VERY FINE. THIS IS THE UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF THE SACKET'S HARBOR FANCY OVAL HANDSTAMP WITH EAGLE AND SHIELD, THE EARLIEST ILLUSTRATED POSTMARK OF THE UNITED STATES AND ARGUABLY THE FIRST "PATRIOTIC" MARKING.
During the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain, Sackets Harbor was the center of American naval and military activity for the upper St. Lawrence Valley and Lake Ontario. This oval handstamp has the Eagle and Shield design in the center, which was a pro-American patriotic motif during the war. It was later modified by removing the center.