A MAJOR LOCAL POST RARITY, REPRESENTING THE PROPER USAGE OF THE CARNES CITY LETTER EXPRESS STAMP DURING CARNES'S OWNERSHIP. ONE OF THE RAREST AND MOST SPECTACULAR OF ALL AMERICAN LOCAL POST COVERS.
The local-post scene in San Francisco during the 1863-67 period is confusing to reconstruct, due to the similarity of names among competing posts and the changes in ownership, with one selling out to the other. All of this must be reconstructed from dated material and city directories. According to information gleaned by Ernest A. Wiltsee from contemporary sources, the Carnes City Letter Express was started in 1865 by George A. Carnes, a former postal clerk. Very early on, Carnes issued the Grizzly Bear stamps with his name. During the first year, Carnes also acquired the San Francisco Letter Express and changed the post's name to Carnes San Francisco Letter Express. Whether Carnes or William E. Loomis bought out Gahagan & Howe's City Express has been debated, but in late 1866, Carnes and his partner sold out to Loomis. From 1867 on, we find the Carnes stamps and San Francisco Letter Express Horse & Rider marking used by Loomis. Eventually Loomis altered the Grizzly Bear printing plate by removing the Carnes name and printed his own stamps (Scott 98L1). This is the only Carnes cover known to us that was clearly carried by the original Carnes service, for which it was created.
With 1994 P.F. certificate.