VERY FINE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE STONE'S CITY POST HANDSTAMP.
According to a note by George B. Sloane, this post was probably operated by E. Lamb Stone, who served as a clerk in Harnden's New York office (1839), agent in Harnden's Philadelphia office (1840), agent for Thompson & Co. in Albany (1844), and partner with Pullen (1845) and Pullen, Virgil & Co. (1849). The other recorded cover (ex Hahn) realized $6,250 hammer in our Sale 896.
VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED USE OF THE RARE STRINGER & MORTON STAMP ON A LETTER CARRIED OUTSIDE THE MAILS AND DELIVERED IN ANOTHER CITY, AN ACT PUNISHABLE BY LAW.
Stringer & Morton's City Despatch operated for only three months from October 1850 through January 1851. The stamps are stylistically identical to the Blood's stamps (Scott 15L12, 15L13 and 15L17). Steven Roth records fourteen Stringer & Morton's City Despatch covers with the adhesive stamp (Chronicle 173, pp. 20-21). Three of these are addressed to Philadelphia; the two other covers have Baltimore datestamps and "5" rates for government postage (the local service brought the letters to the post office). This example is remarkable in that the street address and lack of government postal markings or postage strongly suggest that a Stringer & Morton's carrier delivered the letter all the way to Philadelphia, an illegal inter-city letter conveyance. The receipt docketing confirms delivery, and, if the post office had been involved -- even receiving the letter as way mail -- markings would have been made to indicate postage paid or due. In the past there has been speculation that the proprietors, Stringer and Morton, were at one time involved in the local post(s) of another city.