A SPECTACULAR TRIPLE-RATE VIRGINIA CITY PONY EXPRESS COVER WITH THREE 25-CENT BLUE HORSE & RIDER STAMPS USED WITH THE 10-CENT 1861 ON A WELLS FARGO & CO. 3-CENT FRANKED ENTIRE--UNLIKE THE FEW OTHER MULTIPLE-RATE COVERS, THIS IS A SMALL AND ATTRACTIVE PASTE-UP ENTIRE.
The gold and silver strikes in Utah Territory between 1859 and 1863 brought a huge influx of miners and settlers into the Carson and Washoe Valley region. At the beginning of the Civil War, the federal government moved quickly to ensure that the population of eastern California and western Utah Territory--along with its mineral wealth--remained loyal to the Union. Congress created Nevada Territory on March 2, 1861, carving out a portion of Utah Territory that included Carson City (the new capital of Nevada Territory), Genoa, Virginia City, Gold Hill, and Aurora.
Wells Fargo & Co. and other express companies had long served this region. The transcontinental Pony Express of 1860-1861 passed through Carson City and Virginia City. Therefore, when there was demand for a fast express service between San Francisco and Washoe, it was relatively easy for Wells Fargo to organize a horse-and-rider relay along their existing routes. The “Pony Express to Washoe--Through in 24 Hours” was announced by Wells Fargo to start running on Monday, August 11, 1862. The schedule provided for a 4 p.m. departure from San Francisco and arrival in Virginia City by “the next evening.” Letters sent westbound from Virginia City would leave at 6 p.m. and arrive in San Francisco the “next evening, by Sacramento Boat.”
From August 1862 through January 1863, the rate for the Virginia City Pony Express was 10c per half ounce, which was paid by the brown stamp. Sometime shortly after January 1863, the rate was increased to 25c, and a new stamp was issued in blue. The 25c rate continued through to the end of the express service, but the stamp color was changed to red around March 1864.
Multiple-rate Virginia City Pony Express covers are rare. Typically, they are large envelopes that held documents weighing a few ounces. The cover offered here is the exception to the rule. It was stamped with the necessary postage and express fee, and affixed to a larger envelope bearing the address (later removed). The three 25c Horse & Rider stamps indicate the 75c rate for a letter weighing between one and one-and-a-half ounces. The 10c stamp would have covered the triple 3c postage (1c overpaid), but the franked entire was required, so the 3c embossed stamp was wasted.
Ex Wunderlich, Ishikawa, Craveri and Gross. With 1993 P.F. certificate. Signed on back by Henry Chaloner (collector)
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE MIXED-FRANKING COVER FROM VENEZUELA TO THE UNITED STATES VIA ST. THOMAS WITH THE DANISH WEST INDIES SECOND ISSUE AND 10-CENT 1861 ISSUE.
This is one of three recorded U.S. and Danish West Indies mixed-franking covers sent from St. Thomas on June 13, 1867. The D.W.I. stamps on these covers were not cancelled at the St. Thomas post office. The covers were carried on the USBMSC North America, which departed St. Thomas on June 14, 1867, and arrived in New York on June 20.
Ex Risvold. With 2010 P.F. certificate
10¢ Yellow Green (68), horizontal strip of four and two adjoining singles (separated from the same multiple), beautiful deep early shade, couple nibbed perfs, tied by grid cancels, "San Francisco Cal. Dec. 11, 1861" double-circle datestamp on blue folded letter to Podensac, France, sender's blue oval handstamp, red "New York Paid 24 Jan. 11" 24¢ credit datestamp ties right two stamps, red Calais arrival datestamp (January 24) and framed "PD" handstamp, Paris and Podensac receiving backstamps, Very Fine, a spectacular 10¢ 1861 Issue franking for the quadruple treaty rate to France, this was probably carried on the Inman Kangaroo, departing New York on January 12, 1861, arriving at Queenstown on January 24 (and entering French mails at Calais on the same day), ex Emerson, Dr. Graves ("Argentum") and Dr. Martin, with 1999 A.P.S. certificate