Sale 1218 — The "Dubois" Collection of Important Prestamp Covers and Postal Markings of British North America, 1694-1861
Sale Date — Tuesday, 24 March, 2020
Category — Great Britain to Canada
(Edinburgh, Scotland to Quebec via New York and Albany, Sep. 24, 1764). Folded letter written by Patrick Ferguson and datelined “Edin(burgh) Sept. 24th 1764” and addressed to his uncle “The Honble Brigadier General Murray, Govenor of Canada at Quebec”, entered the British American Colonial mails in New York with clear “NEW/YORK” two-line handstamp, manuscript postmark “Alby (Albany) to Q (Quebec) Sh. 5.16” (5 dwt 16 grains rate), cover with minor edgewear and some reinforced folds
VERY FINE. THIS IS BELIEVED TO BE THE SECOND EARLIEST INBOUND COVER INTO BRITISH CANADA AFTER THE SIGNING OF THE TREATY OF PARIS -- WRITTEN TO THE GOVERNOR OF QUEBEC BY HIS NEPHEW, A NOTABLE INDIVIDUAL IN HIS OWN RIGHT.
The enclosed letter, written by Patrick Ferguson (1744-1780), makes reference to Murray’s invitation for him to come to Quebec--quite fortuitous, as Ferguson went on to become a Major in the British Army fighting in the American Revolutionary War. He is known for designing the Ferguson rifle and was ultimately killed in the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. The addressee, James Murray, was Ferguson’s uncle and served as Governor of Quebec from 1760-1768 and then of Minorca (Spain) from 1778-1782.
Ex Wellburn and Montgomery. Illustrated in The Encyclopedia of British Empire Postage Stamps (Volume V, p. 70).
(London, England (?) to Montreal, May 9, 1781). Folded cover with manuscript “Mr. Cunningham with (Caleb) Blanchard...acct May 9th, 1781” docketing on flap and addressed to James Walker in Montreal, entered the mails with “QUEBEC” straightline and well-struck “fhip” handstamp,
“p favr of Capt. Boyd” directive, rated “11-1/2” collect for 2-1/2p ship letter and 9p inland postage, top flap reinforced with tape and lightened docketing on bottom flap
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED PRIVATELY HELD EXAMPLE OF THIS HANDSTAMP, WHICH IS THE FIRST KNOWN MARKING USED IN CANADA TO DESIGNATE SHIP LETTERS. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SHIP LETTER COVERS OF CANADA AND A KEY PIECE FOR AN AWARD-WINNING CANADIAN EXHIBIT OR COLLECTION.
There is one other known example of the “fhip” marking, which is institutionalized in the Ottawa Archives. We presume this cover was sent from London, based on the “answ 13th Oct. 1781” docketing and the fact that there was a merchant by the name of Caleb Blanchard in London at this time. The addressee, James Walker, took part in fighting the Continental Army in Quebec during 1775-76. He eventually moved to Montreal, became a lawyer in 1777, and went on to become a member of the Parliament for Lower Canada.
(London, England to Montreal, Nov. 7, 1792). Folded letter datelined in London and addressed to Montreal, manuscript “P Packet via New York” endorsement at bottom, rated “1/-” prepayment plus “1N7” upon arrival paying the 3dwt plus 8 grains U.S. postage from New York to Burlington and 7p inland to Montreal, letter with interesting contents discussing imminent breakout of British-French war (France eventually declared war against Britain on Feb. 1, 1793), Very Fine, ex Montgomery
(London, England to Montreal, Apr. 7, 1796). Folded letter datelined in London and addressed to William Grant in Montreal, endorsed “p Ariadne” at bottom, clear strike of “SHIP” straightline and corresponding “QUEBEC” straightline and “20/IV” Bishop mark datestamp, rated “10” for 8p inland and 2p ship letter upon arrival, Very Fine, this is from the same correspondence as lot 2047 but was directed to a different ship, the addressee’s firm became an important fur trader and shareholder in the North West Company (a competitor to the Hudson’s Bay Company), use of this “Ship” marking is rare prior to 1800, ex Montgomery
(London, England to Montreal, Apr. 7, 1796). Folded letter and invoice datelined in London and addressed to Grant, Campion and Co. in Montreal, sender’s ship-name directive “p Earl Marchmont” at bottom, clear strike of “SHIP” straightline and corresponding “Quebec, Canada” double-circle with “25/IV” Bishop mark datestamp, rated “10” for 8p inland and 2p ship letter upon arrival, this is from the same correspondence as lot 2046 but was directed to a different ship
VERY FINE. AN EARLY AND RARE EXAMPLE OF THIS “SHIP” MARKING AND QUEBEC DATESTAMP. ONLY A FEW ARE KNOWN USED PRIOR TO 1800.
The addressee, Grant, Campion and Co., became important fur traders and were shareholders in the North West Company (a competitor to the Hudson’s Bay Company). Ex Montgomery
(London, England to Montreal, Apr. 10, 1800). Folded letter datelined in London and addressed to Montreal, ship-name directive “Ewretta” (a transatlantic trade vessel owned by a prominent Jewish merchant), clear strike of “SHIP” straightline and corresponding “QUEBEC/3 JUL 1800” two-line datestamp, rated “10” for 8p inland and 2p ship letter upon arrival, Very Fine and rare, ex Glassco and Steinhart
(London, England to Charlotteville, Upper Canada, Jun. 8, 1807). Folded letter datelined in London and addressed to Thomas Welch in Charlotteville, London Jul. 1807 departure datestamp where it was marked “6/-” for triple packet rate, datestamped Halifax Aug. 31, Quebec Sep. 21 and Apr. 10 (1808), having been delayed by winter, and finally Montreal Jun. 16, red manuscript rates “Packet 6N9 (+) 5N (=) 11N9 (+) forwarded 1N6 (=) 13N3 (+) forwarded 2N4 (=) 15N7”, cover with minor faults including heavy folds and minor tears, otherwise Fine, a remarkable cover which took more than a year to deliver and cost a large sum upon receipt, the addressee, Thomas Welch, led a fascinating life as surveyor, militia officer and judge, ex Montgomery
(Edinburgh to Quebec, Nov. 1, 1812). Red “Paid at Edin, Nov. 1, 1812” circular datestamp on folded letter to Custom House in Quebec, rated “Pd. 4/10” paying double inland and packet rate, carried via Bermuda and Halifax with “HALIFAX/FEB 9” two-line datestamp (Jephcott 9, MacDonald 10) applied on back in transit, further rated “3N4” due, docketing indicating arrival on Mar. 5, small edge tear at top and trivial light stains, Very Fine, this cover was sent via Falmouth Packet to Bermuda due to growing concerns over American privateers attacking British ships, ex “Skywalk”
(Glasgow, Scotland to Montreal, Feb. 5, 1821). Clearly struck “Camillus * I. Boyer * Sailed Feby 13” in ornamental oval frame datestamp on folded letter from Glasgow to Montreal, entered the mails in New York with red “SHIP” handstamp and matching “New York Apr. 6” circular datestamp, rated “20-1/2” and “1N7” paying both the U.S. and Canada postage, Very Fine, ship purser handstamps are rarely encountered on covers to Canada, ex Steinhart
(Liverpool, England to Montreal, May 28, 1821). Clearly struck “Ship Atlantic * W. Matlock * Sailed May 30” in ornamental oval frame datestamp on folded letter from Liverpool to Montreal, entered the mails in New York with red “SHIP” handstamp and “New York Jul. 3” circular datestamp, rated “20-1/2” and “1N7” paying both the U.S. and Canada postage, minor internal tears not affecting outer panels, Very Fine, ship purser handstamps are rarely encountered on covers to Canada, ex McDonald and Montgomery
(Wargrave, England to York, Upper Canada, Jun. 9, 1829). Bold “PAID AT/OXFORD” boxed handstamp with Jun. 15 departure datestamp on back of folded letter to York, manuscript “post paid to Liverpool”, manuscript directive at bottom left, entered U.S. mails with red “SHIP” and New York datestamp, clear “AMERICAN POSTAGE 1/4-1/2 /FERRIAGE 2 /FORWARDED 7 (=) 2/1-1/2” three-line handstamp applied at Niagara with additional circular datestamp, back with notation “by some chance this letter missed Burnham by one hour, RDC”, Very Fine, an outstanding and colorful transatlantic cross-border cover, the three-line handstamp especially scarce as it often comes poorly struck, ex Steinhart and Dr. Robertson
(London, England to Quebec, Jul. 29, 1831). Folded letter from London to Quebec, ship-name directive “pr Ship Hero, Capt. Campione”, red rimless “Ship Letter Quebec” crown oval handstamp, matching “Quebec SE 20, 1831” circular datestamp struck on arrival, rated “2-1/2” collect, addressee name erased and rewritten in pencil, tape stain at top and minor reinforced internal splits, still Fine and scarce use of this rimless ship letter marking, far rarer than the rimmed examples, ex Glassco and Steinhart
(Greenock, Scotland to Cornwall, Upper Canada, Apr. 15, 1834). Bold and clear “CHEROKEE” straightline handstamp on folded letter to Cornwall, ship-name directive “per Cherokee Capt. Millar”, entered Canadian mails directly from Great Britain with light Montreal May 21 circular datestamp and red “SHIP” handstamp, rated “9-1/2” collect for 2p ship letter and 7p inland postage, cover with overall soiling and some paper loss (mostly not evident on front panel)
FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE “CHEROKEE” HANDSTAMP AND THE ONLY KNOWN SHIP-NAME HANDSTAMP ON DIRECT MAIL FROM GREAT BRITAIN TO CANADA. AN IMPORTANT TRANSATLANTIC MAIL COVER.
Ex Halliday and Steinhart
(Aberdeen, Scotland to Montreal, Apr. 6, 1840). Folded letter datelined in Aberdeen, Scotland and addressed to Montreal, carried privately and entered Canadian mails with “Quebec L.C. May 19, 1840” circular datestamp and perfectly struck “Ship Letter Quebec” crown oval handstamp, rated “11-1/2” collect, front panel with minor piece of top right corner missing, an Extremely Fine strike of this ship letter handstamp, clearly showing all the details of the ornately designed crown, without doubt one of the finest strikes, ex Steinhart
(Glasgow, Scotland to Toronto, Jun. 14, 1840). Folded letter datelined in Glasgow, Scotland and addressed to Toronto, ship-name directive “p Acadia via Lpool”, entered Canadian mails with “Quebec L.C. Sep. 3, 1840” circular datestamp and bold “Ship Letter Quebec” crown oval handstamp, rated “3/2-1/2” collect on arrival, fascinating contents stating “There has been a most atrocious attempt to murder our beloved Queen and prince Albert -- a miscreant aged 18 year of age fired first one, then another pistol at her majesty, thank God neither did any harm...”, Very Fine, ex McDonald, the writer is referencing Edward Oxford’s Jun. 10, 1840 attempted assassination of Queen Victoria, he missed from about six feet away and was sent to an insane asylum for 24 years, then deported to Australia
(Glasgow, Scotland to Montreal, Aug. 17, 1843). Light strike of red Glasgow Aug. 17, 1843 circular datestamp on folded letter to Montreal, “1/4d Cy” boxed handstamp and bold “MORE TO PAY” straightline handstamp with additional “1/2” to collect for Halifax to Montreal, Very Fine and scarce instructional marking, ex Dr. Clark