Sale 1207 — Outstanding Pony Express Covers from the George J. Kramer Collection
Sale Date — Wednesday, 25 September, 2019
Category — Pony Express Covers
Wells Fargo & Company Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3). Position R5 with interpane margin at left, large even margins all around, bright shade, tied by clear strike of blue "Pony Express, Sacramento, Oct. 20" (1861) oval datestamp on 10¢ Yellow Green on Buff "Pumpkin" entire (U41) with Wells Fargo & Company printed red frank, addressed to Miss Sarah E. Tukey, care of C. H. Hudson, Boston, Massachusetts, carried with the mail that left San Francisco on Saturday, October 19, 1861, reached Sacramento on October 20 and arrived in Atchison on November 4, entered the mails with unusually clear strike of "Atchison Kan. Nov. 4" double-circle datestamp, two repaired tears at top--one 35mm long to right of stamp but not affecting it, other at center into "D" of "PAID" in red frank--some gum staining around stamp has been removed
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN ATTRACTIVE PONY EXPRESS COVER WITH THE $1.00 RED HORSE & RIDER ISSUE THAT WAS CARRIED ON THE SECOND TO LAST EASTBOUND TRIP FROM SAN FRANCISCO.
Construction of the transcontinental telegraph line started at each end and worked toward the middle. As the gap closed, telegraph messages carried by Pony Express were conveyed as soon as they reached the first office with the capacity to send messsages by wire. On August 6, 1861, the San Francisco Bulletin printed over its dispatches, "By telegraph to Fort Kearney from St. Louis, thence by Pony Express to Robert's Creek Station, thence by telegraph to San Francisco." In the August 13, 1861, edition, the same paper reported that the Pony Express rider was leaving his dispatches for the Bulletin and other Pacific Coast newspapers at Dry Creek station. By the beginning of September, hundreds of miles were cut from the distance between telegraph terminals on the Pony route. The eastern section of the telegraph was completed on October 17, 1861, and just one week later the final connection was made on October 24.
As soon as messages could be sent by wire, the need for the Pony Express was eliminated, and the Overland Mail Company was contractually free to discontinue the money-losing service. The last trip from San Francisco left on October 23. On October 25 the Wells Fargo & Co. office in San Francisco announced that the "Last Pony coming this way left Atchison, Kansas, yesterday [October 24]." They probably received that news by wire. After October 24, westbound Pony Express mail from the eastern terminus was carried by stage, despite the fact that the company was still collecting its $1.00 per half-ounce fee. The letters that were bagged at St. Joseph for the October 27 and 31 trips arrived in San Francisco on November 18 and 21, in line with the usual 20-day transit time by stage.
FKW Census E179. Illustrated in Nathan-Boggs, The Pony Express (page 55). Raymond H. Weill Co. backstamp. Ex Franklin D. Roosevelt and Haub. With 2016 P.F. certificate.