Lot 3386Hinckley & Co.'s Express, scroll frank on 3¢ red (U10) buff Nesbitt entire cancelled by grid cancel and "Philadelphia Pa., Nov 19, 1863" octagon datestamp addressed to Golden City, J.T. (Jefferson Territory), Very Fine.
Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.
A CHOICE HINCKLEY & CO.'S EXPRESS USE INBOUND TO GOLDEN CITY, JEFFERSON TERRITORY.
An unofficial Jefferson Territory was established locally in October 1859, but it was never recognized by Congress. No postal markings of Jefferson Territory are known, although covers are known addressed to Jefferson Territory. The area was larger than what would be Colorado Territory. The sender was probably a regular correspondent and had a supply of prepaid Hinckley & Co. entires in Philadelphia.
Lot 3387"Care Hinckley's & Co., Express, St Joseph Mo.", manuscript endorsement on cover bearing 3¢ dull red (26) tied by partial "Philadelphia Pa, May 12, 1861" octagon datestamp on buff cover "to Mountain City, J.T." (Jefferson Territory), F.-V.F.
Estimate $100 - 150.
Early advertisements proudly proclaiming "Hinckley's Express Company of Jefferson Territory" gave evidence of commercial backing of the group favoring the name, Jefferson, over Colorado for the new territory. Hinckley's promotional effort certainly had some effect since covers to a number of mining camps are known with "J.T." addresses.
Lot 3388Forwarded by Eldridge Brothers' Kansas Express, Collect "25", black on green printed label with manuscript collect rating, used on cover addressed to Leavenworth Kans., endorsed "(Eldridge Co's Ex.)" at lower left and additional "Collect 25" at upper right; label torn, upper right corner faulty, Very Fine and choice, ex-Eggen.
Estimate $3,000 - 4,000.
THE ONLY KNOWN EXAMPLE OF THIS ELDRIDGE BROTHERS' KANSAS EXPRESS LABEL, AND THE ONLY COVER CARRIED BY THIS EXPRESS.
In 1857, the Eldridge Brothers inaugurated the first stage line in Kansas Territory. The Kansas Express initially operated between Wyandotte and Lawrence. It was expanded to Topeka by way of LeCompton and also served the towns of Leavenworth City and Osawatomie. Three covers are recorded associated with this rare two-year express company, two of which have different all-over advertising on the reverse. This is the only known cover actually carried by the company before it was sold to the Western Stage Company in 1859.
Shalor Winchell Eldridge, the founder, was one of the most prominent Kansas and an avid free-state advocate. He was owner of the Free-State Hotel in Lawrence. As the site of the printing office of the "Kansas Free States" newspaper, the hotel was destroyed in 1856 by Sheriff Jones and his posse, a band of proslavery outlaws claiming to act under authority of the United States. The hotel was later rebuilt in 1857 as the Eldridge House.