Terms of SaleBid IncrementsGradingLinksContact

Sale 83: Gems of Philately

Previous ChapterTable of ContentsNext Chapter

Western Covers

Lots 50-58

Lot 50

William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, two signed documents, first is St. Louis Oct. 10th 1817 Justice of Peace appointment document signed "William Clark" as Governor of Missouri Territory, second is 1809 Judge Advocate of the 2d Regiment of Militia part-printed appointment boldly signed "Meriwether Lewis" as Governor and Commander in Chief of Louisiana Territory; professionally framed together for display, Very Fine and choice pair of Lewis and Clark territorial governor documents.
Estimate    $7,500 - 10,000.

William Clark and Meriwether Lewis are best known for their roles as leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from May 1804 to September 1806, was the first American expedition to cross the western portion of the United States. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to explore and to map the newly acquired territory, to find a practical route across the western half of the continent, and to establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it. The campaign's secondary objectives were scientific and economic: to study the area's plants, animal life, and geography, and to establish trade with local American Indian tribes. The expedition returned to St. Louis to report its findings to Jefferson, with maps, sketches, and journals in hand.

Selected Images

Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) was an American explorer, soldier, politician, and public administrator. President Thomas Jefferson appointed him Governor of Upper Louisiana in 1806, serving until his death by gunshot wounds in what was either a murder or suicide, in October 1809. His signature is scarce as a result of his untimely death at the age of 35.

William Clark (1770-1838) was an American explorer, soldier, Indian agent, and territorial governor. A native of Virginia, he grew up in prestatehood Kentucky before later settling in what became the state of Missouri. Clark was a planter and slaveholder. Before the expedition, he served in a militia and the United States Army. Afterward, he served in a militia and as governor of the Missouri Territory. From 1822 until his death in 1838, he served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

Realized: $14,000

email this lot to a friend

Lot 51    

Miner's Envelope, illustrated miner's mountain scene showing bear and tent, "F.C.M. Fenn, San Francisco, Cal." imprint, on reverse of orange buff cover to New Canaan Conn. bearing 3¢ dull red (11), margins to just in, tied by bold "New-York Nov 7" cds; cover with repaired corners and top edges, Very Fine, ex-Jessup, Haas, Kutz; with 2008 P.F. certificate.
Estimate    $2,000 - 3,000.

THE UNIQUE USAGE OF THIS F.C.M. FENN "MINER'S ENVELOPES" DESIGN.

email this lot to a friend

Lot 52    

San Francisco "June 20", straightline postmark with magenta dating and matching "80" cent double-weight rating on circa 1849 blue folded cover to Darlington Md., carried by PMSS Panama from San Francisco Jun. 20th to Panama City arriving Jul. 12th, then overland to Chagres where placed on U.S. Steamship Co. Falcon departing July 28th to New York arriving Aug. 17th; some light aging, otherwise Very Fine.
Estimate    $750 - 1,000.

A RARE 80¢ FIRST DAY OF USAGE OF THE SAN FRANCISCO STRAIGHT LINE HANDSTAMP, ONE OF ONLY EIGHT RECORDED FROM THE FIRST CONTRACT SAILING OF THE S.S. PANAMA.

The San Francisco straight line postmark was used only on mail dispatched on the third, fourth, and fifth contract sailings from San Francisco to Panama in 1849. It was used on some mail dispatched on the first departure of the S.S. "Panama" on June 20 (including this folded letter), all mail dispatched on the second departure of the S.S. "Oregon" on July 2, and some mail dispatched on the second departure of the S.S. "California" on August 1. The straight line postmark was preceded by manuscript postmarks and succeeded by cds postmarks.

Realized: $725

email this lot to a friend

Lot 53    

(Doniphan Expedition - Sante Fe) "Sand Creek Camp, August 22, 1846", datelined folded letter by James H. Finley, carried by military courier back up the Sante Fe trail, entered mails with "Weston Mo. Sep 21" cd and manuscript "5" cent rating to Liberty Mo., letter reads in part: "…As the mail leaves our camp for Santa fee I embrace the present opportunity of writing to you. We arrived at Sana fee on the 18th inst. after a tedious march of 51 days…since leaving walnut creek we traveled about 300 miles up the arkansas to bentsfort. It is situated in a bout the same latitude of fort leavenworth distant about 900 miles. t is built pretty much in the form of the arsenal near Liberty of unburnt brick - the wall being much lower, there is also an additional wall covering about half an acre for the purpose of keeping their stock during the night or from being stolen by Indians…" and after describing Bents Fort on the Arkansas River (the last white settlement prior to crossing over the Mexican border), he also reports on a major loss of horses there: "…On the 28 of July we camped about 10 miles below the fort at the mouth of the picket wire [Purgatoire River] a considerable stream which rises in the spanish mountains about 100 miles from where it empties into the arkansas. It was here that a great many had the misfortune to loose their horses and among that number was myself. We arrived there early in the day and the horses about 1500 in number were turned loose in a bend in the river and a guard placed around them to keep them from rambling but owing to their carelessness a few that were permitted to get outside of the guard frightened the others and about 400 brokes, helter skelter and scattered in almost every direction, some across the askansaw, some across the picket wire and some to the plains. Almost every man in the camp was seen running to and from, in a state bordering on distraction for to loose a horse that distance from home, with but little chance of getting another, compelled to keep up with the army or left to the tender mercies of the savages, was enough to distract almost any man…", and the actual capture of the town seemed almost an anticlimax: "…Another days travel brought us to the Bagas [Las Vegas?] a small town situated between high mountains containing about 200 inhabitants. We were here informed that the spaniards had collected a force of 1500 men to oppose us but they dispersed before we reached the place. After passing several little towns all of which sworeallegiance to our government we came to the pas in the mexican cadilleras where Armiteho the gov of santafee had collected a force of 4 or 5000 men but upon hearing of our near approach they dispersed also. The next day we took peaceable possession of santafee…" and ends with "…We are now about 2000 strong and have taken the cannon which Armejo hid in a little town about two miles from where we are grazing together with the ammunition. It is not yet known whether we will return this winter or not but the supposition is that we will remain here until peace is made with mexico, or in the surrounding country."; some wear and toning, ex-library handstamp on title, Fine.
Estimate    $3,000 - 4,000.

AN EXCEPTIONAL LETTER WRITTEN LESS THAN ONE WEEK AFTER THE TAKING OF SANTE FE, CARRIED BY MILITARY COURIER BACK UP THE SANTE FE TRAIL IN THE FIRST MAIL OUT OF THE OCCUPIED CAPITAL OF NEW MEXICO.

Complete Images.

Realized: $3,750

email this lot to a friend

Lot 54    

1847 (Mar. 23) San Francisco Cal. to New York N.Y. via St. Louis Mo., folded letter datelined "St. Francisco March 23d 1847" from Allen Putnam to Col. Henry Stanton, Asst. Quarter Master General, reads "I happy to inform you of the safe arrl of the S. Drew to this Port in 53 days from Valparaiso. I found Perkins here. She did not stop anywhere after leaving Valparaiso. The Loo Choo has not arrd; she sailed from Valparaiso a few hours before us. I beg you will excuse these few lines, as I have not time write any more at this time, the express being ready to start for Monterey…", entered mails with red "St. Louis Mo., Aug 26" cds and matching "STEAM 10" straightline rating handstamp, upon arrival in New York the "10" was crossed out and ms. "f" for free as Stanton enjoyed the franking privilege; small edge tear, Very Fine.
Estimate    $7,500 - 10,000.

A REMARKABLE USE CARRIED OVERLAND BY BRIG. GENERAL KEARNY FROM CALIFORNIA TO FORT LEAVENWORTH.

This letter was carried by military express to Monterey and then overland May 31, 1847 by Brig. General Stephen Watts Kearny to Fort Leavenworth arriving on August 22. At Fort Leavenworth, Kearny, on his way to Washington D.C., boarded the steamboat "Amelia" August 23rd to St Louis and deposited his mail. They were postmarked upon arrival in St. Louis August 26th with 10¢ due.

Kearny was returning from the campaign that conquered California during the Mexican War; he brought Lt. Col. John C. Fremont with him - under arrest - for attempting to usurp Kearny's authority there. The trip over the California-Oregon trail took 66 days. Putnam had apparently been in charge of the ships mentioned in the letter that were carrying supplies to the Army in California.

email this lot to a friend

Lot 55    

Central Overland California & Pike's Peak Express Co., Denver City K.T., Nov 6, oval datestamp and "The Only Through Express, Direct your Letters Care C.O.C. & P.P. Express, St. Joseph, Mo. or Leavenworth, K.T." black on magenta express label affixed on yellow cover with manuscript "Gooding's Grove Ill, Mar 28" postmark with matching pen cancels on 3¢ dull red (26) to Mountain City, Kansas Territory; label with small tears, cover and label with small repair at top left, Very Fine appearance; with 2000 P.F. certificate.
Estimate    $4,000 - 6,000.

ONE OF ONLY THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE CENTRAL OVERLAND CALIFORNIA & PIKE'S PEAK EXPRESS LABEL IN MAGENTA ON COVER.

This company was the immediate predecessor of The Pony Express. It was organized by the firm of Russell, Majors & Waddell for the purpose of saving the partnership's freighting operations to army posts in the West. They were one of two firms that carried mail to the Pike's Peak region when the gold rush began there. COC&PPE had obtained the mail contract from St. Joseph to Salt Lake City operating over the Platte River Road. They carried the express Pike's Peak mail over this route as far as Julesburg, where it was diverted south to Denver, which had a post office, but no mail route serving the town.

This cover originated in Illinois. At St. Joseph it was handed to the COC&PPE who delivered it to Mountain City, Kansas Territory.

Complete Images.

Realized: $3,250

email this lot to a friend

Lot 56    

Eldridge Brothers' Express, elaborate all-over advertisement with large stagecoach and horses illustration on reverse of orange buff cover with clear "Lawrence K.T., Jan 12" cds and matching "Paid 3" in circle rating handstamp to Boston Mass.; opened on three sides for display, small ink smear and minor erosion, otherwise Very Fine and unique.
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.

THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THIS STUNNING ELDRIDGE BROTHERS KANSAS EXPRESS DESIGN.

There are three different illustrated designs associated with the Eldridge Brothers' Express.

Realized: $1,350

email this lot to a friend

Lot 57    

Eldbridge Brothers' Express, Kansas Stage Company Office, ornate all-over advertisement in several typefaces on reverse of yellow cover bearing 3¢ dull red (26) tied by "Lawrence, K.T. Mar 23" cds to Leedsville N.Y., pencil 1859 docketing; cover split for display and hinged together, otherwise Very Fine and unique.
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.

THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THIS STUNNING ELDRIDGE BROTHERS KANSAS EXPRESS DESIGN.

There are three different illustrated designs associated with the Eldridge Brothers' Express.

email this lot to a friend

Lot 58    

Jones & Russell's Pike's Peak Express Co, Denver City, Aug 8 1859, complete sharp strike of cds on yellow cover with manuscript "Paid 10c" rating to Mountain City, Colorado Territory, original letter datelined "Auraria, Aug 6th 1859" and discusses order for supplies and mentions don't neglect my claim; some edge restoration, Very Fine and choice appearance.
Estimate    $750 - 1,000.

While still operating the Leavenworth City & Pikes Peak Express, Jones and Russell purchased the John Hockaday line, which had the government mail contract to Salt Lake City via the Platte River. Eventually, this led to the termination of the Republican River-Fort Riley route used by the Leavenworth City & Pikes Peak Express. Jones & Russell's express operated from July 1859 to February 1860, charging 25¢ per letter.

Complete Images.

Realized: $1,000

email this lot to a friend

Lots 50-58

Previous ChapterTable of ContentsNext Chapter