VERY FINE WITH A PERFECT STRIKE OF THE EXTREMELY RARE “NUEVO MEXICO” STRAIGHTLINE--THIS IS REPORTED TO BE THE EARLIEST RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THIS MARKING, AND THE ADDRESS PROVIDES IRREFUTABLE PROOF THAT IT WAS USED AT SANTA FE IN NEW MEXICO.
In December 1821 news of Mexican independence reached Santa Fe in New Mexico. After two centuries under Spanish colonial rule, the city took steps to create a representative government as part of the Mexican Empire (the country transitioned to a Republic in 1823-1824). The Alcalde Primero Nombrado (First Mayor Named) was the title under the constitutional government and is used as part of the address on this cover from the Alcalde of Santa Fe to the Alcalde of Chihuahua. The notation at lower left is significant, because it identifies the origin as Santa Fe, providing the earliest evidence we have that the “NUEVO MEXICO” straightline was applied there and not at one of the other post offices in New Mexico. The cover was carried south from Santa Fe on the Spanish Royal Road of the Interior (El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro), and this part is known as the Chihuahua Trail. It was rated “3” reales postage due. Covers from New Mexico during the early Republic period are exceedingly rare.
Ex Risvold (acquired from Nicholas Follensbee, 1999)