Lot 30581811 (Apr. 8) London, England to Philadelphia Pa., folded letter endorsed "p Essex Frigate", carried as endorsed by Frigate Essex from Cowes May 6th to Annapolis arriving Jul. 1st, entered mails with sharp strike of "ANNAPOLIS, Md. July 1." straightline and matching "SHIP" handstamp with manuscript "14½" due rating for 12½¢ inland postage plus 2¢ ship fee, docketed as received July 4th.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.
THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THIS "ANNAPOLIS, MD." STRAIGHTLINE POSTMARK.
This sailing was a prelude to the War of 1812. Anglo-American relations had been worsening since the 1790s, due to harassment of American merchant vessels engaged in "neutral trade" with France during Britain's war with France.
In 1811 President Madison recalled the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Thomas Pinckney, and replaced him with J. Smith as Charges des Affairs — a position of lower rank. The 46-gun U.S. Frigate Essex was sent to England to transport Pinckney home to Annapolis. She put into Cowes on the Isle of Wight, just offshore from the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor, to where Pinckney is reported to have traveled from London and met for a long conference with Smith.
This letter was carried on the last voyage of the Frigate Essex to Europe before the War. She took 23 prizes during the war before being trapped in the harbor of Valparaiso and captured by the British.
Lot 30591813 (Oct. 23) Philadelphia Pa. to London, England via Gibraltar, datelined folded letter by cartel ship through the mid-Atlantic blockade from Philadelphia Nov. 22nd to Madeira, then by Packet Montague from Madeira Jan. 2nd to Scilly arriving Jan. 14th, driven ashore in gale, processed through London's Foreign Letter Office on Jan. 25, 1814 with strike of "Foreign JA 25, 1814" double-circle datestamp on flap, manuscript "5/2" for double the 2s7d packet rate from Madeira less 2p Foreign Office rebate, Very Fine and rare Cartel Ship use through Blockade, ex-Arnell, Walske.
Estimate $750 - 1,000.
Cartel ship advertised for Madeira at 25¢ per letter as fee to Captain. From Poulson's American Daily Advertiser, Philadelphia, Nov. 19, 1813, p. 3: "Letter bags for England and Ireland will be forwarded on Monday Evening next the 22d inst. from the Marchants' Coffee House, by a vessel for Madeira from whence they will be sent to those places by a respectable house at Madeira". London's Foreign Letter Office processed mail to and from the European Continent, letters handled by this office were entitled to a 2p deduction from the published rates.
Privateering threatened packets to New York, so service was halted in March 1813. By GPO notice of 11 March 1814: "HM pkts having ceased to go to NY you are to cease receiving letters with pkt postage to the USA. Only ship letter bags may occasionally be sent." Britain announced the blockade of Delaware River on 5 February 1813, New York Harbor on 26 May 1814, and Boston Harbor on 25 April 1814.
Reference: "British Long Distance Mail Packets 1793-1815", by Tabeart, C., 2019, Illustrated and Discussed on p. 412.
Lot 30601814 (Jun. 25) London, England to Philadelphia Pa. via Boston, folded cover docketed on back "Bainbridge & Brown London" and endorsed "P. Cartel" at bottom, clear strike of red "Paid Ship Letter, London, Ju 25, 1814" crown cds and red manuscript "2/2" for two-times the 1s1d rate, carried through the New England blockade by cartel ship to Boston (began April 25, 1814), Boston red "SHIP" straightline and manuscript "42" cents due for double 20¢ plus 2¢ ship fee; minor soiling, Very Fine and rate, ex-Walske.
Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.
AN OUTSTANDING CARTEL SHIP COVER SENT THROUGH THE NEWLY INSTITUTED BRITISH NEW ENGLAND BLOCKADE.
Letter was sent for half the 2 shilling 2p packet rate, as the British post office "Paid Ship Letter" service would forward mail at the 1s1d ship rate by cartel ships to the United States.
Reference: "British Long Distance Mail Packets 1793-1815", by Tabeart, C., 2019, Illustrated and Discussed on p. 435.
Lot 30611814 (Oct. 10) London, England to Germantown Pa., datelined folded letter addressed to Germantown "near Philadelphia", carried through the Delaware Bay blockade to Philadelphia, flap with manuscript "Enclosed to and forwarded by… P.F. Guntworth 4 Dec. 1814", red "PHI 4 DE" cds with manuscript "8" cent rate for less than 40 miles to Germantown, Very Fine, a choice blockade-run cover handled by a Philadelphia forwarder, ex-Walske.
Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.
THE ONLY RECORDED COVER BLOCKADE-RUN IN OR OUT OF DELAWARE BAY DURING THE WAR OF 1812-15.
"The enemy's squadron have been in the Bay for two or three days, consisting of the "Spenser" 74 and the "Pactolus" frigate, with a tender." Extract of a letter from Lewes, Delaware, 2 Dec 1814: Poulson's American Daily Advertiser, 12 Dec.
Lot 30621814 (Dec. 27) London, England to Providence R.I., datelined folded letter with excellent strike of scarce "Post Paid Withdrawn Ship Letter, London, 30 De 1814" handstamp, carried by Ship Pacific from London via Cork to Philadelphia arriving May 17th, letter was delayed several weeks at Cork due to gales, arrived five and a half months later with Philadelphia red "Phi,17 May" cds and matching "SHIP" arc handstamp and manuscript "27½" due rating for 17¢ inland, 2¢ ship and 8½¢ surcharge, Extremely Fine and choice, ex-Risvold.
Estimate $4,000 - 6,000.
AN EXCEPTIONAL STRIKE OF THE LONDON WITHDRAWN SHIP LETTER HANDSTAMP. ONE OF ONLY 7 RECORDED WITHDRAWN SHIP LETTERS LANDED AT PHILADELPHIA.
Commercial letter written the day after the arrival of the Treaty of Ghent in London and the day before it was ratified by the Prince Regent Dec. 28, 1814: "We congratulate you most sincerely on the near approach of Peace between our two countries - so long and anxiously desired - the Preliminary Treaty from the Commissioners at Ghent having arrived yesterday - has been ratified by the Prince Regent - & will be forwarded without delay, to the United States for the Signature of the President - which we cannot doubt will be obtained - until that takes place, hostilities are not to cease….We hope to get this on board the M.W. which carries out the Treaty." Tho. Dickason & Co. to Messrs. Brown & Ives, Providence R.I.
Rates Respond to the Economics of War: Commerce with the United States was important to British business, so with packet service unavailable, GPO London reduced the ship-letter rate by 30% to 8½ pence. Conversely, because the U.S. Treasury was essentially bankrupt, American inland rates and the ship-letter fee were increased by 50%.
Effective Oct. 10, 1814, senders could use any private ship of their choosing if they prepaid one-third of the 2s2d packet-letter rate (26d x .33 = 8.58d, rounded to 8.5d). Such letters were thus "withdrawn" from the mails. The postmark was struck, as per instructions, over the folded letter-joint to prevent further enclosures. The Post Paid Withdrawn-Ship-Letter option was terminated on July 11, 1815.
Lot 30631815 (Jan. 20) Manchester, England to Philadelphia Pa., datelined folded letter, partly clear strike of red "Liverpool Post Paid Withdrawn Ship Letter 28 JA" with crown double-circle datestamp on back and red manuscript "p 9" pence prepaid rating as one-third of the 2s2d packet rate, carried by Cartel Ship Royal Edward from Liverpool carried through the blockade to Philadelphia arriving Jun. 12th, entered mails with bold strike of Philadelphia brownish "9" in circle prepaid handstamp for the 9¢ in-port ship fee due (6¢ plus 50% war surcharge), Very Fine cartel ship letter assessed the 9¢ war ship rate, ex-Arnell, Walske.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.
ONE OF ONLY THREE CARTEL-SHIP COVERS RECORDED IN OR OUT OF DELAWARE BAY DURING THIS WAR. AN EXCEPTIONAL STRIKE OF ONLY 8 RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE PHILADELPHIA "9" CENT WAR-SURCHARGE SHIP RATING HANDSTAMP.
Lot 30641815 (May 22) Liverpool, England to Philadelphia Pa., folded letter endorsed per "Superior" at lower left, reverse with partial indistinct strike of red "Liverpool Post Paid Withdrawn Ship Letter 28 JA" with crown double-circle datestamp on back and red manuscript "p 1N6" prepaid rating, carried by Cartel Ship Superior from Liverpool May 19th to Philadelphia arriving Jul. 20th, entered the mails with Philadelphia red circled "9" war surcharge port of entry ship rate handstamp; some soiling and letter bleed, Fine cartel ship letter assessed the 9¢ war ship rate, ex-Arnell, Kroulin.
Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.
ONE OF ONLY THREE CARTEL-SHIP COVERS RECORDED IN OR OUT OF DELAWARE BAY DURING THIS WAR. ONE OF ONLY 8 RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE PHILADELPHIA "9" CENT WAR-SURCHARGE SHIP RATING HANDSTAMP.
Lot 30651815 (Oct. 3) London, England to Philadelphia Pa., folded letter docketed from "Bainbridges & Brown" who were merchants in London, carried by Ship Catherine & Edward from The Downs Oct. 27th to Philadelphia arriving Dec. 18th, entered the mails with Philadelphia red circled "9" war surcharge port of entry ship rate handstamp, docketed received Dec. 18th; minor fold splitting, file fold toning, F.-V.F.; with 2009 P.F. certificate.
Estimate $500 - 750.
ONE OF ONLY 8 RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE PHILADELPHIA "9" CENT WAR-SURCHARGE SHIP RATING HANDSTAMP.