VERY FINE. A FRESH AND CHOICE COVER FROM FRANCE TO NEW YORK WITH THE RARE BRITISH SOUTHAMPTON MOBILE BOX CANCEL AND A PORTLAND, MAINE, EXCHANGE OFFICE DATESTAMP.
This was carried on the Allan Line's North American to Quebec, arriving Oct. 16 (an Apr. 1, 1859 amendment to the 1848 US-GB treaty added the Allan Line as an American Packet). In addition to the triple-rarity of a British marking used to cancel the stamp, the Southampton Mobile Box and Portland Maine office datestamp, this is also an unusual cover directed via open mail during the French-U.S. Treaty period, and therefore due 21c for American Packet service (arrived in London as a loose ship letter). This was a more expensive routing and therefore seldom used.
VERY FINE APPEARING TRIPLE-RATE COVER FROM FRANCE TO PRESIDENT-ELECT ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
Lincoln was elected on Nov. 6, 1860, and left Springfield for Washington on Feb. 11, accompanied by his secretary, John Hay, and others. He was inaugurated as the country's sixteenth president on March 4, 1861. Between the time of his election and his inauguration, seven states would secede from the Union. As he was not yet in office when this letter was written, 3c was due for the forwarding postage to Springfield.