Lot 716Sacramento Cal, Aug 1st, manuscript postmark and manuscript "10" rate marking on folded letter sheet (no contents) to pioneer physician Dr. John Townsend in San Francisco "Upper California," purple manuscript "12½" rate correction applied in San Francisco, necessarily an 1849 use given the manuscript postmark and so the earliest known Sacramento postmark, small arithmetic doodle, minor edge wear and light edge toning, Very Fine.
Estimate $500 - 750.
The 10¢ rate was the 1845 rate for a half ounce letter sent over 300 miles or a one ounce letter sent under 300 miles. The basic 1847-1848 Pacific Coast rates were 40¢ per half ounce between the West and the East and the peculiar amount of 12½¢ per half ounce between points in the West. Perhaps the newly appointed postmaster at Sacramento was familiar with the old rates and found the new ones confusing.
Sacramento manuscript postmarks are known used from August 1 (this cover) to October 18, 1849, with 12 examples recorded.
Dr. John Townsend came overland to California in 1844 and eventually settled in San Francisco where he practiced medicine. Townsend Street in San Francisco is named for him.