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Sale 55: United States Postal History

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Revolutionary War

Lots 346-355

Lot 346

[Revolutionary War] 1776 "United States Lottery", printed ticket, approx. 5.75x2.25", with ornate design at left, decorative borders at right and bottom, reads: "THIS TICKET entitles the Bearer to receive such PRIZE as may be drawn against its Number according to a Resolution of CONGRESS, passed at Philadelphia, November 18, 1776. signed "J Budden"; light toning, Very Fine.
Estimate    $150 - 200.

Realized: $375

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Lot 347

[Revolutionary War] 1777 Revolutionary War Bond - State of Massachusetts Bay, 213x228mm printed bond dated September 10th 1777 (the day before the American victory at Brandywine and 14 months after the Declaration of Independence). Paid off, on reverse, December 1st 1782; light aging, Very Fine.
Estimate    $200 - 300.

Realized: $190

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Lot 348

[Revolutionary War] 1783 (Jun. 19) Announcement of the Resumption of the Post Office, complete original four-page Boston Mass. newspaper "The Continental Journal and Weekly Advertiser" dated Jun 19th 1783, this have Revolutionary War news including an inside page announcement, "…It is with pleasure we inform the public that a line of post-offices are again established throughout the Continent, from Falmouth (Maine) at the Eastward, to Savannah in Georgia", and news "The Troops belonging to the American army who enlisted during the war, are discharged and are dayly returning home…A large embarkation of troops it is said, is taking place at New-York. Those that were taken with Gen. Burgoyne are going to Canada; the foreign troops with Cornwallis's army, are bound for England…", Very Fine and interesting Colonial Post Office collateral.
Estimate    $400 - 600.

Realized: $400

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Lot 349    

[Revolutionary War] "Abington June 1st 1775", dateline on folded letter carried privately and addressed to Cotton Tufts at Weymouth Mass. as Chairman of the Committees of Cohasset Hingham Weymouth & Braintree, reads "Pursuant to your letter (of the 30 of May) to use directed we send you as followith…. (Selectmen of Abington) Joshua How, Benjamin Bate, Joshua Shaw (Committee of Correspondence of Abington) Lieut. Nath.el Pratt, "" Thos. Wilks, Col. David Jones, "" David Jenkins, ""Dan.el Noyes, Capt Willm. Reed, Capt. Edward Cobb… By order of the Selectmen and Committee of Correspondence, attest Daniel Noyes Clerk""; some fold separation, Fine.
Estimate    $3,000 - 4,000.

The Battle of Lexington-Concord marked the outbreak of the Revolutionary War on April 19th 1775. This call to arms letter was sent two weeks prior to the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17th 1775. The addressee, Cotton Tufts was a Massachusetts physician. He was a cousin of John Adams. He was the grandson of Peter Tufts, who immigrated to the United States in 1654. Cotton graduated from Harvard in 1749, studied medicine, and settled at Weymouth.

The Committees of Correspondence were shadow governments organized by the Patriot leaders of the Thirteen Colonies on the eve of the American Revolution. They coordinated responses to Britain and shared their plans; by 1773 they had emerged as shadow governments, superseding the colonial legislature and royal officials.

Realized: $3,750

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Lot 350

[Revolutionary War] Fort Stanwix, Octr: 18th: 1762, dateline on part lettersheet from John Freemon Marke to Committee of War for ye County of Bristol, letter states "Please to pay to Major Nathel: Peck or his order the wages that is due to one as a soldier in Majr: Pecks Company in ye Rhode Island Regiment; and his receipt shall be your discharge and you will much oblige your Humble Servants; John Freemon Marke"; some edge faults, Fine.
Estimate    $200 - 300.

Fort Stanwix was a colonial fort whose construction commenced on August 26, 1758, under the direction of British General John Stanwix, at the location of present-day Rome, New York, but was not completed until about 1762. The star fort was built to guard a portage known as the Oneida Carrying Place during the French and Indian War.

Realized: $105

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Lot 351    

[Revolutionary War] The Goddard Constitutional Post, "Portsmouth April 11th 1774" dateline on letter from the Town of Portsmouth Committee of Correspondence to its counterpart in Maryland, it reads, "By Mr. Wm. Goddard we are furnished with your sentiments of the expediency of establishing a post throughout this continent upon a plan, which may render useless the Post Offices now established by an Act of the British Parliament, which Act is so generally allowed to be unconstitutional, that we apprehend it needless to say any thing of the obvious tendency of said act to subvert our Liberties & Privileges - It appears to us, in present view of the matter, that there is no great difficulty in carrying into execution the establishment of a Post upon constitutional principal, in all the Colonies; especially when we take into consideration the progress Mr. Goddard has already made in order to the effectual accomplishment of this plan - A union of all the Colonies upon this Continent, will not only facilitate the undertaking but must be productive in its consequences of the most salutary measures, to render ineffectual every plan of the British Ministry to enslave us --We have had several meetings of the merchants & traders in this town, who in general esteem the undertaking much; & are now subscribing for the purpose of carrying it into execution here. Upon the whole it is our opinion that this town will readily join in the measures taken by our brethren in the other Colonies to establish a continental Post Office.", signed by Sam Cutts on behalf of the committee; some folds and minor paper breaks, Very Fine.
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.


Just before the outbreak of the American Revolution, William G. Goddard conceived the idea of establishing a purely American postal service. In little more than a year, beginning in February 1774, he set up the system that was taken over by Benjamin Franklin, the first Postmaster General appoint by the Continental Congress in mid-1775. Goddard himself might have become the Postmaster General, but his fiery temper and abrasive manner made this impossible. By December of that year, the British post gave up any attempt to maintain its inland routes and continued to operate only its packet service.

Goddard referred to his system as "Constitutional" to distinguish it from the Parliamentary post, which was subject to political censorship and was viewed as another attempt to impose a tax without the consent of the people. He worked through local safety and correspondence committees in establishing his post.

Realized: $5,250

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Lot 352    

[Revolutionary War] Hugh Finley, Organizer of the Parliamentary posts in Canada after Benjamin Franklin was dismissed from office in 1774, two items: first is folded letter addressed to him in Quebec and sent from Montreal, clear "Montreal Febry. 23" backstamp, second is a letter signed by him and sent to an employee, both carried free of charge, fresh and Very Fine.
Estimate    $400 - 600.

Realized: $525

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Lot 353

[Revolutionary War] King George III, signature on large piece of document with seal at right; hint of top edge toning; accompanied by two printed engravings of the King, Very Fine.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

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Lot 354    

[Revolutionary War] Letter To Artist John Trumbull Concerning His Painting "Declaration of Independence", folded letter written by Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis to Colonel John Trumbull, datelined "Boston January 12th 1824", endorsed "Favored by Rev. Dr. Wainwright", crossed out and posted with red "New York Jan 24" cds. In the letter Jarvis, seeking to purchase a print of Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence", requests that Trumbull favor him by personally selecting a copy of the print for him as "…I shall set a much higher value upon a copy selected by the distinguished artist to whom his Country is indebted for this National work." Docketed on the reverse in Trumbull's hand "Recd. Dr. S.T. Jarvis Boston, Jany. 24th 1824". Address leaf is weak along folds, letter is Very Fine.
Estimate    $500 - 750.

Trumbull's oil painting, "Declaration of Independence", depicts the presentation of the draft of the Declaration to Congress. It is 18 feet wide by 12' feet high and hangs in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

Samuel Farmer Jarvis was a prominent Episcopal clergyman and historian.

Realized: $675

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Lot 355    

[Revolutionary War] Pittsg. Pa Feb 21, cds on 1800 folded cover addressed to Frederick A. Mulhlenberg, William Nichols & Robert Morris Junr. Esquires, Trustees North American Land Company in Philadelphia; folds splitting, some toning, Fine, an early use of the Pittsburgh Federally issued townmark.
Estimate    $100 - 150.

Robert Morris (1734-1806), signer of the Declaration of Independence, merchant and land speculator, is best known for his role as financier for the Continental Congress. With the national government virtually bankrupt, Morris risked his own personal fortune by purchasing supplies for the army, pressuring the states for cash contributions and securing a major French loan to finance the Bank of North America. He spent his remaining years in various public positions, including senator of Pennsylvania. Morris speculated extensively in Western land after the war, forming the North American Land Co. with James Greenleaf and Jonathan Nicholson. Soon after, however, the land market collapsed and Morris was ruined. The final blow came in 1798, when a minor creditor’s claim sent him to the Philadelphia debtor's prison.

Realized: $260

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Lots 346-355

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