Sale 1263 — The George J. Kramer Collection of U.S. & C.S.A. Telegraph Covers

Sale Date — Wednesday, 28 September, 2022

Category — Pony Express & the Telegraph

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
66
c
Sale 1263, Lot 66, Pony Express & the TelegraphPAID./Central Overland Pony Express Company. Two-line frank with manuscript “$2.50” quarter-ounce rate and “Placerville, Cal. Oct. 25” (1860) station agent’s way-mail marking on 10c Pale Green on Buff Nesbitt entire (U18a) to Mrs. Frances Bye, Wellsville, Ohio, “The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo. Nov. 5” oval datestamp applied the day of arrival (the entire trip was 12 days), lightly inked strike of “Saint Joseph Mo. Nov. 8” double-circle datestamp (date is unreadable, but the other two recorded covers from this trip are dated November 8), with original letter enclosure from F. W. Bye to his mother, Frances, datelined “Placerville Oct. 25th 1860”, stating that a $100 draft is enclosed and explaining "I send this by Pony Express that you may get it as soon as possible", conservatively treated to remove staining, minor sealed half-inch tear at top

VERY FINE. ONE OF NINE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE “CENTRAL OVERLAND PONY EXPRESS COMPANY” FRANK, OF WHICH SIX ARE 10-CENT ENTIRES. PONY EXPRESS COVERS WITH ORIGINAL LETTERS ARE ALSO VERY RARE AND DESIRABLE.

The updated FKW census lists nine entires with the two-line frank, which identifies the company as the Central Overland Pony Express Company (COPEC). In fact, there was no such company, but rather The Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Company owned and operated the Pony Express. Of the nine entires, six are 10c values. The presence of manuscript station markings on several of these COPEC franks, including the cover offered here, supports the theory that they were mainly used by telegraph operators and by relay station agents for way mail received along the Pony Express route.

This cover was sent from Placerville on October 25 and placed in the way-mail pocket of the mochilla that contained the Wednesday, October 24, mail from San Francisco. It passed through Fort Kearney on November 3 and arrived at St. Joseph on November 5. The sender, F. W. Bye, might be connected with Henry & Bye, commission and forwarding agents based in Placerville in 1860.

FKW census E31. Ex “Alyeska.” For a photo of the contents please see website PDF.

E. 15,000-20,000
8,000