VERY FINE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST EXAMPLE OF A BALTIMORE POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL HANDSTAMPED ENVELOPE. A RARE COLOR COMBINATION WITH THE "JAMES M. BUCHANAN" SIGNATURE HANDSTAMP STRUCK IN BLACK.
The Baltimore provisional envelopes with the signature handstamp in black and other markings in blue were evidently the earliest of Postmaster Buchanan's issues. This September 7, 1845, envelope is addressed to Miss Delia M. Black, who married Gilbert Roger Jr. on October 6, 1845, after which point letters were addressed to her married name. Both the Hayes published census and the Shearer unpublished census list this envelope as number 1 in the handstamped envelope section. Twelve examples of the 5c Blue/Black combination envelope were recorded by Shearer as of June 1996 (plus the unlisted 5c envelope and two 10c Blue/Black envelopes offered in the Frelinghuysen Sale).
No. 1 in Hayes census. Small "W.H.C." (Warren H. Colson) handstamp at lower right. Ex Col. Green and Frelinghuysen. The Scott U.S. Specialized mentions that entires with the black signature handstamp were issued first and "sell for more," but this handstamp color combination is not given its own major listing. Scott value for blue signature handstamp is $6,500.00.