Lot 98Eastbound Transcontinental Pony Express Way Usage. Cover with manuscript "By Pony Express" and "The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, November 23" oval handstamp, "Saint Joseph, Mo., Nov 24" cds and franked with 1857, 3¢ dull red canceled by matching grid handstamp, light pencil "¼oz" endorsement below stamp indicating pony express fee, addressed to Charles White of Whitestown, New York; cover slightly reduced at left and stamp with margin nick at lower right, otherwise Extremely Fine, A Remarkable Pony Express Way Cover That Was Picked Up By the Pony Express Rider Along the Route From California to Saint Joseph and Deliver to the Pony Express Office at Saint Joseph, Mo.; with R. Frajola letter of attest.
Scott No. 26 Estimate $10,000 - 15,000.
Based on another Pony Express cover postmarked at Saint Joseph on November 24, this Pony Express trip originated in San Francisco on November 10, 1860, and terminated in Saint Joseph late on November 23. The cover was picked up someplace between California and Missouri and the US postage was either unpaid, or paid in cash by the sender. The cover a pencil "1/4" notation under the stamp indicating the sender paid the pony express fees for a letter to one-quarter ounce ($2.50). The letter was received at the Pony Express Office in Saint Joseph and they applied their date stamp on the envelope and attached a 3¢ stamp. The envelope was then delivered to the Saint Joseph Post Office where it received a postal date stamp and the stamp was canceled with a matching grid cancel.
At the starting terminus the envelopes were wrapped in oil skin and placed in one of the four compartments that were part of a saddlebag specially designed to fit over the riding saddle. These compartments were then locked. This saddlebag or mochila as it was called could be quickly transferred from horse to horse. One of the four compartments was used for way mail. Each Home Station manager (about every tenth station) would have a key that would allow only this compartment to be unlocked. At each Home Station envelopes could then be added or removed. Envelopes would be removed and given to the rider for distribution to the stations between that Home Station and the next Home Station down the line. Each Home Station along the route therefore acted as a way station. The other three compartments on the mochila could only be unlocked at the terminus.
This cover is unusual in that the sender did not apply US postage. This may have been due to a lack of stamps on the sender's part or unavailability at the Way Station.
This cover was discovered after the publication of "The Pony Express" by Frajola, Kramer and Walske. In discussion with the authors it was established that this cover would have been placed in a position between E39 and E40.
Lot 99(Overland Pony Express) Central Overland California & Pike's Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo., Sep 13. Full strike of oval date stamp on cover originating in San Francisco (sent by G. McDuffie on September 1st) to the Commission of Indian Affairs in Washington D.C. with manuscript "½" at top indicating a half ounce or a $5 double Pony Express rate, franked with "1857, 10¢ green, type V" tied by blue grid handstamp, matching "Saint Joseph, Mo., Sep 14, 1860" cds; cover expertly repaired at top center and top left, Extremely Fine appearance, ex Dale-Lichtenstein; with 2006 P.F. certificate.
Scott No. 35 Estimate $7,500 - 10,000.
Lot 100Per Pony, Free "Mc". Manuscript endorsement in pencil of Wells, Fargo President Louis McLane on 1861, 3¢ pink entire to Virginia City, N.T., with original enclosure datelined "San Francisco, Mch 18th, 1863" regarding the selling of mining interests…and soon as the property is sold I will deposit your share of the profits with Wells, Fargo & Co. subject to your order; repaired cover edge tears at left and lower right corner, F.-V.F. appearance, an unusual and rare Virginia Pony free frank cover endorsed by Wells, Fargo President Louis McLane; accompanied by letters of attest by Dr. W. Scott Polland and Basil Pearce.
Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.