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Sale 55: United States Postal History

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Transpacific Mail

Lots 1029-1038 Lots 1039-1042

Lot 1029    

1852 (Jun. 24) Charleston, S.C. To Canton, China Via New York, folded letter addressed to Thomas Walsh in China, care of Carey & Co. in New York, bearing 1852, 3¢ dull red, margins to just touched, rich color, tied by attractive blue "Charleston S.C. 'Paid' Jun 28" cds, upon arrival forwarded by Carey & Co. to care of Mess. Russell & Co. in Canton, China, carried by private ship as endorsed "pr 'Gertrude' ", docketed as received Jan. 4th, 1853 for over five month in transit; light vertical file folds, Very Fine and scarce private ship use to Canton, China.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

Realized: $1,900

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Lot 1030    

1859 (Jan. 6) Washington D.C. To Ascension Islands, Micronesia, cover addressed to Rev. Gulick in care of the missionary society in Boston, Mass., sent to Boston with manuscript "Saml S. Cox, MC" free frank and "Washington D.C., Free, Jan 6, 1859" cds, endorsed "Smithsonian Institute" at left, hand carried to its destination, Very Fine, an exceedingly rare destination, ex-Grunin.
Estimate    $200 - 300.

Samuel S. Cox was a Congressman for Ohio and regent of the Smithsonian Institute.

Realized: $650

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Lot 1031    

1866 (Jan. 20) Washington D.C. To Macao, China Via Hong Kong, legal size cover with Navy Department imprint and "Wm. Faxon" free frank endorsement as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, addressed to Commander Robert Townsend of the U.S.S. Wachusett, East India Squadron in Macao, China, "Washington D.C. Free Jan 20" origin cds, returned for postage as frank was not valid on overseas mails, bearing 5¢ brown (76), 10¢ green (68) and 30¢ orange (71), all tied by matching quartered corks duplexed with "Washington D.C. Jan 22" cds, partial red "N. York 'Paid' 24 Jan" exchange cds, carried by Cunard Line Scotia from New York Jan. 24th to Queenstown arriving Feb. 2nd, red London (2.5) transit cds and red crayon "1" pence colonial credit, Hong Kong (4.10) transit backstamp; cover faults, Fine.
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.


Captain Robert Townsend (1819-1866) was a Civil War-era ship Captain in the United States Navy. He served twice, once before the war and then again during the war. He saw active combat while serving aboard three ships, most notably as commander of the USS Essex from 1863-1864, an ironclad gunship on the Mississippi River. After relinquishing command of the Essex, Townsend was given command of the "Wachusett", which was outfitted as a gunboat and used by the Navy as part of the Union blockade of the Confederate States. On February 17, 1865, the ship was given orders to proceed to the East India Station by way of the Cape of Good Hope. There, she joined "Wyoming" and "Iroquois" in an effort to track down the Confederate commerce raider CSS "Shenandoah".

While in China the ship was engaged in efforts to track down outlaws and pirates who were harming American interests. In mid-August the ship sailed up the Yangtze River in this mission. The heat was reportedly 107 degrees Fahrenheit (42 °C) in the shade and the ship made difficult passage up the river. On August 15, 1866, four months after arrival of this letter, Robert Townsend died of heat stroke. The executive officer John Woodward (Jack) Philip, who was later Admiral, assumed command of the "Wachusett" and sailed it down river with the goal of making it to Japan for the health of the crew. That evening the ship anchored by the consulate in Shanghai and held a funeral for their commander.

Realized: $8,000

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Lot 1032    

1888 (May 3) Boston, Mass. To Yokohama, Japan Forwarded To Nagasaki, Boston machine cancel ties 1882, 5¢ yellow brown, on cover to Yokohama, Japan, forwarded to U.S. Consul at Nagasaki with blue "Walsh, Hall & Co., Yokohama, Japan, 25.Aug.88" forwarders oval backstamp; opening tears, Fine, a scarce Japanese forwarder use.
Scott No. 205    Estimate $200 - 300.

Realized: $270

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Lot 1033    

1896 (Mar. 23) Boston, Mass. To Yokohama, Japan, Forwarded To Kobe and Kioto, blue linen lined legal-size cover bearing 1895, 15¢ dark blue, pair, some faults, tied by Boston ovals, purple "Registered, Boston, Mass., Mar 23 1896" framed postmark, endorsed "pr Steamer 'Empress of India' from Vancouver", Japanese fowarding markings, Montreal (3.24) and Yokohama (4.13) backstamps; some edge wear, F.-V.F.
Scott No. 274    Estimate $200 - 300.

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Lot 1034    

1897 (Jan. 7) Wuhu, China To Canton, Ohio, cover bearing Wuhu 1896, 1c. blue local, slightly rough perfs, tied by blue "Wuhu, 7 - Jan. 97" cds and with additional strike on reverse, addressed to "Hon. Maj. William McKinley" who was the president elect at this time, reverse with additional strike of Wuhu cds and red "Shanghai Local Post, JA 8 '97" cds, entered Japanese post with Japan 1896, 5¢ deep ultra, tied by blue "Shanghai, I.J.P.O., 11 Jan 97" cds; Yokohama (1.16) transit backstamp, cover with two small fumigation slits, San Francisco (2.5) and Canton (2.11) arrival backstamps; hint of toning most likely from fumigation, Very Fine.
Scott No. Wuhu #47, Japan #88    Estimate $3,000 - 4,000.


Realized: $7,500

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Lot 1035    

1901 (Feb. 22) "Damaged in Wreck, of S.S. Rio De Janeiro, Feb 22 1901", purple three-line handstamp on cover from Japan to San Francisco, slightly washed out purple "Tokyo, Japan/Jan 28, 01" cds on front and "San Francisco, Cal., Feb 29, 01" receiving cds on reverse, the American steamer City of Rio de Janeiro sailed from Yokohama, Japan on Feb 2 and struck a ledge of rocks between Mile Rocks and Fort Point attempting to enter San Francisco Bay on Feb 22 and sank, Very Fine.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

Realized: $300

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Lot 1036    

1904 (Jan. 21) Portland, Ore. To Shanghai, China Forwarded To Hangchow, machine cancel ties 1902, 5¢ blue, corner flaw, on cover, reverse with U.S. Postal Agency Shanghai (2.14) cds, "Shanghai Local Post, Feb 15 '04" double-circle d.s., Shanghai (2.17) and Hangchow (2.20) arrival cds; reduced slightly at right, F.-V.F.
Estimate    $100 - 150.

Realized: $160

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Lot 1037    

1904 (Dec. 18) San Francisco, Cal. To Shanghai, China, post card bearing 1903, 2¢ shield tied by San Francisco (12.18) machine cancel to Shanghai, perfect bold strike of "Shanghai Local Post, Jan 17 '05" cds, Very Fine.
Scott No. 319    Estimate $100 - 150.

Realized: $75

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Lot 1038    

1908 (Jul. 13) Berkeley, Cal. To Peking, China Forwarded To Tientsin, cover bearing 1902, 5¢ blue tied by Berkeley machine cancel on cover to American Legation in Peking, forwarded upon arrival to the American Consulate in Tientsin using the Japanese post office, purple "Peking, I.J.P.O., 15.8.08" cds; Fine, A scarce forwarded use using the Japanese post office.
Estimate    $150 - 200.

Realized: $190

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Lots 1029-1038 Lots 1039-1042

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