EXTREMELY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED HARTFORD MAIL ROUTE COVER WITH THE STAMP CANCELLED AND TIED BY A HANDSTAMPED MARKING. A SPECTACULAR COVER THAT WAS CARRIED IN THE HALE & COMPANY NETWORK FROM HARTFORD TO NEW YORK CITY, WHERE THE RED "PAID" STRAIGHTLINE WAS APPLIED, THEN SOUTH TO PHILADELPHIA.
The Hartford Mail Route stamps were usually pre-cancelled with the words indicating the direction (South, West, East) or location (Hartford). No effort was made to cancel the stamps. One cover is recorded with a manuscript "Paid Jany 30" notation over the stamp, tying it to the cover. A few covers are known with "Paid" handstamps, but none of those strikes are on the stamps. On this cover, the Hale & Company New York office struck the "Paid" handstamp three times, two of which landed on the stamp itself, thus creating the only "tied by handstamp" example of the Hartford Mail Route stamp.
Notation on back "Chicago, Ill., Dr. A. B. Merrill, Sept. 30, 1909 @ 4.00" appears to be a past philatelic sale record. Ex Hall. With 2001 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE OVERALL CONDITION. REPORTED TO BE THE ONLY COVER SHOWING CONJUNCTIVE SERVICE BETWEEN THE HARTFORD MAIL ROUTE AND OVERTON & COMPANY'S CITY MAIL LOCAL POST.
The City Mail Company was the successor to the New York office of Overton & Company, a letter-and-package express and foreign-mail forwarding agency founded by Richard Carleton Overton prior to July 3, 1844. The change in name was announced in the February 15, 1845, edition of the New York Daily Express and soon after the company's address changed from 3 Broad Street to 7 Broad Street. The faintly struck handstamp on this cover shows the modified "3" appearing as a "7", reflecting the move.
Sloane's note on back. Ex Mason and Schwartz.
FINE AND ATTRACTIVE. THE FINER OF TWO RECORDED COVERS WITH A PAIR OF THE HARTFORD MAIL ROUTE STAMP. AN OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT MAIL COVER.
This cover is a late use of the Hartford Mail Route, just five days before the Independent Mail companies were declared illegal. The "Paid 2" notation at upper left confirms that two rates were paid. The letter was carried in the Hale & Company network from Hartford to New York City, where the "Paid" handstamp was applied, then south to Philadelphia.
One other pair of the Hartford Mail Route stamp is recorded on cover (ex Ferrary, Stern and Conland). It is photographed in Richard C. Frajola's monograph on the subject and in his chapter in the Independent Mails book. The pair is also in vertical format from Positions 1/7, cut into at left and creased across both stamps from a file fold. Each stamp has the manuscript "South" precancel and an additional "Nov 19" cancellation. The pair pays the double rate on an 1844 folded letter from Hartford to Clark & Coleman in New York City.
Ex Boker and Golden. With 2000 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE STAMP ON AN ATTRACTIVE SOUTHBOUND COVER CARRIED BY THE HARTFORD MAIL ROUTE. AN EXTREMELY RARE STAMP WITHOUT ANY PRECANCEL OR CANCEL.
Ex Kuphal. With 2007 P.F. certificate (mentions small corner crease and oxidation, which has been removed -- the color is brilliant)
VERY FINE. A VERY RARE EXAMPLE OF THE HARTFORD MAIL STAMP WITH "HARTFORD" MANUSCRIPT OVERPRINT APPLIED BEFORE MAILING.
Ex Golden. With 2000 P.F. certificate