Lot 3167(French Retaliatory Rates) 1853 (Feb. 8) Philadelphia, Pa. to Cognac, France, folded letter with blue "Philadelphia Pa. Feb 8" cds and red "Paid" handstamp with red manuscript "21" prepaid rating for British open mail rate by British packet, red "New-York Br. Pkt. Feb 9" exchange cds, carried by Cunard Line Africa from New York Feb. 9th to Liverpool arriving Feb. 23rd, Calais (2.24) entry cds with "13" décimes due handstamp for 7½ to 15 grams; small edge flaws, F.-V.F., a scarce second retaliatory rate period usage (January 24 to February 10, 1853), ex-Winter.
Estimate $500 - 750.
THE ONLY RECORDED COVER FROM PHILADELPHIA DURING THIS RETALIATORY PERIOD.
The Retaliatory Rate Period of 24 January to 10 February, 1853
Due to miscommunication, U.S. Postmaster General Hubbard thought that double sea postage was being charged on letters to France carried via American packets in the British open mail. This had been the case, but Hubbard was unaware that the French had already corrected the inequity by lowering their rate to the U.S. from 15 decimes to 13 decimes. Hubbard's new rate was 21 cents regardless of whether a letter was carried by British or American packet. Hubbard's misapprehension was corrected, and the retaliation was suspended after only 17 days.