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Sale 74: The Westpex Auction

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Monterey - Postal Usages

Lots 830-839 Lots 840-841

Lot 830    

(Monterey) "Monterey 7 Feb. 1828", dateline on folded letter from Pioneer David Spence to William G. Dana at Santa Barbara, bold strike of Mexican "2" reales due handstamp for delivery charge, letter was between two thirty year old unmarried sailors in the trading business, reading in part "I have heard that you at last been able to settle every thing respecting your [future] marrage; which I am very glad of…The D-d schooner sailed about two weeks ago for San Francisco in persuit of rigging or some bloody thing. I am fully in the believe that Reeves wants to pass the winter in some port at your expense for the exactions is not as they ought to be in my openion…If ever you freight your Schooner again, try and get a supercargo of some kind and sense and consideration to burn him…I am half thinking to ask a girl here myself. What would you advise me to do? Whether is better to turn Christian or seduce her, the latter in my openion is best…Mulligan is attempting to die this last month, but is like to get over it…", signed "David Spence"; cover tear, otherwise Very Fine.
Estimate    $3,000 - 4,000.

THE EARLIEST CALIFORNIA LETTER WRITTEN IN ENGLISH WITH A POSTMARK.

Monterey was the Capitol and principal port of Spanish California. Sailors from many nations deserted when their ships anchored at Monterey. The economy in 1828 was centered around cattle. The "Hide and Tallow trade" flourished during the 1820s and 1830s, and is portrayed in Richard Henry Dana's "Two Years Before the Mast".

Captain William G. Dana of Boston (1797-1859) arrived at Santa Barbara in 1825 where he met and wed Maria Josepa Carillo on August 20, 1828. They had 22 children. In 1837, he was granted a 38,000 acre ranch by the governor of Mexico. The Dana adobe on El Camino Real was a longtime stage stop and evolved into the exchange center for California's first mail service. General S.W. Kearney established his military mail service April 19, 1847 between San Francisco and Los Angeles with the exchange of mail at Dana's adobe.

David Spence was born in Scotland October 24, 1798, jumped ship in Monterey October 11, 1824. He worked for William Hartnell in the hide and tallow trade, and later opened his own shop in Monterey. In 1828, he was baptized at the Mission in Santa Cruz. He married Adelaide, daughter of Marino Estrada in 1829. He became Alcalde of Monterey, and a member of the State Legislature.

John Mulligan was an Irish sailor. He taught the art of weaving to the Indians at the various missions. He had an interest in Coopers Ranchero in the Salinas valley and was a hard drinker who died in 1834.

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Current Opening Bid: $1,450

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Lot 831    

(Monterey) "Monterey California Octo. 6th 1843", dateline on folded letter endorsed "pr Bark 'North America' " at top left to Boston Mass., entered mails with red "New London Conn Apr 4" cds and matching "Ship" handstamp with manuscript "14½" cent rating for 12½¢ inland postage plus 2¢ ship fee, very interesting letter about conditions in Hawaii and California from Samuel A. Reynolds reading in part "You will perhaps be somewhat surprised to learn that I am in this wild & uncivilized portion of the Universe… In my letter to you from Oahu by the W Gray I wrote a discouraging recount of my prospects, but very soon after they began to brighten. As business was then very dull at the Islands…my uncle advised my visiting California with a view of seeing what could be done in case the English kept possession of the Islands; and he thought the time would not be lost for if they were given up again, the knowledge I should gain of the business of the Coast would be valuable to and in business at Oahu, as they are so much connect - consequently on the 9th May I sailed in the Brig Bolivar bound to this port, me arrived on the 13th of June and after remaining here 20 days I left in the Schr Inlia Aim of N York for San Francisco, which place I have made my headquarters. while there I travelled all over the Country around the Bay, and made a trop to the north and was once in a few miles of the US boundary line…", Very Fine and interesting early letter from Monterey describing conditions in Hawaii and California.
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.

Illustrated: "Letters of Gold" on page 50.

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Current Opening Bid: $475

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Lot 832    

(Monterey) "Monterey June 24 1844", dateline on folded letter from Thomas Larkin to Charleston Mass., sent under cover via Mazatlan and then by private courier to Vera Cruz, where U.S. Consul Francis M. Dimond endorses on reverse "Red Vera Cruz Aug 3d 1844 and forwarded by Your Ob Sv Frn Dimond Consul", placed on the Mexican Schooner Rosetta that departed Aug. 4th to New Orleans arriving Aug. 20th, entered mails with blue "New Orleans La. Aug 21" cds and matching "Ship" handstamp and blue manuscript "27" rating for 25¢ inland postage plus 2¢ ship fee, Larkin notes direct return mail to Monterey "care of John Parrot, Esq. - Mazatlan via Vera Cruz, Mexico", Very Fine.
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.

Illustrated: "Mails of the Westward Expansion, 1803 to 1861" by Walske and Frajola as fig. 4-17 on page 65, and "Letters of Gold" on page 10.

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Current Opening Bid: $475

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Lot 833    

(Monterey) "Harbor of Monterey, California, January 27, 1847", dateline on folded letter signed by Capt. Christopher Quarles Tompkins, 3rd Artillery to Genl. Roger Jones Adj. Genl. U.S. Army, Washington D.C., entered mails with red "New-York 'Ship 7cts' Apr 22" cds with due rating crossed out as this was endorsed official mail, the report states "…shall report to Brig. Genl. Kearney who is reported to be at the Pueblo de Los Angeles" and remarks "Left New-York July 14th 1846 - arrvd Monterey 27 Jany. - voyage of 6 mos 13 days - extraordinary length" which refers to his voyage on the USS Lexington that included some famous passengers Lt. Henry Hallack, Lt. Edward Ord and William Tecumseh Sherman, prior to arriving in Monterey, January 12th 1847, she landed a party at San Blas, Nayarit, and captured several enemy guns, and during the war operated along the West Coast transporting troops and assisting in the blockade, F.-V.F., ex-J. David Baker.
Estimate    $2,000 - 3,000.

AN EARLY MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR MILITARY LETTER FROM THE HARBOR OF MONTEREY.

The letter left Monterey on January 28 aboard the sloop-of-war USS
Dale, which was taking its captain, Commander McKean, to Panama so that he could return to the United States because of ill health. It arrived at Panama City on March 15, where McKean joined forces with Lt. Gray and Major Emory, who were carrying dispatches to the United States from Commodore Stockton and General Kearny, respectively. The three crossed the Isthmus to Chagres on the east coast, carrying this letter. The HMS Clyde then carried them from Chagres (departed March 28) to Jamaica on April 1, where they transferred to the HMS Dee (departed Jamaica on April 3 and arrived in Havana on April 10). The ship Globe then took the letter to New York, where it arrived on April 21, 1847 and was rated for seven cents postage due including a two cents ship fee. Upon arrival at Washington it was recognized that the recipient was entitled to receive mail free of postage and the seven cents postage due was crossed out.

Illustrated: "Mails of the Westward Expansion, 1803 to 1861" by Walske and Frajola as fig. 4-22 on page 70.

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Current Opening Bid: $950

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Lot 834    

(Monterey) "Monterey, California, Apl 17. 1849", manuscript postmark (MOT-1610) and matching "40" cent rating on orange buff cover to New York N.Y., accompanied by blue enclosed letter datelined "Monterey, California April 13 1849" from a member of the U.S. Military to his sister describing the influence of the discovery of gold to the military way of life, being transferred to San Francisco, mail ships Oregon and California etc., Very Fine.
Estimate    $1,500 - 2,000.

THE EARLIEST RECORDED MONTEREY POSTMARKED COVER, SENT DURING THE PRE-STATEHOOD PERIOD.

This is a rare version of the Monterey manuscript postmark with California spelled out, we have not seen another.

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Current Opening Bid: $725

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Lot 835    

(Monterey) "Monterey Jan 5", manuscript postmark (MOT-1610) and matching "12½" cent rating on folded letter datelined "Santa Barbara Dec 9. 1849" from Alpheus B. Thompson to Sonoma concerning trading matters.
Estimate    $200 - 300.

Alpheus B. Thompson settles in Santa Barbara in 1834. He traded and sailed to the Hawaiian Islands 1836 to 1848. Lewis Adler arrived in California in 1846. A cooper and trader who settled in Sonoma in 1848. Letter was addressed care of Wm. H. Davis, San Francisco on flap, who was a merchant in the bay from 1838 to 1869.

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Current Opening Bid: $210

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Lot 836    

(Monterey) "Monterey, Calfa., 16 Nov", manuscript postmark (MOT-1610) with matching "40" cent rating to Channingville N.Y., long letter describes conditions in the Monterey area, about meeting Col. Fremont, hunting and game in the area, Spanish Fandango, etc.; couple stain spots, otherwise Very Fine and scarce "40" cent use.
Estimate    $400 - 600.

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Current Opening Bid: $190

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Lot 837    

(Monterey) Monterey Cal, Apr 2, red cds (MOT-1620) and matching "12½" rating handstamp of the West Coast rate on 1851 folded letter from brother to a soldier "Ben. P. Kooser, Company F 3rd Artilery, care of the Commanding officer of the escort to the Indian commissioners via Stockton California", mostly news from home including "monterey is duller than ever…", Fine and rare 12½¢ rate handstamp.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 838    

(Monterey) Monterey Cal, Apr 2, red cds (MOT-1610) and matching crude "25" rating handstamp on 1851 folded letter to County Clerk, Santa Cruz at double the 12½¢ rate, 1851 docketing across face, otherwise Very Fine and rare 25¢ rate marker.
Estimate    $200 - 300.

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Current Opening Bid: $90

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Lot 839    

(Monterey) Monterey Cal, Nov 29, cds (MOT-1610) on light buff cover with Flag and Eagle patriotic design and "Our Union Forever" slogan to Hollowell Me. bearing combination franking of 1¢ blue (24) and 3¢ rose (65) strip of three, tied by manuscript cancel; cover restored at top with tear affecting left two stamps, attractive and Very Fine appearance.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

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Current Opening Bid: $350

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Lots 830-839 Lots 840-841

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