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Sale 875 — United States and Confederate States Postal History

Sale Date — Tuesday, 27 April, 2004

Category — Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
579
 
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 579, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)James Madison, James MadisonJames Madison. Signature on July 7, 1813 bank draft, tab with "draft on Philada. favor of Robert Madison", spindle holes barely affect signature, some edgewear, still Very Fine

E. 400-500
475
580
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 580, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)James Madison, James MadisonJames Madison. Free frank "Free James Madison" as ex-President on folded cover to Warninster Va. and forwarded to Norfolk Va., red Va. town circular datestamp, "Warminster Va. April 29th 1825" ms. postmark, two vertical file folds incl. one thru "Free", otherwise Very Fine

E. 400-500
475
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581
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 581, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Dolly Madison, Dolly MadisonDolly Madison. Free frank "Free D P Madison" on folded cover to Elizabeth Ellicott at Ellicott Mills Md., red "Washington City D.C. Feb. 12" circular datestamp and matching "Free" handstamp, fresh and Very Fine

E. 400-500
650
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582
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 582, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)James Monroe, James MonroeJames Monroe. Free frank "James Monroe Free" as ex-President on folded cover to William Sprague in West Springfield Mass., "Aldie Va. Jan. 22" ms. pmk., Very Fine

E. 400-500
500
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583
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 583, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)James Monroe, James MonroeJames Monroe. Free frank "Jas. Monroe" as Secretary of State on folded cover addressed to John H. Purviance in care of John Jacob Astor, New York City, "Washn. City Oct. 8" circular datestamp and "Free" handstamp, two vertical file folds incl. one affecting free frank, otherwise Very Fine

E. 400-500
450
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584
 
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 584, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)John Quincy Adams, John Quincy AdamsJohn Quincy Adams. Signature "J.Q. Adams" as President at bottom of 1826 vellum land grant for parcel in Jackson Miss., some water damage incl. seal detached, signature quite readable

E. 200-300
260
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585
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 585, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)John Quincy Adams, John Quincy AdamsJohn Quincy Adams. Free frank "J. Q. Adams" as Senator on 1841 folded letter to Cambridge Mass., red "Washington City D.C. Aug. 29" circular datestamp and matching "Free" handstamp, contents discuss Census, Very Fine

E. 500-750
425
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586
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 586, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Louisa Catherine Adams, Louisa Catherine AdamsLouisa Catherine Adams. Free frank "L. C. Adams Free" on lady's embossed cover to Washington D.C., "Quincy Mass Sept. 18" ms. pmk., fresh and Very Fine, scarce

E. 400-500
325
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587
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 587, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Louisa Catherine Adams, Louisa Catherine AdamsLouisa Catherine Adams. Free frank "L. C. Adams" on small cover to Boston Mass. "Washington D.C. Apr. 15 Free" circular datestamp, few toned spots, otherwise Very Fine

E. 300-400
180
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588
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 588, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Martin Van Buren, Martin Van BurenMartin Van Buren. Free frank "Free M. Van Buren" on one-page folded autograph letter signed to New York City, red "Albany N.Y. Nov. 1" circular datestamp, datelined 1826, light vertical file folds incl. one thru signature, tiny toned spot at top, otherwise Very Fine free frank and letter while Van Buren was a Senator

E. 300-400
325
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589
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 589, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Anna Harrison, Anna HarrisonAnna Harrison. Free frank "Free Anna Harrison" on blue 1849 folded letter to Indianapolis Ind., neat "Cleves O. March 1" ms. pmk., faint horizontal file fold, Very Fine example of this widow's rare frank

E. 1,000-1,500
800
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590
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 590, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)John Tyler, John TylerJohn Tyler. Free frank "J. Tyler" on blue folded cover to West Concord N.H., red "New-York Sep. 30 Free" circular datestamp, addressed in his hand, fresh and Very Fine

E. 300-400
290
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591
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 591, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)James K. Polk, James K. PolkJames K. Polk. Free frank "Free J. K. Polk" on folded cover to Newport N.H., red wax seal on back with clear "J K P" initials, Very Fine, carried outside of the mails, almost certainly a presidential frank

E. 750-1,000
600
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592
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 592, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Millard Fillmore, Millard FillmoreMillard Fillmore. Free frank "Free M. Fillmore M.C." as member of Congress on folded cover to Albany N.Y., red "Washington City D.C. Apr. 19" circular datestamp and matching "Free" handstamp, Very Fine

E. 300-400
325
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593
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 593, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Franklin Pierce, Franklin PierceFranklin Pierce. Free frank "Free Frank. Pierce" as Senator on 1839 folded letter to N.H., red "Concord N.H. Aug. 16" circular datestamp, faint vertical file fold, Very Fine

E. 200-300
400
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594
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 594, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)James Buchanan, James BuchananJames Buchanan. Free frank "Free James Buchanan" as Secretary of State under Polk on folded cover to Sam Hood in Philadelphia, red "Washington City D.C. Dec. 14" circular datestamp and matching "Free" handstamp, faint toned spot at bottom, Very Fine

E. 300-400
425
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595
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 595, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Abraham Lincoln, Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln. Free frank "A. Lincoln" on cover addressed in his hand to Rev. Z. P. Wilds in New York City, "Washington D.C. Jun. 21, 1862" double-circle datestamp, cover opened roughly at right but not affecting signature

VERY FINE. A BOLD LINCOLN FREE FRANK APPLIED DURING HIS TERM AS PRESIDENT.

Accompanied by die sunk portrait of Lincoln.

E. 3,000-4,000
2,500
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596
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 596, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Mary Todd Lincoln, Mary Todd LincolnMary Todd Lincoln. Free frank "Mary Lincoln" on mourning cover to Mrs. Rhoda E. White in Suffern N.Y., light strike of "Altoona Pa. Aug. 20" (1868) circular datestamp, faint toned spot at bottom left

VERY FINE. A RARE FREE FRANK OF MARY TODD LINCOLN, WIDOW OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

Mrs. Lincoln visited a health resort, called Cresson Springs, near Altoona Pa. in the summer of 1868, approximately three years after her husband was assassinated. This cover is addressed to the wife of James W. White, a prominent jurist and newspaperman, who was a close friend of Mrs. Lincoln.

Accompanied by period photo of the Lincoln family. Illustrated on p. 154 of Free Franking of Mail by Edward Stern.

E. 2,000-3,000
4,500
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597
c
[Abraham Lincoln]. Three covers addressed to Lincoln as President, each with 3c Rose (65) incl. one legal-size with two stamps, two from N.Y. in 1863, last with 1863 docketing, some faults, still Fine and interesting group

E. 150-200
250
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598
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 598, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Lincoln's Assassination, Lincoln's AssassinationLincoln's Assassination. 3c Rose (65) tied by "Phila. Pa. Apr. 15, 1865" duplex on small cover to Washington D.C. with letter stating "...We have received news of a very unpleasant character this morning, and much as I dislike the man I must pity his fate -- particularly as it places a much worse man in his place...", Very Fine

E. 200-300
260
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599
 
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 599, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Andrew Johnson, Andrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson. Signature as President at bottom of green illustrated Aug. 13, 1866 First National Bank check for $563.46, with 2c perforated Bank Check stamp at top right, fresh and Fine

E. 500-750
1,900
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600
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 600, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Ulysses S. Grant, Ulysses S. GrantUlysses S. Grant. Cover with "Executive" and "Secretary" imprint, addressed to Attorney General Judge Edwards Pierrepont in the hand of President Ulysses S. Grant, sent after free-franking privilege was abolished in 1873 and correctly stamped with 3c Executive (O12), circle of wedges cancel, "Long Branch N.J. Aug. 25" (1875) circular datestamp, accompanied by a three-page autograph letter signed by Grant, cover with diagonal crease passing through bottom left corner of stamp

FINE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF PRESIDENTIAL MAIL AFTER THE FRANKING PRIVILEGE WAS ABOLISHED AND OFFICIAL STAMPS WERE INTRODUCED.

Fewer than five examples of the 3c Executive are known used from Long Branch, which was Grant's summer home. The enclosed autograph letter signed by Grant is dated July 8, 1875, and reads (in part): "I am in receipt of your letter of yesterday speaking of the complaints against Judge Fisher, Dist. Atty. for the district of Columbia. I have no doubt but the good of the service demands a change. You may notify Judge Fisher of the fact and give him an opportunity to resign. The change will be made whether he resigns or not..." It is uncertain whether or not the letter was mailed in this cover, because of the lapse between the letter and postmark dates.

E. 4,000-5,000
3,250
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601
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 601, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Ulysses S. Grant, Ulysses S. GrantUlysses S. Grant. Free frank in purple ink "U. S. Grant" on Executive Mansion stationery to Miss Edmunds in Washington D.C., addressed in his hand and with printed "Secretary" crossed out, fresh and Very Fine, Grant was the last President with franking privileges while in office (free franks were abolished in July 1873)

E. 1,000-1,500
0
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602
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 602, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)James A. Garfield, James A. GarfieldJames A. Garfield. Free frank as Member of Congress "J A Garfield MC" on cover addressed in his hand to Hon. J.A. Cox in Cincinnati O., also "Personal" in his hand at top left, 1871 docketing at left, "Garretsville O. Oct. 14" circular datestamp, barely reduced at right, Very Fine

E. 200-300
190
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603
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 603, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Garfield Free Franks, Garfield Free FranksGarfield Free Franks. Two, one from James A. Garfield as member of Congress to Cleveland O. with 1866 docketing, second is cover front only from mourning cover sent by Lucretia Garfield, first with faults but clear free frank, otherwise Fine

E. 150-200
180
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604
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 604, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Ida McKinley, Ida McKinleyIda McKinley. Free frank "Mrs. Ida S. McKinley" on mourning cover to Cleveland O., light strike of "Canton Ohio May 1, 1904" pmk., receiving backstamp, fresh and Very Fine

E. 500-750
350
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605
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 605, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Helen Taft, Helen TaftHelen Taft. Free frank "Helen H. Taft Free" on cover to Lieut. Robert Harding in Marblehead Mass., neat "Washington D.C. Feb. 14, 1936" pmk., Very Fine

E. 100-150
45
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606
c
Sale Number 875, Lot Number 606, Free Franks and Autographs (Presidents and their Widows)Edith Bolling Wilson, Edith Bolling WilsonEdith Bolling Wilson. Free frank in an infirm hand "Edith Bolling Wilson" on cover to Librarian at Xavier University Library in Cincinnati O., "Washington D.C. Apr. 8, 1940" pmk., light horizontal file fold, Very Fine

E. 100-150
60
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607
c
Presidential Free Franks. Four, incl. Thomas Jefferson on cover front only to James Oldham at Monticello, James Madison on folded cover as Secretary of State, Martin Van Buren, last is also James Madison, all seriously defective (we mean it) and acidified with some parts of free frank missing, still a scarce group, the Jefferson could be salvaged as a clipped signature

E. 500-750
2,100
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