MARK + 8 RATE

"PAYING THE DEBT OF NATURE" BEREAVEMENT LETTER

COVERED BY OUR 5 YEAR PHILATELIC GUARANTEE OF AUTHENTICITY

This covers shows the 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.



 

 
"BOSTON" S/L Cancel


 "8[]" Rate


"27/JU[NE]" Franklin Mark

 

Front: Boston s/l + Franklin Mark 27 IV + ms "8" - 8 for a letter traveling up to 60 miles
Reverse: Penciled owner's note regarding cover
Notes: The Franklin Mark has the month "IV" which stands for "JU" or June as opposed to "4" in Roman numeral meaning April. Similar but different Franklin marks of this period showed "IA" which was "JA" or January and "IY" which is "JY" or July. Apparently they were not big on using the letter "J" as in current English usage. Enclosed is a very touching mourning letter about paying the "debt of nature".
Condition: Fine cover with some separations along folds.
Contents: Legible English: Benjamin Russell writes to Lemuel Rice - Dateline: Boston June 26, 1798. "Dear Sir, Mrs. Russell, your daughter, paid the debt of nature this evening at nine o'clock. Her funeral is fixed for Thursday afternoon. Mrs. Rice is well as well as she can be, under her heavy loss. The rest of the family are well and desire to be remembered to you and all the rest of your family."

 


Reverse of Cover

Offered by EmpirePost.com
a Division of Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.
Member: APS, BNAPS, CCNY, ICSC, DMSC, SPHS

OUR 5 YEAR PHILATELIC GUARANTEE OF AUTHENTICITY

As a Life Member of the American Philatelic Society and in association with the American Philatelic Society's new guidelines on expertization, Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd. will guarantee the authenticity of this philatelic item to the purchaser of record for a period of five years from the date of sale. You will receive a full color receipt with our written guarantee of authenticity - signed and sealed. Please note that our five year Guarantee of Authenticity does not apply to condition issues such as centering, cancel, gum, paper or other aspects of the item. It is the buyer's responsibility to promptly examine the material upon receipt for any vices, defects or other dissatisfactions and return it within our seven day examination and "return-for-any-reason" period. However, if at any time during the five year period you receive an opinion from the American Philatelic Expertizing Service that this item is not authentic, please return the item in its original condition along with the written guarantee and contrary opinion and we will refund you the original purchase price and the cost of the opinion. 

Official PayPal Seal    Item is accompanied by a full color picture receipt for your insurance and inventory records. Item will be archivally packaged & shipped to your address. Please note that although we take great care in scanning our item images, monitor displayed colors may vary from original. Damage on delivery must be promptly reported. There is a 14 day "no questions asked" return policy, but item must be returned in the same condition as sent and the return shipment cost and liability is the responsibility of the buyer. While domestic shipping is free, certain international shipments may require buyer to be accountable for additional postage, duties, customs fees, excise taxes or VAT's. Washington State residents will be charged the 6.5% sales tax.