Lot 2021"Estill & Co Express", manuscript endorsement on 1850 buff cover from along the overland trail addressed to Oskaloosa, Iowa, entered mails with "Weston Mo. Aug 16" cds and matching red "10" cents due handstamp, pencil "Jun 19 - 50" origin and manuscript "Received August 26th 1850" receipt docketing on reverse reveals a rather lengthy ten-day delay from Weston to Oskaloosa; few minor stains and cosmetic repairs, still Very Fine for a journey in a saddle bag.
Estimate $5,000 - 7,500.
ONE OF ONLY SIX RECORDED COVERS ALL FROM THE ONE TRIP ARE KNOWN, TWO OF WHICH ARE ENSCONCED IN THE WELLS FARGO HISTORY ROOM WILTSEE COLLECTION.
Colonel James M. Estill made a single round-trip on the Oregon-to-California Trail between Weston, Missouri and Pacific Spring, in the Sweetwater River Valley of present day Wyoming. His idea was to promote a transcontinental express service in lieu of the US mail by collecting the mail along the emigrant trail for a fee of 50¢ per letter. Estill reportedly deposited 4000 letters into the US mail system at Weston, Missouri on Aug 16, 1850. Only a handful of Estill Express covers are known to survive, all sent collect 10¢. Accompanied by scanned newspaper clippings concerning the company and fees.
References: Pictured in Winter's "Nebraska Territory Postal History" on page 48.
Lot 2022Langton's Pioneer Express/Marysville, blue oval handstamp with 2nd strike with oval "Paid" applied over Marysville used as a provisional frank on 1853-55 3¢ Nesbitt entire to Timbuctoo, used in 1857, Very Fine and rare.
Estimate $500 - 750.
Lot 2023Pacific Express Co./Marysville, blue oval handstamp with additional strike of oval "Paid" at center used as a frank on 1853-55 3¢ Nesbitt entire to San Francisco, second type Pacific Express Co./Marysville oval applied, flap missing, Very Fine, a rare cover with handstamp used as a provisional frank, ex-Barkhausen.
Estimate $400 - 600.
Lot 2024Pacific Express Co., Paid., blue horse and rider frank (PAC-700) on cover addressed to Easingwold, England, franked with four margin 1855, 10¢ green, types III-IV-III three singles (15 & 16 position 86L1) affixed over express frank, all tied by "Sacramento City, Cal., Aug 4, 1857" cds's, red 3 credit handstamp and British "Paid, Sp 18, 1857" entry cds, receiving backstamp; stamps lifted and placed back, center type IV stamp with small flaws and cover with some edge wear, Very Fine appearance; with 2011 P.F. certificate.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.
AN EXTREMELY RARE USAGE OF THE 1855 10¢ TYPE IV RECUT ISSUE ON COVER TO ENGLAND ON A PACIFIC EXPRESS CO. BLUE FRANK COVER.
This Pacific Express blue frank is very rare with only one example is listed in Thomas PAC-700 census.
Lot 2025(Pony Express) California Pony Express, Paid, red oval handstamp of New York applied on 1860 3¢ Star Die entire and address to "Messrs Crosby & Dibbler" in San Francisco, manuscript directive "Pony Express" at bottom left and "Paid" at upper left, Pony Express pencil rate "500" indicating that the double $2.50 rate had been paid, oval handstamp of The Central Overland California & Pike's Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo., Oct. 18 applied on the date of departure of the Westbound Pony arriving in San Francisco on October 30, 1860, flap missing and tiny mended tear at top, Extremely Fine.
Estimate $7,500 - 10,000.
A STUNNING PONY EXPRESS COVER PAYING THE DOUBLE RATE DURING THE SECOND PERIOD FROM THE FAMOUS CROSBY-DIBBLER CORRESPONDENCE.
This is an outstanding usage with two very interesting features. Westbound Pony covers are rarer than eastbound with only twelve listed in the Frajola-Kramer-Walske census with the red New York oval "California Pony Express, Paid" handstamp. This cover demonstrates the under 3,000 miles loophole that allowed westbound mail to be sent in bundles from the East Coast to St. Joseph by mail with only 3¢ domestic postage prepaid. This loophole was closed by the Act of February 27, 1861 that eliminated the mileage provision and required 10¢ postage on any letter crossing the Rocky Mountains.
Lot 2026Pony Express "Free W. H. Russell" Free Frank, manuscript endorsement at upper left on 1860, 3¢ Star Die entire (U27) addressed to "Wm. A. Carter Esq., Fort Bridger, Utah" in Russell's hand, bold oval "The Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, St. Joseph, Mo., Sep 30" origin date stamp, reverse with Carter's "Rec'd. Oct. 6th/60" docketing on reverse showing six days of travel from St. Joseph, Mo. to Fort Bridger, Utah Territory; cover opening reduction at right slightly into indicia and a few minor edge tears, F.-V.F., Frajola, Walske and Kramer census #W15A, illustrated in Coburn's Letters of Gold (page 254), ex-Haas & Kramer.
Estimate $7,500 - 10,000.
ONE OF THREE WESTBOUND PONY EXPRESS COVERS RECORDED WITH THE PONY EXPRESS FOUNDER WILLIAM H. RUSSELL'S FREE FRANK SIGNATURE - ADDRESSED TO PROMINENT FORT BRIDGER BUSINESSMAN AND PONY EXPRESS STATION AGENT, WILLIAM A. CARTER.
This cover was sent to William Alexander Carter (1818-1881), who was born in Virginia and came to Fort Bridger with Johnston's army in 1857 during the so-called Utah War. Since goods and people traveling west passed through Fort Bridger, Carter was at the center of economic activities on the frontier. Making the most of his situation, Carter opened a general store. He carried on a brisk trade with soldiers, scientific expeditions, miners and mountaineers, Indians, and emigrants on the Overland Trail. He also served as postmaster, Pony Express agent, probate judge and justice of the peace until 1881. He was considered one the most important individuals at Fort Bridger at the time and was known as "Mr. Fort Bridger" and to many contemporaries Fort Bridger was "Carter's Fort".
Lot 2027Reynolds & Co.'s Express, black oval handstamp on 1850 cover postmarked New York/Dec 11/40 cds to San Francisco, small cover repair at bottom, Very Fine and superb strike of this scarce express company, ex-B. Pearce.
Estimate $750 - 1,000.
This early express was started by Angevine Reynolds in January 1850. It ran from Sacramento and Stockton to the camps of the Southern Mines.
Lot 2028Reynolds & Co.'s Express, San Francisco, Stockton & Sonora, blue oval backstamp with matching "Not Paid" in oval handstamp on cover from Angouleme, France to San Francisco Cal., red "Angouleme 13 Juin '51" origin cds with "PD" and "P.P." framed handstamps with manuscript "2.80" 2fr80c paid rating on reverse for transit fees via Panama by West Indies route, red London (6.16) transit, carried by RMSPC Medway from Southampton Jun. 17 to Chagres arriving Jul. 11, San Francisco red "20" cents due rating, Extremely Fine, ex-Winter.
Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.
ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED 28 DÉCIMES RATES VIA PANAMA TO CALIFORNIA WITH EXPRESS COMPANY HANDLING.
Letter endorsed for British route to Panama, a 2 Franc 80 centime rate for eight months only, and paid in cash (manuscript on reverse). Empire City Line steamer Constitution carried letter from Panama City to San Francisco. French prepayment was to Panama only leaving 20¢ postage due for American contract steamer transit to San Francisco. Letter carried from San Francisco to the northern gold fields by Reynolds & Co. Express for an additional charge of $1.00.
Lot 2029Rhodes & Whitney's Express/Weaverville, bold blue oval handstamp on scarce 1853-55 6¢ green entire to San Francisco from the "Tandler" correspondence, part of flap torn away, Very Fine and attractive, a scarce usage of the 6¢ entire.
Estimate $400 - 600.
Lot 2030(Snowshoe Thompson) Carson Valley, U.T., May 6, mostly clear strike of Utah Territory cds on 1855, 10¢ Nesbitt entire (U16) to Middletown R.I.; expert restoration at top, Extremely Fine appearance.
Estimate $500 - 750.
Several covers were carried by Snowshoe Thompson's express from Carson Valley to Placerville during the winters of 1857-58 and 1858-1859. This cover would have been carried by Thompson from the Carson Valley post office in his role as a Chorpenning's sub-contractor for the mails, from Carson Valley to Placerville. See the article "Across the Sierra Nevada Mountains by Snow-Shoe" by Risvold and Frajola in Chronicle 215 (Aug. 2007, p. 201-211).