Sale 1211 — The William H. Gross Collection: United States Postal History
Sale Date — Tuesday-Wednesday, 29-30 October, 2019
Category — Western Mails, including the Pony Express
Wells Fargo & Co. Pony Express, $1.00 Red (143L3), Position R14, large margins to in at upper left, tied by "Pony Express San Francisco Jul. 31" (1861) Running Pony oval datestamp on 10¢ Green on White Star Die entire (U32) with Wells Fargo & Co. red printed frank, addressed to A. W. Canfield in New York City, grid cancel applied by New York post office
Very Fine. A beautiful Pony Express cover with the $1.00 Red stamp issued by Wells Fargo & Co. for the official government contract period, beginning on July 1, 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 10¢ per half ounce. This cover beautifully combines all three postage elements and was carried on the eastbound Pony trip departing San Francisco on Wednesday, July 31, 1861, and arriving at St. Joseph on August 12. Thousands of miles away, the first major land battle of the Civil War had occurred in Virginia ten days before this Pony Express departure from San Francisco.
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.
Frajola-Kramer-Walske census E128.