VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE OF A PATRIOTIC COVER TO INDIA THAT WE HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED. IT IS ADDRESSED TO THOMAS MELVILLE, THE YOUNGEST BROTHER OF FAMED AUTHOR HERMAN MELVILLE, WHO WAS CAPTAIN OF THE METEOR.
An interesting article at https://www.southcoasttoday.com/special/20160218/moby-dick-author-melville-had-whaling-ties-to-westport describes the beginning of the voyage of the Meteor to India. It notes "Brother Herman made at least one trip with Thomas on Meteor, sailing from Boston to San Francisco on his brother’s ship from May to August of 1860. Herman went home on another ship, while Thomas sailed Meteor to the Philippines, China and Calcutta, where it was sold; he got back to Boston in January of 1862 to look for another captaincy." This cover, which arrived in August 1861, would have been sent to Thomas on this last journey.
Our Power Search and extensive library do not contain another Patriotic cover sent to India. For some reason, the use of Patriotics was primarily confined to destinations in Europe. Destinations beyond Europe, such as India, China, Australia and other exotic locations, were primarily confined to communicating with either business, missionary or military activities, and so almost no mail was sent espousing political views.
Ex Ishikawa. With 1993 P.F. certificate