ONE OF THREE OR FOUR KNOWN EXAMPLES OF THE FREEMAN & CO. EXPRESS STAMP. A MAJOR RARITY OF THE TRANSCONTINENTAL EXPRESSES.
John H. Freeman was a prominent California expressman. In 1851 he sold his business to Adams & Co. and became their agent in Sacramento and Panama. Soon after the collapse of Adams in 1855, Freeman established Freeman & Co.'s Express, and his business grew until November 1859, when he stopped service after selling out to Wells, Fargo & Co.
The Freeman & Co. "To be dropped in New-York Post-Office" Blue stamp is identical -- except for the company name -- to Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Black stamp, listed as Scott 143LP1. It is likely that Freeman & Co. started the service not long before selling out in 1859. Freeman would carry letters outside the mails from California to New York and deposit them (with or without U.S. postage) into the post office. Wells, Fargo & Co. adapted the same stamp design in 1860. The "Dropped" stamps of Freeman or Wells Fargo are extremely rare, and it seems that they were not used extensively. Of the Freeman & Co. stamp, there are two confirmed off-cover examples (and a possible third) and one genuine cover.
Ex Perry (illustrated in his Pat Paragraphs series) and Schwartz (Siegel Sale 824, lot 408, realized $3,000 hammer)
EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE FRIENDS' BOARDING SCHOOL COVER WITH THE STAMP TIED, SENT FROM THE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT.
The 2c rate and Scott 210 stamp did not exist before October 1, 1883, and the Friends' stamps went out of use after June 1884, so this January 24th cover must be an 1884 usage, which is a much later Type I usage than the December 1879 date given by Ullom (Penny Post, Apr. 1993). Ex Malcolm and Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1078, realized $2,500 hammer).
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE FEW KNOWN FRIENDS' BOARDING SCHOOL COVERS WITH THE STAMP TIED BY THE POSTMARK.
The survey of Friends' Boarding School covers by William Ullom (Penny Post, Apr. 1993) provides a count of covers with stamps, which includes six affixed to the front (including uncancelled stamps). Ullom defines the period of use for Type I from January 1878 through December 1879, but two known covers suggest a wider time frame for Type I usage. Ex Malcolm and Golden (Siegel Sale 817, lot 1077, realized $2,200 hammer)