Sale 824 — 2000 Rarities of the World
Sale Date — Saturday, 13 May, 2000
Category — Locals (F thru T)
ONE OF THREE OR FOUR KNOWN EXAMPLES OF THE FREEMAN & CO. EXPRESS STAMP. A MAJOR RARITY OF THE TRANSCONTINENTAL EXPRESSES.
John H. Freeman was a prominent California expressman. In 1851 he sold his business to Adams & Co. and became their agent in Sacramento and Panama. Soon after the collapse of Adams in 1855, Freeman established Freeman & Co.'s Express, and his business grew until November 1859, when he stopped service after selling out to Wells, Fargo & Co.
The Freeman & Co. "To be dropped in New-York Post-Office" Blue stamp is identical -- except for the company name -- to Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Black stamp, listed as Scott 143LP1. It is likely that Freeman & Co. started the service not long before selling out in 1859. Freeman would carry letters outside the mails from California to New York and deposit them (with or without U.S. postage) into the post office. Wells, Fargo & Co. adapted the same stamp design in 1860. The "Dropped" stamps of Freeman or Wells Fargo are extremely rare, and it seems that they were not used extensively. Of the Freeman & Co. stamp, there are two confirmed off-cover examples (and a possible third) and one genuine cover.
Ex Perry and illustrated in his Pat Paragraphs series.