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Sharing A Bit Of Pre-postage Stamp History

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Posted 04/05/2019   3:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add wheatcent to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello all,

After I posted my ID request about the Scott 267 Washington I inherited, it inspired me to do some digging through other heirlooms I haven't gotten through yet. To my surprise there was indeed a plethora of philatelic related items including the November 30, 1959 issue of LIFE Magazine (which was all about the beauty of stamps), various postcards from around the world (bearing cancelled stamps) and most importantly a letter from July 27th, 1821, all of which belonged to my great grandfather's collection.

I though I'd share a scan of the cover with you all. Incidentally the cover is the actual letter itself, folded up into a cover-like shape and bound together by wax seal. It looks like it has a cancellation or marking of some kind in the top left, and on the top right is some kind of other handwritten marking.

(For full disclosure, the name and address on the cover are of no personal relation to myself so no need to be concerned about this publicly identifying myself or my ancestors' name online).

If anyone here has any good references for the U.S. Postal Service history in the early 19th century before the advent of postage stamps, I would much appreciate if you shared it with me!

-wheatcent



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Posted 04/05/2019   4:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gettinold to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
wheatcent

Jerrimiah Talmage was born 1710 and died 10/22/1792. Info available online. You may want to check out USPCS for Postal History. From Wikipedia, "The U.S. Philatelic Classics Society (USPCS) is a society dedicated to the study of United States postal issues and postal history from the Stampless era up to the Bureau Issues."
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Edited by gettinold - 04/05/2019 4:20 pm
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Posted 04/05/2019   4:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you could post a blow-up of the postmark/CDS at upper left that might help determine the origin of this letter.

Also, the dateline of the letter enclosed, if its still present, would re-inforce date and place of mailing.

Rates at the time were distance and weight based.

If, for example, that is a 25 at upper right, then :
- the distance was over 400 miles and it was a single weight letter
(or)
- the distance was 80-150 miles and it was a double weight letter

But its best to know the point of origin first.

The postage rating is 'due' to the addressee, by the way.
Mail was seldom pre-paid at this time.
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Posted 04/05/2019   4:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheatcent to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
First off thank you to the Staff for moving it, my apologies for posting it in the wrong forum.

gettinold, I appreciate the info. I will have to check out the USPCS to see if they're interested in scans of this letter and another letter I have from 1849 (despite it being two years after the introduction of U.S. postage stamps it does not bear one).

txstamp, I know that it's from Mississippi and the letter is supposedly about Long Island natives making the trek there before the War of 1812. I'll zoom in on the postmark and post a picture. I've yet to decipher the handwriting/script in the letter myself, I am just going off of the note my great grandfather left.
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Posted 04/05/2019   4:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gettinold to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
wheatcent

I'm familiar with the area of East Hampton. Found some info online regarding the family history in a real estate listing. Copied it for your information:

"EAST HAMPTON, NY Here's a chance to walk in the footsteps of one of East Hampton's founding families.
Listed for $1.795 million with Jeanine Edington of Douglas Elliman, 8 Haynes Lane off Talmage Farm Lane in East Hampton is now for sale.
Owned by one of the founding families of East Hampton, the 1.7-acre property was once home to polo grounds near the Talmage dairy farm. It now houses a contemporary 3,300-square-foot shingle-style home designed by Tom Behringer, with four beds, three baths, fireplaces and open floor plan. In keeping with the history of the land, the property is now enclosed by scenic white plank horse fencing. Additional amenities include a heated Gunite pool and Har-Tru tennis court.


According to the Douglas Elliman Real Estate listing, "Situated on 1.7 lush acres on a private cul-de-sac, this contemporary East Hampton one story home designed by Tom Behringer offers 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 3,300 sq ft. Light, white, and bright with clean lines; styled with minimalist design. Shows like brand new. Double front doors open into the expansive great room, setting the tone of grandeur with 25 ft cathedral ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, and a wall of windows that flood the living and dining areas with natural light.
"Two guest bedrooms, a full bath, designer kitchen with 20 ft ceilings, and a mud room entrance from the two-car detached garage lie in the west wing of the home. The east wing houses the fourth bedroom, second bath, and the master suite, complete with 20 ft ceilings, full bathroom, and wood-burning fireplace. Originally a polo farm owned by the Talmage family, this home's fully cleared grounds are as grand and lavish as its interior, surrounded by white plank horse fencing to preserve the polo farm atmosphere, located on a scenic easement.
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"This land's great history is just one of the details that make this listing so wonderful and unique. Walls of 7 ft glass French doors line the great room, kitchen, and master suite and provide access to the brand new bluestone patio, 42 x 20 ft heated in-ground gunite pool, and regulation Har-Tru tennis court, allowing for seamless indoor/outdoor entertaining. Full, unfinished 3,300 sq ft basement with 9 ft ceilings is perfect for finishing and doubling your square footage. One level allows for easy living, entertaining, and maintenance. Bay beaches are only five to ten minutes away from this sprawling estate. The perfect home for anyone seeking the high level of luxury and privacy the house has to offer."
Photo and listing courtesy of Douglas Elliman."

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Posted 04/05/2019   4:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Mississippi statehood was in 1817, I think, so that's a nice early use from there, if that's indeed where it was mailed.

If it was, then 25c would likely be the rate due for over 400 miles.

Of course, in some areas, post offices could be pretty scarce, so mail was often privately carried hundreds of miles until a suitable PO to mail it at could be found. So, the letter could be datelined in Ole Miss, but actually mailed, even in New York.

That's why the postmark is important. It indicates where the letter entered the US mails. The dateline tells you where the letter originated.
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Posted 04/05/2019   5:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheatcent to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
gettinold, I did some quick research myself just now and it looks like the Talmage family were early settlers of the East Hampton area. My great grandfather was a genealogist and our family were also early settlers of the Long Island area (without revealing too much information) so I am now beginning to understand why he even had this in his collection to begin with.

txstamp, attached at the bottom was the best I could get of the top left. I can't really discern too much, it looks like it says "16" towards the top inside the circle but I could be wrong.

I just looked at the letter now and at the top it says a word I can't quite understand followed by "State of Mississippi". I'll attach that too.

Thanks again for your help.


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Posted 04/05/2019   5:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So the dateline is
Natchez, Mississippi
27th July, 1821

That's where the letter originated.

The postmark will tell you where it was mailed.

I'll let someone else try to figure that one out, for now.
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Posted 04/05/2019   5:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheatcent to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I just realized I should have posted the picture the other way around. If you turn the postmark 180 degrees, It clearly says "JUL" followed by what I am guessing is 27 (as stated in the dateline). As for the top mailing name, I still can't make that out.
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Posted 04/05/2019   6:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
another letter I have from 1849 (despite it being two years after the introduction of U.S. postage stamps it does not bear one).


I was wondering when stamps became compulsory and found this from member billw2 on 10/21/2010:


Quote:
Prepayment of domestic wasn't compulsory until early 1855, until then an awful lot of letters were sent postage collect. Prepayment by stamps was required starting in 1856 on domestic mail. You might be surprised but in 1848 very little mail actually carried stamps, I've heard as little as 5% if that.
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Posted 04/05/2019   10:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sorry had to run earlier.

That's a 27. Jul 27.

The postmark date matching dateline means it had to be mailed fairly closeby.

Probably Natchez. Maybe a big nearby PO like New Orleans.
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Posted 04/06/2019   12:34 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply



Don
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Posted 04/06/2019   10:18 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wkusau to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From memory, there is a Natchez postmark from the early 1800s that has the name and Mt (Mississippi Territory?) across the top. It is something like Natcz.MT with the z as a small letter raised above the period. I only remember it because of the raised z. I am not a postmark guy so hearsay at best.
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Posted 04/06/2019   3:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is statehood period, not territorial.
That said there is something similar with MI - NATCZ.MI.

The New Orleans one of the period is fully spelled out.
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Posted 04/06/2019   5:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add craigk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This would have been the last of the Easthampton Jeremiah Talmages. 8th generation, born 1801. His father, Jeremiah 7, passed away in 1817. All other Jeremiah's died before that. No date of death and he had no children.
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Posted 04/07/2019   9:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheatcent to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks everyone for your responses.

I'm having a bit of difficulty in finding the postal history of Natchez. I've yet to see any information published online about it.

I tried searching the APS Library catalog but the only thing I saw there was Civil War era postal history of Natchez, not early statehood.

(edit- spelling)
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Edited by wheatcent - 04/07/2019 9:57 pm
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