VERY FINE. A RARE USE OF THE 1857 ISSUE ON A COVER TO THE UNITED STATES NAVY SLOOP-OF-WAR MOHICAN, WHICH WAS PATROLLING THE WATERS OFF THE WEST COAST OF AFRICA IN SEARCH OF SLAVE-TRADING VESSELS.
St. Paul de Loando was the capital of the Portuguese colony of Angola and a known area of activity for slave traders. The cover is addressed to Third Assistant Engineer James Atkins on the U.S.S. Mohican, which was patrolling the waters off the African coastline, and was written by his brother. Later this same year the Mohican captured the slave-carrying ship Erie, whose captain, Nathaniel Gordon, was hanged in 1862, the first man condemned under an 1820 Federal law declaring slave-trading a form of piracy. In August 1861 she departed the African coast to take part in the Battle of Port Royal and blockade duty in the Civil War.
Ex "Sevenoaks" and "Angel".
EXTREMELY FINE GEM STAMP ON A SUPERB COVER BEARING THE HAND-COLORED "OVERLAND VIA LOS ANGELES U.S. MAIL" STAGECOACH DESIGN.
Ex Judd and White. With 1988 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. ONE OF TEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE RUNNING PONY HANDSTAMP STRUCK IN CARMINE--THIS IS THE EARLIEST OF THE SIX EASTBOUND COVERS AND ONE OF ONLY FOUR WITH 10-CENT ADHESIVE STAMPS. ONE OF THE FINEST PONY EXPRESS COVERS EXTANT.
The St. Joseph Running Pony handstamp was normally struck in black, but the FKW census records ten covers with this marking struck in the distinctive carmine color. They are dated from August 12 to September 13, 1860, and all but two are struck on the backs of the covers. Four have 10c adhesive stamps (Scott 35), all eastbound with the carmine oval struck on the back as a receiving mark.
This cover was sent from San Francisco on August 4, 1860, after the new recalibrated Pony Express rate of $2.50 per quarter-ounce was announced at St. Joseph. Because news of the rate change took approximately two weeks to reach the West Coast, it was not implemented in San Francisco until the August 15 eastbound trip.
The “U.S.A.” designation in the address and “To be forwarded” instructions make it almost certain that this cover originated outside the United States, probably from a travelling member of the prominent Coffin family, several of whom were whaling captains.
FKW Census E12. Illustrated in Needham-Berthold article (Collectors Club Philatelist reprint). Ex Dr. Paine, Emerson, Hall, Gruys, Twigg-Smith and Haub.
FINE APPEARANCE. A DESIRABLE EXAMPLE OF EASTBOUND PONY EXPRESS MAIL WITH ALL MARKINGS CLEARLY STRUCK AND A 10-CENT 1859 ISSUE FRANKING.
FKW Census E22. Illustrated in Ashbrook's Special Service on p. 274. Ex Krug and Walske. Signed Ashbrook. With 2006 P.F. certificate