THE FINER OF TWO RECORDED VALENTINE COVERS BEARING THE RARE BISHOP'S CITY POST CARRIER STAMP
The 10LB1 census by Thomas F. Allen (19th Century Cleveland, Ohio, Postal Markings) is still current with seven covers recorded; of these, only this and one other are Valentine covers with local Cleveland street addresses. Although the Blue stamp has been described as a 1c value, the absence of an expressed denomination suggests that it was designed to serve two purposes, each requiring a different rate: 1c for letters carried to the post office, or 2c for so-called "Delivery Letters" mailed within the city. The other five covers bearing the Blue stamp were carried to the mails and sent to other post offices, thus rated 1c by Bishop's City Post. The Valentines were probably rated 2c each. They are, in effect, the only recorded examples of the Blue stamp used as a 2c value.
FINE APPEARANCE. AN ATTRACTIVE AND RARE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF BISHOP'S BLUE CARRIER STAMP.
Henry S. Bishop was appointed to operate the Cleveland carrier department on December 21, 1853. Research by Elliott Perry shows that Bishop became an employee of the post office on July 1, 1854, but the city post continued to function, with or without his direct participation. Bishop issued two stamps: the 10LB1 Blue with blank oval, presumably designed to accommodate more than one denomination; and the 10LB2 Black with 2c value. Both are very rare.
Signed Sloane. With 1997 A.P.S. certificate
FINE. THE ONLY UNUSED EXAMPLE OF THIS CARRIER RARITY AMONG THE THREE SINGLES AND ONE PAIR KNOWN TO US.
Our records of the Bishop's 2c Black, Scott 10LB2, contain the following examples: 1-2) horizontal pair with left sheet margin, pencil cancel, used on inbound cover with Ste. Marie Hotel corner card and 3c 1851, Siegel Sale 784, lot 2197, ex Worthington, Boker, offered in lot 1203; 3) margins all around, pencil "/" cancel, ex Needham (on a cover to which it did not belong), Middendorf, Siegel Sale 846, lot 2398; 4) cut in at right and bottom, pencil "X" cancel, ex Caspary (on a cover to which it did not belong) and Skove (Siegel Sale 764, lot 1369); and 5) cut in at bottom, uncancelled, the stamp offered here, ex Needham, Siegel Sale 834, lot 658. It is significant that both the Golden and Hall collections did not have this stamp represented.
FINE COVER. THIS IS THE UNIQUE PAIR OF THE 2-CENT BISHOP CITY POST -- ONE OF THE GREATEST OF UNITED STATES CARRIER RARITIES AND A FASCINATING USAGE.
The 3c 1851 would have paid the postage from Michigan, but most likely this was hand-carried to Cleveland and deposited in the nearest post box. There is a pencil "Paid H.S.B." just above the corner card -- the initials of the carrier, Henry S. Bishop, who in addition to cancelling his own stamps, lightly struck out the 3c 1851. The City Post rate for a delivery letter was 2c; the purpose of the additional 2c is not known.
Ex Worthington and Boker