A HISTORIC AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT COVER. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED HANDSTAMPED POSTMARK FROM SPANISH FLORIDA, AS WELL AS THE EARLIEST REPORTED TOWN MARKING FROM ANY FORMER SPANISH COLONY IN PRESENT DAY UNITED STATES TERRITORY.
This cover is accompanied by a photocopy of a letter (with translation included) found in the Spanish archives, dated December 21, 1784, from San Augustine postmaster Manuel Fernandez-Bendicho to his superiors in Havana. In the letter he requests reimbursement for supply purchases he made for the establishment of the new post office -- including a postmarking device -- which is the one used on this cover. This substantiates that this handstamp was applied to this cover in Florida, not upon its arrival in Cuba.
Ex Risvold. Accompanied by an article by Adolfo Sarrias and Yamil H. Kouri on the postal history of Spanish East Florida
A UNIQUE AND HISTORIC ARTIFACT OF THE BRITISH IMPRESSMENT OF AMERICAN SAILORS, ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL GRIEVANCES LEADING TO THE WAR BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND GREAT BRITAIN IN 1812.
"Lat. 10. Long 74 [Note: location off the Caribbean coast of South America] on Board the Pethel Sloop of War. I am American Born at Boston aged 26 years. Sailed from New York on Board the Brig Lyon Nov 26, 1805. Nothing Occured worthy of Remark for 14 days after. We lost sight of the Hook when at 6 o'clock in the Evening we was brought to by the above Vessel and after undergoing many Species of Insult myself & three others mainly Frederick Fenton, Simon Alongos & Aaron Stusio, all native Americans were ordered on board which we refused & on so doing was beaten & Kicked into the Boat, was then thrown into Irons for ten days, after which time was brought on Deck & Interrogated if we would enter in his Majesties Service with the Alternative of a good flogging and to live on bread and Water until we should comply with their Imperious mandates, after a short Consultation amongst us we agreed to enter & Embrace the first Opportunity that Occured to free us from the Slavery in which we was involved. Accordingly we Signified our Willingness to become the Tools of the Navy of his Britannic Majesty./Tis impossible to say any more as my watch on Deck is called. I must therefore conclude hoping that some Effectial mode of Redressing the grievances of American Tars will be thought of & put into Execution by our Govt./John Johnston/Jany. 10, 1806."
The accompanying folded transmittal letter is datelined "Collectors Office, Baltimore 10 June 1806" from the Collector of Customs at Baltimore, R. Purviance, to David Gelston, Collector of Customs at New York. It bears a red "Balte. Md. Jun. 9" circular datestamp and manuscript "34" rate. The letter reads:
"Sir, The enclosed letter was handed to me this morning by William Jennett, Master of a coasting vessel, who found corked up in a Bottle on Shore, the State of North Carolina. As the writer, as well as the other sufferers, who were Impressed with him, sailed from your Port in the month of November last, in the Brig Lion, I hope you may have it in your power to furnish the necessary proofs for their relief. I have the honor to be very respectfully, Sir, you mo(st) ob(edient) serv(ant), R. Purviance, Coll." The receipt docketing reads "R Purviance 10 June 1806. No discovery can be made."
Ex Frajola and Dr. LeBow.
VERY FINE. A HANDSOME FREE FRANK OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON AS SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.
The recipient, Charles Lee, was part of an emerging political dynasty in the late 1700s and early 1800s. His relatives included brothers Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee (father of Robert E. Lee) as well as Richard Bland Lee, and first cousin-once removed (as well as son-in-law) Richard Henry Lee. He was also third cousin of Zachary Taylor and grand-uncle of Fitzhugh Lee. President Washington named Lee United States attorney general in 1795, in which capacity he remained until the end of President John Adams' administration in 1801. After leaving office, Lee represented William Marbury in the landmark Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison (source: University of Virginia, https://millercenter.org/president/adams/lee-1797-attorney-general).
VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE DAVID RICE ATCHISON FREE FRANK, TOGETHER WITH AN IMPORTANT LETTER DESCRIBING FELLOW MISSOURI SENATOR THOMAS HART BENTON'S MUTED REACTION TO PRO-SLAVERY LEGISLATION -- "'OLD BULLION' BENTON WAS AS CALM AS A SUMMER'S MORNING, HE ROARED AS GENTLY AS A SUCKLING DOVE... IT WAS A COMPLETE PHISSLE OUT. HE DID NOT IMPALE CALHOUN AS HE THREATENED TO DO. INDEED HIS SPEECH WAS NOT WORTH A REPLY."
David Rice Atchison was President pro tempore of the Senate on Sunday, March 4, 1849, when President James K. Polk, according to his own diary, officially left office at 6:30 a.m. and attended church services. Vice President George M. Dallas had resigned as president of the Senate on Friday, March 2, leaving Atchison as President pro tempore, and on Monday, March 5, president-elect Zachary Taylor was sworn in -- more than 24 hours after Polk had vacated his office. The continuity of the office of President demands that in the absence of the elected President and his Vice President, the President of the Senate (at that time, it is now the Speaker of the House) shall assume office of the President. Thus, Atchison is regarded by some historians and collectors as the de facto 12th President of the United States -- the so-called "President for a Day."
Atchison's free franks and autograph letters are exceedingly rare; in fact, no free franks were known prior to the discovery of the Denver correspondence, from which this and one other example originates.
Accompanied by an article on the letter from Manuscripts. Ex Kantor
VERY FINE. AN IMPORTANT HISTORICAL PHILATELIC DOCUMENT, OF WHICH PERHAPS THREE OR FOUR ARE KNOWN TO HAVE SURVIVED.
This facsimile of Great Britain's Mulready and Penny Black was printed in 1840 as part of the Resolutions of the 26th Congress, in which Daniel Webster introduced a bill to reform postage rates. Accompanied by a 1990 American Philatelist article on Webster and the Congressional Mulready