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Is A Folded Letter With A Private Die Stamp Considered A Stampless Cover?

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Posted 04/28/2019   09:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add gettinold to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi

Have an interesting folded letter with a Private Die stamp. Stamp is addressed to Henry W. Morris, grandson of Robert Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Henry W. Morris would eventually become a Commodore in the US Navy. His grandfather, Robert Morris, was one of the financiers of the Revolutionary War, credited with lending George Washington 1.4 million dollars for the cause. He would eventually spend a few years in a debtors prison later in his life. The content of the letter contains a list of properties Robert Morris purchased during the years 1794 - 1795. The letter is unsigned. The letter does not have a US Stamp on it. It does have a Private Die stamp though. Should it be classified as a Stampless Cover?









I posted images of segments of the letter in the event the details were of interest to anyone. Posting just the image of the letter would leave you guessing about the text.

Henry W. Morris's father was Thomas Morris. Thomas was the second son of Robert Morris. Both Robert and Thomas were elected officials.
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United States
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Posted 04/28/2019   09:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is not a private die stamp, it is a Boyd's local. It is listed in the Locals section of the Scott Specialized. It is not a stampless cover if it is a genuine usage.
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Posted 04/28/2019   10:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gettinold to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
revcollector

Thank you. I should have known that. Private Dies were for Medicine, Matches, etc... Locals count as postage stamps. Wasn't sure about that.
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Posted 04/28/2019   10:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From the USPOD perspective, it is a stampless cover - certainly from the correct era, etc.

But I would label it as a "New York to Philadelphia folded letter with Boyds local adhesive" and omit the word stampless entirely, as you do in your very first sentence.
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Posted 04/28/2019   10:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stampless.
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Posted 04/28/2019   1:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gettinold to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
OK. For some reason I regarded US Government issued stamps as more legitimate stamps than local issues. I noticed on the cover the local issue wasn't the only postage paid to get this item from point A to point B. The second part of the journey was the part missing a "stamp". Boyd's only carried it within the confines of the City.
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Australia
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Posted 04/28/2019   2:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Query:
Would the cork cancel be an Anchor do you think?

Note: Catalogue image shows period after "POST", cover does not, also cover shows "BOYDS" as a double impression in areas.

For interest.

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Edited by rod222 - 04/28/2019 2:22 pm
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Posted 04/28/2019   2:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Please provide a bibliographic citation for the above scan. Thanks.
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Posted 04/28/2019   3:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
US Locals and their history, Coster 1877.
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Posted 04/28/2019   4:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm no expert on locals, but the cancel on the Boyd's isn't tied to the cover, which could indicate it was added later.
Also, is there a year anywhere in the contents of the letter to indicate when it was sent?
Comparing your stamp to images in the catalogue it looks to me to be an 20L4 (1845) or 20L5 (1848). New York to Philadelphia was only about 95 miles. The 5 on the New York handstamp was the rate for up to and not exceeding 300 miles. The post office rate alone would have easily covered postage from one city to the next. No reason to use a local.
I don't think it's legitimate usage.
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Posted 04/28/2019   4:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gettinold to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

jamesw

There is nothing in the letter that indicates who sent it or when. The letter is addressed to Henry W. Morris as a Lt. US Naval Research website lists his date of rank as a Lt as 5/17/1828 thru 10/12/1849. If I had to hazard a guess I would place it within that 21 year timeframe.

As far as the cancel goes it is only tied to cover if the ink used to cancel extends onto the envelope?

Title: Morris Henry W.
Caption: Commodore Henry W. Morris U.S. Navy born in New York 1806. Appointed midshipman 21 August 1819, Lieutenant 17 May 1828, commander 12 October 1849, captain 27 December 1856 while in Mediterranean Squadron. He supervised building of USS Pensacola and in 1862 took command of her promoted to commodore 16 July 1862. Died New York 14 August 1863.
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Posted 04/28/2019   4:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Boyd's might have paid for the letter from the sender's home to the NYPO.
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Posted 04/28/2019   4:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This Boyd's has a double transfer above the Boy of Boyd's. Now I am jealous. :-)
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Posted 04/28/2019   5:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@revcollector - That's a possibility I suppose. Sender might have not wanted to make the journey that day.
And @gettinold, yes the cancel is considered tied to the cover if it runs off the stamp and clearly onto the envelope. One of the things we look for. Not necessarily a slam dunk but a good indication that there may be something hinky going on. The stamp could be legit, come off another cover, and added to this one to hopefully increase its value.
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Edited by jamesw - 04/28/2019 5:38 pm
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Posted 04/28/2019   5:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add codehappy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If this is a real usage in or after July 1845, the carrier's stamp only paid for postage within the city (from the Boyd's office/collection box to the US post office) and the circular marking at the right shows the 5 cents US postage paid for the trip out of the city to Philadelphia (since it's not paid by a US stamp, this can be classified as a stampless cover).

It is a plausible use in that era: many covers exist with Boyd's locals from their boxes to the US P.O. and from thence to outside the city. People who were close to a Boyd's collection box (there were over 1,000 Boyd's collection boxes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, practically on every block, and they had three or four pickups a day) sometimes would pay the 2 cent carrier's fee to get their letter to the main post office.

However, the cancel is a smudge and doesn't tie the carrier stamp to the cover. Boyd's did use smudgey cancels on their stamps often, but in this period they also sometimes used other markings (e.g. big framed block postal markings "BOYD'S CITY / EXPRESS POST / (date)" were applied from Boyd's main office if the cover reached one), and the absence of any identifiable period Boyd's postal markings is a negative. Without a tie or any other markings, it's quite likely this is a regular usage from a U.S. P.O. and the carrier stamp was added later.
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Posted 04/28/2019   7:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Prior to 1863, the Post Office did not provide free city delivery. Patrons had to go to the Post Office to mail or collect letters. Alternatively, they could use the services of a carrier or a local post. Carriers were appointed by the local postmaster under authority of the Postmaster General and were under bond to the government. Local posts, such as Boyds were private enterprises. Boyd's would provide "to the mails" service where they would collect the letter from a collection box and take it to the Post Office for one or two cents. Boyds could also provide local delivery where it would pick-up and deliver a letter within the city. Boyds stamps were not always tied. The image below is a similar use, but with the US postage prepaid with an 1847 issue stamp.


"Stampless" is collector term, not a Post Office term. As far as the Post Office was concerned there were paid letters and unpaid letter until the use of stamps became mandatory in 1855. I would not consider a cover with a local post stamp to be stampless.
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