Lot 20141776 (Aug. 1) Grenada to London, England "Privateer Letter", datelined folded letter with noted on backflap "The Captain who brought this sayd he was taken by an american Privateer and all his letters were opened and returned him again.", carried by private ship to Ireland, entered mails with "Ship /Cork" and manuscript "5" pence rating, London "10/MA" Bishop backstamp and "11" pence final due rating; small edge tear, Very Fine.
Estimate $5,000 - 7,500.
A RARE 1776 LETTER FROM SHIP CAPTAIN TAKEN BY AMERICAN PRIVATEER.
Lot 2015Fort Fillmore, N.M., Aug 16 '57, manuscript New Mexico Territory postmark and matching pen strokes cancel 3¢ dull red (11A) on light buff 1857 cover to Philadelphia Pa.; top left edge mend, Very Fine appearance.
Estimate $500 - 750.
ONE OF ABOUT SIX RECORDED FORT FILLMORE MANUSCRIPT POSTMARKS.
Lot 2016"Fort Union, Feb 3rd 52", manuscript New Mexico Territory military postmark with matching pen strokes just tying 3¢ orange brown (10A), large margins to touched, on 1852 buff cover to Annapolis Md., sharp "Baltimore, Md. Mar 8" cds and manuscript "Way" rating, cover was sent by Assistant Surgeon Thomas McParlin and docketed "Recd March 9th 1852, W.H. McParlin", Extremely Fine and remarkable use, ex-Chase, Ball, Walske.
Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.
THE EARLIEST RECORDED FULL STAMPED COVER FROM NEW MEXICO TERRITORY.
Fort Union, was located close to the Santa Fe trail in north eastern New Mexico. Its main functions was to provide military escorts to the monthly mails between Santa Fe and Independence, Missouri. This letter was carried under the first Waldo, Hall mail contract.
Three modes of transport were used:
1. By wagon: Fort Union depart 3 February 1852 via Independence, to St. Louis (arrive 26 February)
2. By steamboat: St. Louis depart 27 February, via Cairo and Louisville to Wheeling, Virginia
3. By railway: Wheeling via Harrisburg, to Baltimore arrive 8 March with "Way" rating and sent on to Annapolis.
Lot 2017Hecktown / July / Penn'a, three-line datestamp without day in unusual octagonal frame with manuscript "5" rating on 1845 folded letter to Wycoming County Pa., Very Fine strike and rare.
Estimate $500 - 750.
Lot 2018San Francisco, Cal. to Durango, Mexico (Oct. 15, 1854), blue datelined folded cover with San Francisco blue "Paid" handstamp and red crayon "10" cent prepaid rating, additional pencil "10" as usual, "Acapulco" straightline with matching "3" reales handstamp overstruck with blue "4" handstamp, second strike above; light horizontal fold, Very Fine.
Estimate $400 - 600.
Lot 2019Scrantonia, Pa., four lines in cross-section of railroad track frame clearly struck in red with matching "Paid" and "5" handstamps on folded letter to Wilkes Barre, Pa., Extremely Fine choice example of this rare pictorial postmark.
Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.
The Scrantonia post office was established on February 12, 1850. The town name was changed to Scranton on Jan 23, 1851. This unusual postmark design is in the shape of the cross section of a railroad iron rail which where produced at the Lackawanna Iron Works.
Lot 2020Sitka, Alaska T. Dec 3, discernable cds with matching blurry target cancel ties 3¢ ultramarine (114) on cover to Millersport, Ohio, original "Head Quarters, Sitka Alaska Territory, December 2nd 1870" letterhead enclosure from 2nd Lt. David Alexander Lyle of the 2nd Artillery with some interesting content "…I am on a General Court Martial on one of the gravest crimes in the criminal calendar - Murder - but this court had to adjourn to meet below - at Ft. Vancouver - but Borrow's being ordered to Washington D.C. leaves me in Command of the Company…" and goes on to remark he was "Officer of the Day" every other day; Post Adjutant and Post Treasurer; Company Commander and "Officer in Charge of Destitute Russians", etc.; accompanied by two other 3¢ #114 covers addressed to Lt. Lyle while at Alcatraz Island from Fort Leavenworth Feb. 14th 1870 and from Arizona City, Ariz. Terr. Feb. 19th 1870; also a further 3¢ #U59 entire to Alcatraz, Very Fine.
Estimate $10,000 - 15,000.
Russian Alaska was purchased by the U.S. Government in 1867 and designated as the Department of Alaska until its organization as the District of Alaska in 1884. During the department era, Alaska was under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army until 1877, the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury (from 1877 until 1879) and the U.S. Navy (from 1879 until 1884). The area later became the District of Alaska (1884), then the Territory of Alaska (1912), then the State of Alaska (1959).
Lyle graduated from the military academy on October 17, 1865, being 41st in his class at a time when even the top five graduates had difficulty in securing appointments in a regular army being reduced to a peacetime establishment. Lyle was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Artillery on 15 June 1869. He became a 1st Lieutenant of Ordnance in November 1874, a Captain 23 August 1881 and a Major on 7 April 1899.
The trial referenced was an ex-Army soldier William B. Bird who held a grudge for his earlier court marshal and dishonorable discharged. He got into an altercation with some Army Officers and fired shots through the saloon door killing a Revenue Marine Service officer who accompanied the Army Officers. He was treated as if he was still in the military, since there was no civilian court competent to investigate and dispose of the case.
Reference: "A Military Correspondence of 1869 Covers" by Richard B. Graham, Chronicle 119, Aug. 1983 (Vol. 35. No.3).
Lot 2021"Tucson NM, May 15.", manuscript postmark by Mark Aldrich on buff cover addressed to General James W. Denver as Commissioner of Indian Affairs (April-June 1857) in Washington, D.C., carried by military express to Santa Fe, instead of entering the regular mails there, it was carried in a military pouch to Washington, D.C., Very Fine, ex-Birkinbine.
Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.
THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED UNITED STATES POSTMARK FROM ARIZONA.
Mark Aldrich was a wealthy Arizona merchant who facilitated the mails even before he was officially appointed postmaster. Before Aldrich settled in the West, he lived in Illinois. He was one of five tried and acquitted in the murder of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith in 1844. After becoming very wealthy as a merchant, he became Tucson's unofficial first mayor and served as the postmaster (he was officially appointed November 11, 1857).