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Sale 85: The Westpex Sale

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State Postmarks - Missouri (Missouri Territory)

Lots 984-993 Lot 994

Lot 984    

(Missouri Territory) "Cape Girardeau Mo. T., Otober 17th 1819", manuscript postmark and matching "Paid 25" rating on 1819 folded letter to New Orleans La.; light fold toning, otherwise Very Fine, ex-Alexander.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

Cape Girardeau was first settled in 1794; the town was incorporated in 1805 and the post office was established the next year. It is located on the Mississippi River, about 150 miles south of St. Louis. This cover is from the Cox-Heins correspondence. In it, Cox reports to his future wife on the seemingly interminable trip from New Orleans to St. Louis, which he began by steamboat on August 16, 1819.

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 985    

(Missouri Territory) (Fort Bellefontaine) St Louis, Sep 9, clear strike of two-line postmark on folded letter datelined "St. Louis Sept. 6th 1816" from a military dispatch from Capt. Eli B. Clemson to C. Irvine, Commissioner General Purchases at Philadelphia; some light toning, F.-V.F.
Estimate    $200 - 300.

Captain Eli B. Clemson, had been in charge of the troops that established Fort Osage in 1808. He came to Fort Bellefontaine after Fort Osage was temporarily evacuated in 1813.

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Current Opening Bid: $90

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Lot 986    

(Missouri Territory) (Fort Bellefontaine) St. Louis / Apr 15, two-line postmark and red manuscript "Free" rating on 1817 folded military letter from Brigadier General Thomas A. Smith to Col. Robert Butler, Adj. General S. Division, U.S. Army, Nashville Tenn., endorsed "Pub. Service", he writes "If reports from the Indian country can be believed, several of the Tribes are disposed to commence hostilities this spring, they are endeavoring to draw into the Confederacy all the Indians on the upper Mississippi; if any information should be received that will render an additional force necessary, I will communicate it by Express", F.-V.F. with interesting Indian content.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

General Smith was the officer in charge during the building of Fort Crawford at Prairie Du Chien. He was a leading figure in frontier Missouri; following service at Fort Bellefontaine he resigned in 1818 to become the first receiver of public moneys at the Franklin Land Office, a position he held for about 10 years. He later operated a farm in Saline County which was called "Experiment", indicating his lack of experience in farming. The recipient of this letter, Col. Robert Butler, had been breveted Lt. Col. "for gallant action during the siege of New Orleans." When this letter was written he was Adjutant General of the Division of the South, stationed at Nashville. After resigning from the Army, he served as Surveyor General of Public Lands in Florida.

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 987    

(Missouri Territory) "Franklin Mo T., Jun 4", manuscript postmark with matching "25" cent rating on 1819 folded letter datelined "Chareton, May 24th 1819" to Baltimore Md.; light aging and corner flaw, Fine, One of only two recorded Missouri Territory usages.
Estimate    $200 - 300.

Franklin, founded in 1816, was once the metropolis of the Boone's Lick country, a central Missouri region taking its name from a salt lick worked by the sons of Daniel Boone. Kit Carson was apprenticed here to a saddler and George Caleb Bingham's father ran a hotel near the river front. At this time, Franklin was on the leading edge of the frontier. From here William Becknell, the "Father of the Sante Fe Trail", led the first trading expedition to Sante Fee in 1821 and took the first wagons over the route in 1822.

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Current Opening Bid: $90

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Lot 988    

(Missouri Territory) "Jackson, April 25", manuscript postmark with matching "25" rating on 1817 folded letter to Brattleboro, Vt., datelined "Jackson, County of Cape Girardeau Missouri April 23d, 1817"; some soiling, Fine, ex-Alexander.
Estimate    $400 - 600.

THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED JACKSON, MO. POSTMARK.

This letter is from an attorney who practices law across the Mississippi River in Illinois Territory. He reports to a friend in Brattleboro that the local judge has abandoned his office and returned home to Maryland. He suggests that the friend apply for the position. He reports on his first, wildly successful case in the territory: "I was very successful in some important causes when I first arrived in the Territory. One, on which a whole estate depended, I argued on the several points made, three days, and succeeded. A rich man had endeavored to take a large estate from the heir, who was poor, by fraudulent will. He had engaged, at a high price, all the bar. Popular indignation was realized against him to the highest pitch. I arrived just in time to take the poor man's part, and to advocate the cause of him and the people. I had no other business, and had time thoroughly to investigate the case. The court house as crowded with people from every part of the county, ready even to fight on my side of the question. I had been for four days searching and digesting all the law which could have any bearing on the subject. I could not refrain from being eloquent, and I reasoned better than I ever did before in my life. I drove them from their imaginary strong holds, till one of their most able counsel exclaimed, "this yankey is like a cat, if we toss him ever so high, he will be sure to come down upon his feet!" After the trial was over, the people presented me with a handsome sum, which they made up by subscription.".

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Current Opening Bid: $190

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Lot 989    

(Missouri Territory) "New Madrid Mo. T., 1 Octr. 1819", manuscript postmark with matching "Paid 25" rating on folded letter to New Orleans La. from the Cox-Heins correspondence; some paper loss at top edge and flap, some fold wear, Fine and scarce, This is the latest recorded use in the A.S.C.C. , ex-Alexander.
Estimate    $400 - 600.

New Madrid was founded in 1776 on the Mississippi River, 275 miles south of St. Louis by Spanish Governor Estaban Miro he welcomed American settles requiring them to become Spanish citizens living under Spanish laws. Soon after the Revolutionary War, Colonel William Morgan from New Jersey lead a large group of American families in the area. The post office was established in 1805. In 1811, it was near the epicenter of one of the great earthquakes ever that shook the area and gave its name to the fault that caused them.

Cox was on his way from New Orleans to St. Louis and describes the perils of the trip: "We had the misfortune some days since to get our vessel aground by which accident we lost eight days otherwise we should have been at St. Louis. It is yet distant about two hundred & fifty miles and without further accident we shall reach there in eight or ten days…I am yet quite nervous from a late attack of the fever Our Distress from Sickness my dear Girl has been greater than you can imagine we have buried nine put ten on shore very ill and have yet some sickness on board though no dangerous cases…".

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Current Opening Bid: $190

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Lot 990    

(Missouri Territory) "Rossville M.T., 2d Febry 1817", manuscript postmark with matching "Paid 37½" rating on 1817 folded letter addressed to the Circuit Court of Livingston County Kentucky, the enclosed deposition given by Stephen Norris regarding details of a purchase of Negro slaves from a half breed Indian "who lived in the Cherokee Town on white river in this Territory…"; file folds and soiling, F.-V.F., ex-Alexander.
Estimate    $750 - 1,000.

ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED ROSSVILLE, MISSOURI TERRITORIAL USAGES KNOWN.

An early pioneer named John Ross operated a ferry across the Mississippi River a short distance south of Cairo, Illinois. The area was known as Ross Point with the name later being changed to Rossville. It was first located in New Madrid County and transferred to Mississippi County when that county was formed at a later date.

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Current Opening Bid: $350

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Lot 991    

(Missouri Territory) St. Louis, July 16, two-line italicized postmark and manuscript "free A. T. Crane P.M." free frank endorsement on 1819 folded letter and printed "St. Louis Land Agency & Commission Office" circular to Westerly R.I.; small tone spot, Very Fine.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

This cover is franked by Capt. A.T. Crane, the third postmaster of St. Louis. While serving as Postmaster, he was also engaged in business under the name of Crane & Beck Western Land Agency. The enclosure is a printed circular of the Agency, franked by Crane as Postmaster. Crane became Postmaster in October 1818, following the death of Dr. Robert Simpson on September 11th of that year. At this time the post office was located in the old mansion of Mrs. Auguste Chouteau, at the southwest comer of Main and Chestnut Streets. Crane died in November 1819 and was succeeded in office on the first of December by Elias Rector.

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Current Opening Bid: $325

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Lot 992    

(Missouri Territory) St. Louis Mo.T. May 25, red cds and red manuscript "Free" rating on folded letter datelined "Fort Crawford, Prairie du Chien, April 25, 1820" Michigan Territory from Capt. J. R. Stubbs to Gen. Jessup, Quartermaster General, Washington City, letter concerns acceptance of appointment to the quartermasters department, carried privately from Fort Crawford to St. Louis and deposited in the mails there; light fold toning, F.-V.F. and early mail from Fort Crawford, ex-Risvold.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 993    

(Missouri Territory) "St Louis, July. 17", two-line postmark and manuscript "30" cent war surcharge rating on 1815 to Lexington Ky., horizontal fold wear, otherwise Very Fine and scarce War of 1812 surcharge use, Alexander notes this as the EKU of straightlines.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

Straightline postmarks were first adopted when Dr. Robert Simpson became the postmaster of St. Louis in 1815. He was the second Postmaster at St. Louis, serving from 1815 to 1818. He was a physician by training. He moved to St. Louis from Maryland in 181, married Rufus Easton's sister, and became the Assistant Postmaster to his brother-in-law. He succeeded Easton as Postmaster in 1815, when Easton resigned to become the territorial delegate to Congress. He maintained use of the straightline postmarks throughout his tenure until his death on September 11, 1818.

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Current Opening Bid: $150

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Lots 984-993 Lot 994

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