Sale 1072 — The New Helvetia Collection of Western Expresses

Sale Date — Tuesday, 24 June, 2014

Category — 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony Express

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
35
c
Sale 1072, Lot 35, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony Express1c Blue, Ty. V (24). Single and pair, bright color, tied by blue grid cancels and "Chicago Ills. Feb. 5" double-circle datestamp on buff cover to Mountain City, Kansas Territory, with illustrated Dubois silversmith's corner card depicting silverware, mostly clear strike of green "The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Feb. 9" oval datestamp, circa 1860, reduced at left, some wear and minor edge tears

FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE AND UNUSUAL USE OF ONE-CENT 1857 ISSUE STAMPS ON AN ILLUSTRATED ADVERTISING COVER CARRIED BY THE CENTRAL OVERLAND CALIFORNIA AND PIKES PEAK EXPRESS COMPANY, THE PARENT STAGE EXPRESS TO THE FAMED PONY EXPRESS.

Ex Dale-Lichtenstein. With 2004 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
1,900
36
c
Sale 1072, Lot 36, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony Express"Wm. B. Waddell, Russell Majors & c., Leavenworth City, Kansas Territory" Large bold address on buff cover with clear strike of "Salt Lake City U.T. Nov. 27" circular datestamp and manuscript "Paid 6" rate, sent to William B. Waddell, one of the three partners in the Pony Express, while work on the Pony route was being done in 1859

EXTREMELY FINE. A VERY RARE EXAMPLE OF MAIL ADDRESSED TO ONE OF THE THREE CO-FOUNDERS OF THE PONY EXPRESS -- WILLIAM B. WADDELL -- SENT FROM SALT LAKE CITY WHILE WORK ON THE ROUTE WAS UNDERWAY.

The three principals in Russell, Majors and Waddell, played different roles in managing the company. Russell was the lobbyist and promoter, Majors was the teamster, and Waddell was the back-room manager. Examples of mail to any of these three individuals are scarce, and this is especially desirable with the Salt Lake City postmark.

E. 2,000-3,000
1,200
Back to Top
37
c
Sale 1072, Lot 37, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressPony Express, St. Joseph, Jun. 3 (1860). Full clear strike of Running Pony oval datestamp on cover with free frank "Milton S. Latham U.S.S." and addressed in his hand to General James W. Denver, care of Frank Denver in Sacramento, Latham's directive "Per Pony Express" along left edge, blue crayon "Free" above oval and pencil "Free I.A.M." at right, lightened stain and minor cosmetic improvements (no paper addition or repair)

VERY FINE. ONE OF FOUR RECORDED WESTBOUND PONY EXPRESS COVERS DELAYED DUE TO THE PAIUTE INDIAN WAR IN 1860, OF WHICH TWO HAVE FREE FRANKS.

As recently documented in The Impact of Indian Attacks on the Pony Express in 1860 (published by our firm and available on our website at LINK), even when service in California and Nevada was suspended from June 1 to July 6, 1860, the Pony Express continued to run horses in both directions on a shortened route between St. Joseph and Ruby Valley. The westbound mail addressed to California that left St. Joseph on May 20, May 27, June 3 and June 10 (all Sunday departures) was carried as far west as possible and held until a military escort could accompany the riders beyond the dangerous part of the route. Five covers are recorded with these departure dates, one of which also left on June 3, but was delivered to a military offer at Camp Floyd near Salt Lake City.

The westbound trip departing from St. Joseph on Sunday, June 10, was the last scheduled Sunday departure, and it made it through to California after catching up with the three earlier mails. The Mountaineer 6/16/1860 reports the arrival of an express from the East in Salt Lake City at 8 p.m. on June 15, which fits with the June 10 departure. The Daily Alta California 6/24/1860 contains a report from Carson City dated June 23, which states, "The long missing Pony Express arrived at Carson City last evening, bringing dates from St. Louis to June 10th." The San Francisco Bulletin 6/25/1860 reported “The Pony Express will arrive here to-night about 10 o’clock, on board the Sacramento steamer. The Express will bring four several letter-bags -- the number now due -- and will have altogether 300 letters, at least" (boldface added for emphasis). This report confirms that the four delayed express mails -- May 20, May 27, June 3 and June 10 -- arrived in San Francisco on June 25.

How did the express with the four mails, including the cover offered here, travel to Carson City? The military escort of "20 picked men, well armed and mounted," which guarded the May 25 eastbound mail through hostile territory after they left Carson City on June 9, passed through Roberts' Creek on June 15, as reported by an army private named Charles A. Scott in his journal. The convoy moved at a rate of approximately 40 miles per day, obviously a much slower pace than an individual Pony rider could achieve. The timing strongly indicates that the westbound mail, which had accumulated in the safe zone for weeks, was carried to Carson City with the same military escort on its return trip. The westbound express reached Carson City during the evening of June 22 (Daily Alta California 6/24/1860). Six days of travel points to a June 16 or 17 departure from somewhere near Ruby Valley, where the 4th Artillery had set up their base of operations.

Senator Milton S. Latham went to California in 1850 and was elected to Congress on the 1852 Democratic ticket. After his term expired, he declined to run for re-election and served as collector for the port of San Francisco. In 1859 he was elected governor, but he resigned five days after taking office to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant when Senator David C. Broderick was killed in a duel. It was during his term as a U.S. senator that Latham franked this cover addressed to his friend and fellow Democrat, General James W. Denver, who was the former territorial governor of Kansas, state senator and U.S. congressman, and who would be commissioned as a general in the Union army at the start of the Civil War.

Senator Latham was a friend of William H. Russell, the Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Co. president, and a strong supporter of COC&PP in their effort to secure the contract for the Central Route. He was among the few individuals later permitted to send Pony Express letters free of charge. In this case Senator Latham’s free frank applied to the $5.00 Pony Express rate and U.S. postage. There are 15 recorded Pony Express covers with any form of free frank for postage or express charges. Of these, six are signed by Latham (FKW E94, W3, W5, W7, W48 and W62). The eastbound cover (E94) has the San Francisco Running Pony oval. Three of the westbound Latham covers have the St. Joseph Running Pony oval (W3, W5 and W7), and two have the oval within circle datestamp (W48 and W62). The cover offered here is one of two recorded Latham free-franked covers delayed by the Paiute Indian War (the other is dated May 27, FKW W5).

FKW Census W6. Ex Salzer, Vogel, Walske and Stach

E. 75,000-100,000
80,000
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38
 
Sale 1072, Lot 38, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressMay 13, 1860, Telegram to Governor Downey Regarding Paiute Indian War. Red printed Alta California Telegraph Company form with schedule for the Pony Express in the masthead, datelined at Sacramento, May 13, 1860, 8:45 p.m., to California Governor John G. Downey from Major General Nathaniel Green Curtis, 4th Division, California Militia, stating that "The Sutter rifles and City Guards of Sacramento and the Marysville Rifles are ready to march at any moment they await orders. The Nevada Rifles and a company at Placerville and the Cololma grays are also ready", receipt docketing on back, slight toning, several folds

A RARE TELEGRAPH MESSAGE TO CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR DOWNEY FROM GENERAL CURTIS, ANNOUNCING THE PREPAREDNESS OF CALIFORNIA STATE MILITIA TO MARCH TO CARSON VALLEY TO DEFEND AGAINST ATTACKS BY PAIUTE AND SHOSHONE INDIANS. DATED THE DAY AFTER PAIUTE WAR CHIEF NUMAGA ANNIHILATED MAJOR ORMSBY'S MILITIA AT THE THE FIRST BATTLE OF PYRAMID LAKE.

Following the Paiute Indian attack on Williams Station on May 7, 1860, a militia force of 105 men was assembled from towns in the Washoe mining region of what is present-day Nevada. This force was placed under the command of Major William Ormsby, a former Pioneer Stage agent and previously a member of William Walker's filibustering expedition into Central America. On the morning of May 10, Ormsby led his men northeast along the Carson River toward Williams Station. After two days and nights of extremely harsh weather, the ragtag army followed a path from the Truckee River to a place just a few miles south of Pyramid Lake. It was precisely where Pauite War Chief Numaga wanted to meet his enemy. The ambush quickly turned from a fight to slaughter. Three quarters of Ormsby’s men were killed, including Ormsby himself. Another 29 were wounded. Scalps were taken, bodies mutilated and horses stolen. News of the disastrous battle was brought to Virginia City by a volunteer on horseback who had deserted his post. As reports of the First Battle of Pyramid Lake spread, fears of an Indian Armageddon caused widespread panic. Families took refuge in secure buildings. The residents of Silver City built a wooden cannon, but fortunately for them never fired it. Officials sent desperate pleas to California and Washington to send troops.

This telegram, sent from Sacramento the day after Ormsby's defeat, was in direct response to the news. The California militia and U.S. Army regulars were eventually combined under the command of Colonel John Coffee "Jack" Hays, a former Texas Ranger and experienced Indian fighter. In his message to Governor Downey, General Curtis confidently states that the various militia groups are ready to march "at any moment."

Original documents related to the Paiute Indian War are extremely scarce, and this is of particular interest to Pony Express students and collectors, because the message is written on the Alta California Telegraph Company form. It was prepared at the San Francisco office from a telegram transmitted by wire from Sacramento. This office was the home base of the Pony Express in San Francisco, from which point the messengers would depart and arrive.

Described in Nathan-Boggs Pony Express book (pp. 9-10)

E. 4,000-5,000
3,750
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39
 
Sale 1072, Lot 39, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWilliam H. Russell. One of the three co-founders of the Pony Express, autograph letter signed "Wm. H. Russell" and datelined at Washington D.C., June 4, 1860, to Judge William A. Carter at Fort Bridger, which reads:

"Yrs of 24th Apl was forwarded to me from Leavenworth and recd last week too late to answer by the Pony. The authority you suggest to agents to employ extra riders when necessary I supposed had been given. I now give it and trust you will see that all goes along your portion of the road. I am really under many obligations for your promptness in forwarding the first express. You shall not be forgotten when grain is wanted. We feel confident of obtaining a daily mail service. Very respectfully, Wm. H. Russell"

Some minor splits along folds and light stains

A RARE AND SIGNIFICANT LETTER FROM WILLIAM H. RUSSELL, ONE OF THE PRINCIPALS IN THE PONY EXPRESS, TO JUDGE WILLIAM A. CARTER, THE STATION AGENT AT FORT BRIDGER, THANKING HIM FOR HIS ROLE IN MAKING THE FIRST PONY EXPRESS TRIP RUN PROMPTLY. IRONICALLY, AS RUSSELL PENNED THESE WORDS, THE PONY EXPRESS IN CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA WAS SHUT DOWN DUE TO THE INDIAN WAR.

While William H. Russell, the chief lobbyist for the Central Route mail contract and promoter of the Pony Express, was in Washington D.C. in May and June 1860, the Pauite Indian War in present-day Nevada effectively shut down the route west of Ruby Valley. Pony Express runs continued in both directions between St. Joseph and as far west as Diamond Springs, but the loss of business along the route between San Francisco and Carson Valley from May 31 to July 7 put the entire operation in jeopardy. In his June 4th letter to Judge Carter at Fort Bridger, Russell seems blissfully unaware of the problems and blindly optimistic about the prospects for obtaining the much-needed government mail contract over the Central Route.

E. 1,500-2,000
1,600
Back to Top
40
c
Sale 1072, Lot 40, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressPony Express, San Francisco, Sep. 29 (1860). Clear strike of blue Running Pony oval datestamp, pencil “1/4” (quarter ounce, $2.50 rate) on 10c Pale Green on Buff Nesbitt entire (U16a) to Henry I. Beers at a New York City post office box, sender’s directive “Per Pony Express”, after an 11-day trip the “The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Oct. 10” oval datestamp was applied on the day of arrival, “Saint Joseph Mo. Oct. 11, 1860” double-circle datestamp, backflap removed, opened and rejoined at sides, small repaired opening nick at top edge well clear of markings

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN ATTRACTIVE PONY EXPRESS COVER WITH A CLEAR STRIKE OF THE SAN FRANCISCO RUNNING PONY HANDSTAMP.

This cover was carried on the Saturday, September 29, 1860, trip from San Francisco. The addressee, Henry I. Beers, was a prominent California businessman who returned to New York in 1859 and made his fortune in oil and real estate in Western Pennsylvania.

FKW Census E21. Ex Dale-Lichtenstein and Stach. With 2004 P.F. certificate

E. 10,000-15,000
10,500
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41
c
Sale 1072, Lot 41, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressCalifornia Pony Express New-York Dec. 22 (1860). Greenish blue oval datestamp on 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) to Crosby & Dibblee in San Francisco, beautifully addressed with sender’s “Pr Pony Express” directive, sent to the eastern terminus at St. Joseph where “Pony Express, The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Dec. 27” (1860) green oval in circle datestamp was boldly struck, skillfully restored with large portion of upper right corner replaced (including most of embossed stamp), top backflap added, edges resealed

FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED PONY EXPRESS COVERS WITH THE NEW YORK OFFICE OVAL AND THE ST. JOSEPH OVAL-IN-CIRCLE DATESTAMP STRUCK IN GREEN.

This cover was carried on the westbound trip from St. Joseph, departing Thursday, December 27, 1860, and arriving at San Francisco on January 12, 1861, a long winter run of 16 days. It is addressed to Crosby & Dibblee, a large shipping firm that operated in San Francisco from 1852 to 1862. Charles W. Crosby and Albert Dibblee both arrived in San Francisco in 1850. Crosby had worked as a dry goods clerk in Boston. After accumulating a fortune in California, he moved to New York City in the 1860’s. Albert Dibblee was born in upstate New York and worked for the State Bank of New York before emigrating to California in 1850. In addition to his business activities, Dibblee was a member of the Vigilance Committee of 1856.

This cover demonstrates the under-3,000 miles “loophole” that allowed westbound mail to be sent in bundles from the East Coast to St. Joseph by mail with only 3c U.S. postage. This loophole was closed by the Act of February 27, 1861, which eliminated the mileage provision and required 10c on any letter crossing the Rocky Mountains. The covers in the FKW census carried after this December 27 trip are prepaid with 10c U.S. postage.

This cover also shows a very unusual combination of markings: the "California Pony Express" New York office datestamp (12 recorded in FKW book) and the large oval-in-circle datestamp applied at St. Joseph in green (7 eastbound, 9 westbound). Only three covers in the FKW census show this marking/color combination.

FKW Census W31 (illustrated in the book in its original unrestored condition). Ex Stach

E. 5,000-7,500
4,500
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42
c
Sale 1072, Lot 42, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressCalifornia Pony Express New-York Jun. 25 (1861). Blue oval datestamp, two 10c Green, Ty. V (35), uncancelled, minor scuffs, paying double rate on restored folded cover to Miss E. D. Turrill, in care of D. P. Belknap in San Francisco, sender’s directive “Pony Express”, sent to the eastern terminus at St. Joseph where “Pony Express, The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Jun. 30” (1861) oval in circle datestamp was clearly struck, pencil "2" below stamps (double rate, or possibly a "4" for $4.00 double Pony Express rate), expertly restored faults with some paper addition to back and refolded at top

A FINE APPEARING AND EXTREMELY RARE WESTBOUND PONY EXPRESS COVER CARRIED ON THE LAST TRIP OF THE $2.00 RATE PERIOD, JUST ONE DAY BEFORE THE NEW GOVERNMENT CONTRACT AND $1.00 RATE TOOK EFFECT.

This cover was carried on the westbound trip from St. Joseph, departing Sunday, June 30, and arriving at San Francisco on July 11, 1861. This was the last Pony Express trip during the $2.00 rate period. Effective July 1, the new government contract for Pony Express service over the Central Route specified a $1.00 rate (the first trips were July 3 eastbound and July 4 westbound). As the FKW census shows, double-rate Pony Express covers are extremely rare, and westbound covers with 10c adhesive stamps (as opposed to entires) are also very rare.

Ex H. R. Harmer sale, Feb. 21, 1973 (lot 18, photograph in original unrestored condition) and ex Stach

E. 7,500-10,000
4,000
Back to Top
43
c
Sale 1072, Lot 43, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressCommission Envelope for Payment to the Pony Express. Legal-size buff cover with Wells, Fargo & Co. printed form and manuscript entry for receipt of $10 from Beekman's Express to the Pony Express Sacramento office, payment for charges on four pieces of Pony Express mail at $2.50 per quarter-ounce, datelined Jacksonville (Oregon), Dec. 10, 1860

EXTREMELY FINE. THE ONLY REPORTED PONY EXPRESS COMMISSION ENVELOPE FOR PAYMENT BETWEEN EXPRESS COMPANIES.

Beekman's Express was based in Jacksonville, Oregon, and operated in conjunction with Wells, Fargo & Co. This envelope was used to convey payment received at Jacksonville to the Pony Express office at Sacramento.

E. 1,500-2,000
950
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44
ng
Sale 1072, Lot 44, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, 25c-$4.00 Horse and Rider (143L3-143L5, 143L8, 143L9). Unused (no gum), large to full margins, Very Fine and choice, ex Senchuk

670
425
Back to Top
45
c
Sale 1072, Lot 45, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $2.00 Red (143L1). Position 3, large margin at right showing frameline of adjoining stamp, clear to slightly in on other sides, bright color, tied by blue “Pony Express, San Francisco, May 22” (1861) Running Pony oval datestamp on 10c Green on Buff Star Die entire (U33) to Dr. M. J. Pimentel at a Boston street address, bold blue "PAID" in oval handstamp applied by Pony Express office in San Francisco, bold strike of green “St. Joseph Mo. Jun. 3” circular datestamp cancels embossed stamp, neatly docketed with June 6 receipt date, faint greenish color around edges, part of backflap removed

VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING AND VERY RARE EXAMPLE OF THE SHORT-LIVED WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY $2.00 HORSE & RIDER FIRST ISSUE TIED BY THE SAN FRANCISCO RUNNING PONY OVAL ON COVER.

This cover was carried on the Wednesday, May 22, 1861, trip from San Francisco, which arrived at St. Joseph on June 3. When Phase II (Interim Phase) started on April 1, 1861, the rate for a Pony Express letter was substantially reduced to $2 per half-ounce, down from the $5 per half-ounce or $2.50 per quarter-ounce rates in effect during the previous year. At the same time, the new agents--Wells, Fargo & Company--had special stamps and envelopes printed for use on Pony Express letters. The $2 rate was in effect for a brief period, from April 1 to June 30, 1861. The FKW census records 37 $2.00 Red covers.

The $2 and $4 were printed in sheets of 20 (5 wide by 4 high). Rather than build up the printing stone from intermediate transfer groups or from a primary matrix containing the denomination, the printers used a blank matrix to enter each subject on the stone for each value. This required a total of 40 transfers (20 for each value). The denomination (shaded numerals "2" and "4") then had to be individually transferred to each subject on both stones, thus requiring another 40 separate transfers. It seems incredible that experienced lithographers such as Britton & Rey did not simplify the process by using intermediate transfers. Based on the fact that the $2 and $4 of the July 1861 issue (in Green and Black) were printed from the same stones as the April 1861 issue, it is certain that the printers had retained the two original stones. Lithographic stones were usually re-used by erasing the image and repolishing the surface, but in the case of the Pony Express stones, they were evidently preserved for future printings.

The "Paid" in oval handstamp was a standard marking used by Wells, Fargo & Company, but its function on Pony Express covers is not completely understood. The "Paid" oval is recorded on nine Pony Express covers carried during Phase II (Interim Phase) from April 1 to June 30, 1861 (FKW census). An additional five covers carried during Phase III (July-October 1861) have the same "Paid" oval. The fact that certain covers have the adhesive Pony Express stamp affixed over the "Paid" indicates that it was applied to those envelopes prior to being stamped for the Pony service. Three of the four recorded covers from this May 22 trip have the "Paid."

FKW Census E81. Ex Dale-Lichtenstein and Stach

E. 20,000-30,000
32,500
Back to Top
46
 
Sale 1072, Lot 46, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $4.00 Green (143L2). Position 6, full to large margins, cancelled by blue San Francisco Running Pony oval datestamp with trace of manuscript, tiny thin spot and small tear at left

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. FEWER THAN SIX USED EXAMPLES OF THE $4.00 GREEN HORSE & RIDER FIRST ISSUE HAVE BEEN REPORTED. THIS IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE FINEST USED COPY EXTANT.

The $4.00 Green was used briefly during Rate Period 3 to pay the double $2.00 per half-ounce rate. Only one cover is recorded (FKW Census No. E105), and we have seen four genuinely cancelled stamps off cover.

Ex Twigg-Smith. With 2009 P.F. certificate.

E. 5,000-7,500
6,750
Back to Top
47
ngbl
Sale 1072, Lot 47, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3). Position R6-7/10-11/14-15, vertical block of six, unused (no gum), large margins to ample at top, light vertical crease thru right column, Very Fine appearance, with 2013 P.S.A.G. certificate, Scott Retail as block of four and two singles

950
550
Back to Top
48
c
Sale 1072, Lot 48, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3). Position L18, two full to large margins, slightly in at left and bottom, rich color and proof-like impression, tied by blue “Pony Express, San Francisco, Jul. 6” (1861) Running Pony oval datestamp on 10c Pale Green on Buff Nesbitt entire (U18a) to Mrs. Henry Wetherbee in Westfield Mass., with red Wells Fargo & Co. frank printed twice over green Freeman & Co. frank, embossed stamp cancelled by bold “St. Joseph Mo. Jul. 18” circular datestamp, manuscript "For 3" forwarded 3c due marking, neatly docketed on back, skillfully repaired top right corner with small paper addition clear of embossed stamp

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN OUTSTANDING PONY EXPRESS USE WITH THE OLD FREEMAN & COMPANY FRANK OVERPRINTED WITH WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY’S FRANK. ONLY EIGHT PONY COVERS WITH THE FREEMAN & CO. FRANK ARE RECORDED. THIS WAS CARRIED ON THE SECOND TRIP UNDER THE NEW $1.00 GOVERNMENT CONTRACT RATE.

Commencing July 1, 1861, the Pony Express was authorized by Congress to carry mail at the rate of $1.00 per half ounce. An additional fee was charged by Wells, Fargo & Co. to carry mail from San Francisco to the western terminus at Placerville, which is represented by their printed frank on this entire. The contract also stipulated the mandatory U.S. postage charge of 10c per half ounce. This cover beautifully combines all three postage elements and was carried on the second eastbound Pony Express trip after the new rates and stamps were introduced. Although the Scott Catalogue lists the July 1861 issue Pony Express stamps (143L3-143L6) with other private post issues, we wish to emphasize that these stamps were issued under the terms of a government mail contract; therefore, they have semi-official status.

John Freeman was an agent for Adams & Co. at the time of the firm’s spectacular Lehman-like collapse in February 1855. He ran the Freeman & Co. Express until November 1859, then sold out to Wells Fargo & Co. The supply of 10c embossed envelopes bearing Freeman & Co.’s bright green frank was overprinted with the Wells Fargo & Co. red frank in two directions. Some of these were used to send letters by Pony Express. To date there are eight examples recorded in the FKW census, evenly divided between $2.00 and $1.00 Horse-and-Rider stamp frankings; the FKW numbers are E97, E104, E106, E107, E111, E116, E121 and E124.

FKW Census E111. Ex Dale-Lichtenstein

E. 15,000-20,000
26,000
Back to Top
49
c
Sale 1072, Lot 49, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3). Position R8, large to clear margins except slightly in at top right, bright color, tied by light but mostly readable strike of blue "Pony Express San Francisco Jul. 24" (1861) Running Pony oval datestamp on 10c Green on Buff Star Die Entire (U32) with red Wells, Fargo & Co. printed frank, to Robert E. Dietz at New York City street address, clearly struck "St. Joseph Mo. Aug. 5" circular datestamp, embossed stamp cancelled by target, edgewear expertly improved and sharpened

VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL PONY EXPRESS COVER WITH THE $1.00 RED STAMP ISSUED BY WELLS, FARGO & COMPANY FOR THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACT PERIOD BEGINNING IN JULY 1861.

Commencing July 1, 1861, the Pony Express was authorized by Congress to carry mail at the rate of $1.00 per half ounce. An additional fee was charged by Wells, Fargo & Co. to carry mail from San Francisco to the western terminus at Placerville, which is represented by the printed frank on this entire. The contract also stipulated the mandatory U.S. postage charge of 10c per half ounce. This cover beautifully combines all three postage elements and was carried on the fourth eastbound Pony Express trip after the new rates and stamps were introduced. Although the Scott Catalogue lists the July 1861 issue Pony Express stamps (143L3-143L6) with other private post issues, we wish to emphasize that these stamps were issued under the terms of a government mail contract; therefore, they have semi-official status.

The addressee, Robert E. Dietz, manufactured lanterns and related products. His firm, Dietz & Co., supplied mining camps in California. The following information and image shown at right are reproduced from The Kerosene Lantern website ( http://www.classiclantern.com ):

“Robert Edwin Dietz was born on January 5, 1818, in New York City. In 1840 Dietz used his savings to purchase a small oil lamp business in Brooklyn. The R. E. Dietz Company sold sperm oil, whale oil, camphene (distilled turpentine), glass lamps, candle sticks, and a few dead flame lanterns. Coal oil (kerosene) was first distilled in quantity from coal in 1856 and Robert Dietz had a ready market for a cheap, bright burning fuel. Dietz was awarded a patent for a burner specially designed to burn the new oil. After Edwin Drake produced the first commercially successful oil well in 1859, the stage was set for an even cheaper source of kerosene.

“During the 1860s, Civil War contracts, Robert’s hard work, growth of railroads, and westward expansion made the lamp business a huge success. After the war ended, the cost of kerosene came down to a level where Dietz could sell lamps and lanterns to people who were still using candles.

“In 1868, Robert Dietz began to produce and sell a new tubular lantern patented by John Irwin. The lantern business continued to be good and, in 1887, a new factory was built on the corner of Greenwich and Laight streets in New York. In 1894, Dietz retired and left his sons Frederick and John in charge. Robert E. Dietz passed away on September 19, 1897, at the age of 79.”

FKW Census E123. With 1980 P.F. certificate

E. 15,000-20,000
16,000
Back to Top
50
 
Sale 1072, Lot 50, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co., Pony Express, $2.00 Green (143L4). Position 12, three large margins including part of adjoining stamp at bottom, full at top, rich color, blue San Francisco Running Pony oval datestamp

VERY FINE AND CHOICE. FEWER THAN TEN USED EXAMPLES OF THE $2.00 HORSE & RIDER SECOND ISSUE ARE REPORTED.

The $2.00 Green Second Issue is extremely scarce in used condition. Only two covers are recorded, and we have seen approximately eight genuinely cancelled stamps off cover.

Ex Twigg-Smith. With 1996 P.F. certificate.

E. 4,000-5,000
5,500
Back to Top
51
 
Sale 1072, Lot 51, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $4.00 Black (143L5). Position 9, full margins all around, cancelled by blue San Francisco "Running Pony" oval datestamp, faint ms. offset on back, tiny negligible scrape at top right

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF FIVE RECORDED USED EXAMPLES OF THE $4.00 BLACK PONY EXPRESS STAMP.

Only two covers with the $4.00 Black (Second Issue) are recorded, each worth in the mid six figures.

Ex Caspary. With 2005 P.F. certificate.

E. 4,000-5,000
9,000
Back to Top
52
c
Sale 1072, Lot 52, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, ($1.00) Red Type II East-to-West Frank, 10c Green on Thin Hard White Entire (unlisted in Scott). Clearly struck “New-York Oct. 12” (1861) circular datestamp and duplex grid cancel, printed address to the “Agent of Pony Express, St. Joseph, Mo.” and handwritten address to Samuel Howard Gerrish, in care of Messrs. Steen & Austin, Market and Fremont Streets, San Francisco, partly clear strike of “Pony Express, The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Oct. 17” large oval in circle datestamp applied before departure on October 17, receipt docketing "Received Oct. 29th 1861"

VERY FINE. ONE OF 21 RECORDED TYPE II EAST-TO-WEST PONY EXPRESS ENTIRES AND ONE OF THE LAST TRIPS BEFORE THE END OF THE PONY EXPRESS ERA.

In Rate Period 3, Wells Fargo & Co. introduced a special franked envelope for westbound mail, but its use was extremely limited. On July 1, 1861, the new contract rate went into effect. On August 12, 1861, Wells Fargo & Co. announced in the New York papers that “Pony Express Envelopes” were “Now ready and for sale at our office.” Although this announcement refers only to “envelopes,” in fact both the franked entires and $1.00 adhesive stamps were put on sale in August 1861. The 1861 10c “Pumpkin” entire with the Type II printed frank was ordered from George F. Nesbitt & Co. (New York) by the Overland Mail Company after they obtained approval for the design and imprint from the Postmaster General’s office. The earliest recorded Type II envelope is dated August 14, 1861, according to the FKW census.

Based on a newspaper article in the San Francisco Bulletin (September 13, 1861, at http://www.siegelauctions.com/2013/1038/20_SFB.jpg ), the Type II franked envelopes were problematic, because eastern post offices were sending them in the “through” mail to San Francisco, instead of directing them to St. Joseph for the Pony Express. As a result, they would arrive by regular mail ten days after the Pony Express for which they were intended. This might explain why some examples of the Type II franks are found without a St. Joseph Pony Express handstamp. The presence of the St. Joseph datestamp and receipt docketing confirm that this was carried by Pony Express riders.

This October 12, 1861, cover was sent from New York City just as Civil War demonetization of the old stamp issue began and the new 1861 Issue was released. It entered the post office and was treated as regular mail until it reached the Wells, Fargo & Co. agent at St. Joseph. From there it made the October 17 westbound Pony trip to California. At Placerville, it was carried by Wells Fargo & Co. to San Francisco on September 29.

The addressee, Samuel Howard Gerrish, came from a prominent family in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He worked as a machinist before leaving for California. According to http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Gerrish-76 : "In 1860 he came to California with George A. Stoddard, leaving New York June 5, coming by the Panama route and arriving in San Francisco on the 28th. He began working for E. T. Steen and continued with him for a year and a half. For the next four years he was engineer on the United States dry dock in the Mare Island Navy Yard. Then he came to Sacramento and was employed by Goss & Lambard, proprietors of the Sacramento Iron Works. In May 1866, he was employed for the railroad company and ran the first engine for the Central Pacific shops, where he worked and made the first tools used."

The updated FKW census lists 21 examples of the Type II $1.00 frank, including some that have stamps added or have been extensively repaired.

FKW Census W65

E. 20,000-30,000
32,500
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53
c
Sale 1072, Lot 53, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressWells, Fargo & Co. Pony Express, ($1.00) Red Type II East-to-West Frank, 10c Green on Thin Hard White Entire (unlisted in Scott). Partly clear strike of red “Boston Mass. Oct. 8” (1861) double-circle datestamp and black "Paid" in frame cancel, printed address to the “Agent of Pony Express, St. Joseph, Mo.” and handwritten address to Dr. William Pitt, care of John Grant, P.O. Box 2694, San Francisco, partly clear strike of “Pony Express, The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Oct. 13” large oval in circle datestamp applied before departure on October 13, lightly cleaned

VERY FINE. ONE OF 21 RECORDED TYPE II EAST-TO-WEST PONY EXPRESS ENTIRES AND ONE OF THE LAST TRIPS BEFORE THE END OF THE PONY EXPRESS ERA.

In Rate Period 3, Wells Fargo & Co. introduced a special franked envelope for westbound mail, but its use was extremely limited. On July 1, 1861, the new contract rate went into effect. On August 12, 1861, Wells Fargo & Co. announced in the New York papers that “Pony Express Envelopes” were “Now ready and for sale at our office.” Although this announcement refers only to “envelopes,” in fact both the franked entires and $1.00 adhesive stamps were put on sale in August 1861. The 1861 10c “Pumpkin” entire with the Type II printed frank was ordered from George F. Nesbitt & Co. (New York) by the Overland Mail Company after they obtained approval for the design and imprint from the Postmaster General’s office. The earliest recorded Type II envelope is dated August 14, 1861, according to the FKW census.

Based on a newspaper article in the San Francisco Bulletin (September 13, 1861, at http://www.siegelauctions.com/2013/1038/20_SFB.jpg ), the Type II franked envelopes were problematic, because eastern post offices were sending them in the “through” mail to San Francisco, instead of directing them to St. Joseph for the Pony Express. As a result, they would arrive by regular mail ten days after the Pony Express for which they were intended. This might explain why some examples of the Type II franks are found without a St. Joseph Pony Express handstamp. The presence of the St. Joseph datestamp and receipt docketing confirm that this was carried by Pony Express riders.

This October 8, 1861, cover was sent from Boston just as Civil War demonetization of the old stamp issue began and the new 1861 Issue was released. It entered the post office and was treated as regular mail until it reached the Wells, Fargo & Co. agent at St. Joseph. From there it made the October 13 westbound Pony trip to California. At Placerville, it was carried by Wells Fargo & Co. to San Francisco on October 25.

The updated FKW census lists 21 examples of the Type II $1.00 frank, including some that have stamps added or have been extensively repaired. The census lists four Pony Express covers from Massachusetts: one from Cambridge (W54), this single-rate from Boston (W63), a double-rate cover from Boston with the Garter stamp (W68) and the quadruple-rate cover from Boston (no datestamp) with a strip of four Garter stamps (W64). For all practical purposes, this is the only representative example of a basic Pony Express cover from Boston.

FKW Census W63

E. 20,000-30,000
28,000
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54
c
Sale 1072, Lot 54, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressAlta California Telegraph Company. Imprint and illustrated woodcut of Zeus throwing lightning bolts (Wade imprint) on buff cover to Mokelumne Hill with original message form on printed letterhead, datelined San Francisco, July 30, 1859, Extremely Fine, immaculate condition, the Alta California Telegraph office is where the Pony Express had it home base in San Francisco

E. 400-500
1,500
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55
c
Sale 1072, Lot 55, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressMilton S. Latham and William M. Gwin. Two covers, first free frank “Milton S. Latham, U.S.S” as Senator, partly struck “Washington D.C. Jan. 4, 1863” circular datestamp on cover to Capt. George Wallace in San Francisco, sender’s directive “Overland”, with 5-page autograph letter signed, interesting content regarding Generals Meigs and Halleck, efforts to transfer Capt. Wallace to the East instead of Salt Lake City and a remark about “Abolutionist proclivities” of Lincoln’s administration, Very Fine, Senator Latham was a proponent of the Pony Express, other cover free frank “Free W. M. Gwin, U.S. Senate” to Athens Ga., slight edgewear, Fine, Senator Gwin is credited with encouraging William H. Russell to launch the Pony Express, an idea given to him by Benjamin F. Ficklin

E. 400-500
1,500
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56
c
Sale 1072, Lot 56, 1860-61 Transcontinental Pony ExpressNews by Pony Express. 10c Green, Ty. V (35), wide margins, cancelled by unusual grid of dots, "Long Bar Cal. Apr. 29" circular datestamp on buff 1861 cover to Georgia Plain Vt., with original 1861-dated contents which includes "we got the news hear of the fuss at Sumter in about 10 days after it happen. We get poney news from the states 2 and 3 times a week it crosses in 8 days so you see we know what is going on there about as soon as you do", slightly reduced at right, Very Fine, an attractive cover with rare mention of the Pony Express

E. 300-400
475
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