VERY FINE. A SCARCE FRANKING PAYING THE SHORE-TO-SHIP RATE ON A COVER TO HONG KONG, WHICH WAS DELIVERED TO THE RECIPIENT BY A FORWARDER.
The receipt docketing at left indicates this found the recipient on Nov. 9, 1859. It arrived in Hong Kong in September (day of backstamp is unclear). According to Wikipedia, the Hartford was launched Nov. 22, 1858 and sailed for the far east where she relieved the Mississippi as flagship of the East India squadron. In November 1859 (when this was received) the U.S. Minister to China, John Elliott Ward, came aboard in Hong Kong and the ship sailed for Canton, Manila and other ports to advance American interests in the region.