Sale 1265 — Classic United States Stamps and Covers
Sale Date — Thursday, 29 September, 2022
Category — Fancy Cancels
EXTREMELY FINE STRIKE OF THE UNION MILLS "KKK", SKULL AND CROSSBONES FANCY CANCEL, SHOWING THE ENTIRE DESIGN.
Union Mills, Pennsylvania, was the source of several remarkable fancy cancel designs in the 1869-71 period, including the "KKK" Skull & Crossbones, Kleagle Mask (two versions) and the Horse in Hat designs. All indicate Ku Klux Klan activity in this Western Pennsylvania town during the immediate post-war Reconstruction period. John H. Beardsley was the postmaster for a brief period of time -- February 9, 1870, to March 16, 1871 -- which coincides with the creation and use of the Ku Klux Klan cancellations.
This is one of a small number of pieces salvaged from a correspondence. We know of three full covers with this cancel, one of which is in the Hirzel collection at the Swiss PTT Museum.