VERY FINE. ONE OF THE FEW REMAINING INTACT SHEETS OF THE ADAMS & CO. CALIFORNIA EXPRESS STAMP -- INITIALLED BY L. REED, A PARTNER IN THE ADAMS FIRM. A TRULY REMARKABLE EXHIBITION ITEM.
The California branch of the Eastern express company founded by Alvin Adams was established late in 1849, following the discovery of gold that led to the great Gold Rush. Under the direction of Daniel H. Haskell, the Adams firm prospered as an express company and banking house in California. In 1855, in the midst of a national banking crisis, the firm was dissolved, and its express business was taken over by Freeman & Co. Isaiah C. Woods, whose name appears in the minute copyright inscriptions along the sides of the design, left for Australia after the Adams California branch folded. Haskell's portrait appears on the different Adams stamps, which were used to prepay express charges on letters carried by Adams & Co. Their rarity suggests that they were not issued until soon before the firm collapsed (the copyright is dated 1853).
VERY FINE. THE EARLIEST OF FIVE RECORDED MULTIPLES OF THE AMERICAN LETTER MAIL SMALL EAGLE STAMP ON COVER (ALL PAIRS). AN OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT MAIL USAGE.
Our records contain just five Small Eagle pairs on four covers and one front only (offered in lot 2616). These are listed chronologically as follows: 1) Feb. 4, 1844 folded letter to Tileston & Hollingsworth, Phila. to Boston, ms. "X" cancels, 2c delivery charge, the cover offered here; 2) May 28, 1844 folded letter to Tileston & Hollingsworth, Phila. to Boston, ms. "X" cancels, 2c delivery charge, Robson Lowe sale, Oct. 26, 1973; 3) ca. June-August 1844 front only to Jasigi & Goddard, NYC? to Boston, red "Paid" cancels, Boston handstamp, offered in lot 2616; 4) vertical pair, red "Paid" cancels, on Jul. 1, 1844 folded cover to Buck & Peters, Boston to NYC, red NY handstamp, ex Duckworth, Schwartz; and 5) Sep. 14, 1844 docketing on folded cover (unknown origin) to E. Bingham, Detroit, pair used with Letter Express 96L3a bisect, Siegel Sale 784, lot 2200.
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE CONJUNCTIVE USAGE, INVOLVING WYMAN'S AND AMERICAN LETTER MAIL COMPANY FOR TRANSPORTION FROM BOSTON TO TROY.
This cover is comparable to the Wyman-ALMCo.-Pomeroy triple-conjunctive usage from Boston to Buffalo in our Golden sale (lot 452), which was the subject of an article by Richard Schwartz (The Penny Post, Apr. 1995). However, in this case, only two firms were involved, because the American Letter Mail Co. maintained offices in Albany and Troy. The sender gave the letter to Wyman, whose main office was located in Boston and whose principal route was New York-Boston. Because Wyman did not serve Troy, the letter was given to ALMCo. in Boston for transmission to its Troy office via Albany. The stamp prepaid the ALMCo. postage. We can speculate that Wyman, who did nothing but convey the letter to ALMCo. within Boston, probably applied the stamp after collecting 5c from the sender.