VERY FINE AND CHOICE STAMP AND COVER. RARELY SEEN TIED SOLELY BY THE RED CIRCULAR DATESTAMP AND WITHOUT A PEN CANCEL. A BEAUTIFUL ST. LOUIS "BEAR" PROVISIONAL COVER FROM THE FAMOUS CHARNLEY & WHELEN CORRESPONDENCE.
The St. Louis "Bears" were issued by Postmaster John M. Wimer from November 1845 until the first United States General Issue became available in July 1847. The stamps were issued in three denominations -- 5c and 10c at first and a 20c denomination later -- and were sold at a premium over face value to pay the cost of printing.