Sale 1242 — The Gordon Eubanks Collection: United States 1851 to 1856 Imperforate Issue
Sale Date — Tuesday-Wednesday, 12-13 October, 2021
Category — Twelve-Cent: Bisects (Scott 17a)
VERY FINE. A REMARKABLE 1851 ISSUE REGISTERED COVER FROM OREGON TERRITORY WITH A 12-CENT BISECT USED WITH OTHER STAMPS AND ACCEPTED AS PREPAYMENT OF THE DOUBLE 10-CENT RATE AT THE PLEASANT HILL AND NEW YORK CITY POST OFFICES.
Although bisecting 12c stamps was practiced in California, this is the only recorded 12c 1851 bisect used from a western territorial post office. The bisect was joined with a full 12c stamp and used with two 1c stamps to pay the double 10c rate, which went into effect in April 1855. The bisect was accepted by the Pleasant Hill postmaster, William W. Bristow, member of a well-known pioneer family who was appointed postmaster in 1852. Bristow used pen and ink to cancel the stamps and postmark the cover. The bisected 12c was also accepted on arrival at the New York City post office, despite a September 1853 notice that bisected stamps were not valid. Perhaps the clerk was accommodating because the cover was registered and the full stamps paid the 10c single rate.
The cover was sent by registered mail, evidenced by the "299" and "29 15047" registration numbers applied at Pleasant Hill and New York City, respectively. In addition to the territorial bisect usage, this cover is believed to be the only known use of a 12c 1851 bisect on a registered cover. It was illustrated and first identified as a registered cover in an article by James W. Milgram, M.D. ("Domestic Registration of 1851-57 Stamps and Entires," Chronicle 253).
Ex Herman "Pat" Herst, Jr., collection of Oregon postal history (Siegel Sale 232, Aug. 19, 1960, lot 36). With 2016 P.F. certificate