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Posted Sep 19, 19 22:06 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

US - Canada

Scott - see § 128 of the 1857 Postal Regulations (probably in earlier editions also, but 1857 is what I pulled off my bookshelf)
"Letters received from Canada, to which are affixed United States postage stamps of sufficient value to prepay the full postage chargeable thereon, should be delivered without charge by the United States offices." 

Posted Sep 19, 19 21:42 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

US-Canada Stamps


You wrote: "Shortly thereafter an agreement was reached about the receiving country having the option of recognizing payment by postage stamp of the receiving country (even though improperly applied at country of origin)."

If I've seen that agreement, I've forgotten. Could you provide documentation source or post the agreement (the actual PO agreement, not a philatelic writer alluding to such a thing). Perhaps it is in Boggs. I don't have mine handy.

Posted Sep 19, 19 18:02 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

T Tax

Lawrence - The blue squiggle upper left is a "2", I don't think the cover was struck twice for double, rather the first boxed "T" got lost in the address, even though it was close to the blue "2". So another clear strike made at top.

Posted Sep 19, 19 17:58 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Postage Due J16

I am going to say the name is Majorna Sweden.

The "Taxe" is the clue. The boxed  "T" with long hanging top serifs and period was typically used in Sweden.

Still a nice usage.

Posted Sep 19, 19 17:51 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Postage Due T = Tax

Roger, thank you.

Interesting that it may have been struck T twice, 10c each.

Posted Sep 19, 19 17:03 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

T = tax

T = tax

It appears to be a double weight letter. 10 cents plus 10 cents penalty.

Posted Sep 19, 19 17:02 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Postage Due J16

This cover I think is from the island of Mallorca with a spelling variation of Majorka with ten 2c postage dues on the reverse.

Question: what does the T indicate?


Posted Sep 19, 19 16:59 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Postage Due J16

Reverse of cover with ten 2c postage due stamps (J16). A block of 8 and 2 singles.


Posted Sep 19, 19 12:22 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Recognition of wrong stamps under US- Canada agreement

On April 6, 1851 an agreement concerning payment on cross border letters was reached (ten cent, 6 pence rate). Shortly thereafter an agreement was reached about the receiving country having the option of recognizing payment by postage stamp of the receiving country (even though improperly applied at country of origin). July 1, 1851 not part of the story. The covers are very rare.

Posted Sep 18, 19 19:35 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

From the BBC

If you have not seen this article:"Tech Savvy Stamp Collectors .... "


Posted Sep 18, 19 12:53 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Bernard and Canada

"Gordon -- you should listen to the guy who did that write up (April 6, not July 1). My stuff is currently in storage, but I would guess the decision on wrong stamp acceptance was in April or May." Bernard earlier

I am confused by your comment. The 3 cent stamp was issued 1 July 1851. The cover with the place is clearly dated. There was a short period in 1847 that the law was unclear leading to the three Beaver covers owned by Bill Gross. Those were before 1 July 1851 and have 1847 stamps.

Perhaps I am not understanding what you are say or the law or both???

Posted Sep 18, 19 12:49 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Gala at National Postal Museum

This is a message from Charles Shreve - I want to pass it on. Will be a great event and the National Postal Museum is well worth supporting.

Dear Fellow Board Members,

We are only one month away from our big Royal/Gala weekend in DC and it looks like we are headed to a financially successful – and exciting gala.

But the real reason I am interrupting your day, just for a couple of minutes, is to remind all of us – including me – why we “invest” so much of our collective time, efforts and, yes, money into the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Sometimes we all must wonder if we are making a difference in promoting the hobby we love. It’s hard to know since most of us live far away from the museum and don’t interact with visitors.

I don’t know if any of you ever go on the website by TripAdvisor and check out the reviews about the NPM and the Gross Gallery. I do……every day before I shut off my computer just to see what visitors are saying. I want to know if we are doing something wrong, or if we are doing it right. Let me share a review just from the other day on TripAdvisor that sums up perfectly what many are saying about the museum:


"I'm not even into philately and I can say that this is one of the most interesting museums I've ever visited. The exhibits are designed to pique your interest, the videos are short and information and hold your attention, and the mix of interactive and passive user experience is superb. I could have spent half a day or more here. Who knew the history of mail and the US postal system could be so fascinating? There's part of an old train here, where mail used to be carried, Owney the mail dog, an airplane that used to deliver mail, real post boxes all over...the place is fun, colorful and worth exploring for hours. There's a table for stamp collectors to pore through boxes and take free stamps(limit to six, purely on an honor basis!) and two great computers for the visitor to make his/her own stamps. The guards were all sweet, as were the staff we ran into. I came twice, the first day spending most of my time having an interesting conversation with one of their regulars, an Allen Schneider, an erudite gentleman, and a stamp collector. On the second day, I was actually bemoaning not being able to spend over 2 hours here as I was leaving DC."

I had heard about this museum and avoided it as I was always afraid I would be poring over tiny stamps. Don't be the fool I was! Kudos to the curators and designers for creating this lovely museum! This review and hundreds of other positive reviews have to buoy your spirits that the museum is making a difference.

I hope you consider attending the Gala and sharing the museum with fellow collectors.


Charles Shreve

Posted Sep 18, 19 12:26 by Steve Walske (steve w)

Siege of Paris

The last mail train from Paris left on September 18, 1870 at 7pm with mail to the 2pm 4th collection period. All mail from the 5th collection period and beyond was caught in the German siege and carried out by line-crossers or manned balloons.

Next year will be the 150th anniversary of the siege.

This unpaid letter from the 6th collection was initially charged 30 centimes due, but that was corrected to reflect the military free frank in effect at that time.


Posted Sep 18, 19 9:18 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


Gordon -- you should listen to the guy who did that write up (April 6, not July 1). My stuff is currently in storage, but I would guess the decision on wrong stamp acceptance was in April or May.

Posted Sep 17, 19 13:00 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Illegal Use of US Stamps From Canada

Bernard is correct in the law effective 1 July 1851. Here are two covers from Canada, one accepted one not accepted.


Posted Sep 17, 19 10:47 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Postage Due -- stamps abroad

Under the 1851 agreement with Canada, the only stamps of the country of mailing were considered valid, but they made a little agreement that they would leave the recognition or not of destination country frankings up to the destination country. Richard had one such that passed successfully in a sale, probably around 1983 or so.

Incidentally, those covers with dues used as postage -- if they were put on by the sender rather than a demented clerk -- how did the public get unused valid postage due labels?

Posted Sep 16, 19 22:25 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Postage Due paid with coil

Postage due paid with coil for excessive writing


Posted Sep 16, 19 22:18 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Postage Due Paid W/

Incoming mail from India, one of my favorite covers


Posted Sep 16, 19 16:05 by Terence Hines (thines)

Blue 0

I've never understood why the USPOD charged postage due when a US stamps was cancelled by a foreign country. After all, the stamp(s) had been bought so the POD did get their money. It was the country of origin that was out the postage, not the US.

Posted Sep 16, 19 13:18 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Frajola due exhibit

Thanks -- that confirms my wild guess. I note in the exhibit a couple of examples of postage dues put on at origin and apparently illegally paying the postage. Seems likely, but perhaps there is the off chance that some ignorant clerk was trying to indicate postage due, not postage paid, and put the stamps on. This of course would be totally misguided. It think it an unlikely, but not impossible explanation.

Posted Sep 16, 19 9:52 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

UPU - blue crayon O

See page 46 in pdf file here. After purchasing the John Irwin collection of postage dues, I added a few things and mounted it all as an exhibit. First link is to the postal history portion and the proofs / stamps / precancels are here.

Invalid stamp ...

Posted Sep 16, 19 9:37 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Due 6

What is the meaning of the blue 0 under the U.S. label? Is it an indication that it had no value when used in England??? The guy who soaked the dues off obviously had no clue he was degrading a rare and interesting item.

Posted Sep 16, 19 9:14 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: Registry Service At New York City

Morning Wayne and all,

Congratulations on three beautifully displayed informative frames of material.

Wayne, I would like to share with you off board images of a few covers that will generate some questions for future discussion and research. Also look at the Registered U.S.A. data base over on Stamp Smarter for some additional material. I have more to add once fall sets in and I can cycle off of the outside to do list.

Please email me .

Best regards, Russ Ryle

PS: are you working up the oval marks types 6 and 7 as well? How about the later NYC markings?

Posted Sep 15, 19 8:50 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Registry Service at New York City

I just uploaded three single frame exhibits contributed by Wayne Schuetz:

New York City Registry Labels, 1883-1911

New York City Examiner Markings, 1873-1883

New York City Examiner Markings, 1882-1902

Thank you Wayne!

Posted Sep 14, 19 22:36 by Ray Porter (rporter314)



Yes. It is probably the case the stamps were removed by an avid collector.

Advertising. This is done only after there has been an attempt to deliver the mail. Thus the NYC foreign exchange duplex circle rating would not account for advertising in Brooklyn.

NYC was particularly conscientious in using their singular appearing large oval advertising handstamp. I do not have an example of Brooklyn advertising in this time period.

If we disregard the NYC foreign exchange office rating, we would have a routine UPU single rate letter with an invalid use of postage or Due 10 cents. So what possessed the clerk to rate it as Due 6 cents? A ship letter would have been rated as Due 4 cents. A non-UPU letter would have been rated Due 5 cents. And of course any speculation about ignoring the invalid use makes it even more bizarre.

The "best" explanation I can imagine (as I am still shaking my head) is the clerk read the British tombstone handstamp as short paid 15 centimes, which would make the letter Due 6.

Posted Sep 14, 19 14:17 by Matthew Kewriga (mkewriga)

Postage Due


The missing stamps are probably just postage dues that were removed by someone, a collector?

Also, is it possible the extra 1c is for advertising? The extra stamps were cancelled by date straightlines, but obviously New York did not mark "Advertised" and the 6c is a foreign department handstamp. The ship letter rate at this time period was 4c

Posted Sep 14, 19 14:14 by Ray Porter (rporter314)


I think I need another person checking behind me. Yes I found some residual gum precisely where B Biales noted at bottom  right. What I thought was a smudge turns out to be a combination of smudge and gum. It appears there were as indicated  2 stamps which have now been removed.

Bundling. I have been slowly researching this and this becomes a complex endeavor. Early on after the 1879 PL&R there was a POD form for total number of dues stamps used sent with mail from one office to another. I have never seen the form or seen any other references to one, so can only comment on what PL&R says. This was sort of stopped in one of the Postal Guides but is still not clear to me. The only bundling I have seen during the period 1879-1894 are from Boston.

The use of a NYC exchange office handstamp indicating postage due does not seem as a likely indicator of bundling. In addition a rating of Due 6 does not comport with a "return due" or "forwarding due" use. I think that less likely.

Handed to payer. I suspect that may have been more likely much earlier. The PL&R indicates the protocol is not to hand over money and receive a stamp in hand for shortages. Postage Due stamps are bills and receipts for services rendered to be affixed to mail. However I do not discount anything involving dues. It seems I continue to find strange and unusual uses and ratings.

PO's. The PL&R makes the distinction between free delivery offices and all others regarding the handling of postage dues. There are differences between forms used, time of affixation, and handling drop letters.

Brooklyn. As I preciously stated, I continue to find new previously unreported due items. My noteson Brooklyn cancels used on dues are the colorful early "donuts" both large and small lasting until about 1888. After 1888 Brooklyn used mostly double ovals and some geometrics. This particular cover appears to have a lightly applied date handstamp which tied a couple of dues to cover.

Thanks for seeing what I did not see.

Posted Sep 13, 19 12:55 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Postage Due

Possibly postage due collected on more than one item, stamps for the aggregate amount affixed and canceled on one representing the lot. Possibly charged to account and stamps affixed to receipt.

Posted Sep 13, 19 12:05 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Due 6

1) Not the clean cut off of the partial markings at bottom and right. Are there lost labels that were barely attached? 2) I like less the idea the stamps were cancelled and handed separately to the payer. 3) Don't understand the comment about differential handling depending on level of post office. What is the operational difference?

4) It would be interesting to see if other Brooklyn covers in period used a dater as postage due canceller.

Posted Sep 13, 19 10:38 by Ray Porter (rporter314)


I buy these kinds of covers because they are confusing to me. Here is latest example.

Mailed from Port Talbot with US stamp, it was properly denoted as an invalid use of postage payment and rated as deficient 25 centimes.

The exchange office in NYC apparently ignored the British handstamp and rated the letter as "due 6" which should translate as a double UPU rating for a short payment of 15 centimes.

The are no indictions of any due stamps applied. In this case there should have been at least 2 stamps used. Also note POD regulations required postage due stamps to be applied at destination (unless the PO is an ordinary office in which case due stamp should be applied when called for delivery). As Brooklyn was a 1st class office due stamps should have been applied. My notes on Brooklyn cancels used on postage due stamps does not indicate precancel use at this time period.

The only explanation I could imagine is the Brooklyn PO ignored all the rating handstamps and accepted the invalid use as valid and simply delivered the letter without penalty. Could there be another explanation? Please educate me.

The reverse only has a Brooklyn receiver and no residual gum.


Posted Sep 12, 19 11:38 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


As a child, Irving was blessed by the newly elected President, George Washington, whose bio he later wrote. An important late 18th century Salem correspondence is the Crowninshields', whose covers, including an amazing series of forwarded items c 1812 grace my and now Mark's expanded holding. In "The Devil and Tom Walker", a Crowninshield name graces one of the trees listing the Devil's victories. It turns out that the Irvings were doing illegal (but common) trade with the British during the Second War of Independence" and got caught by the great Crowninshield privateer America, yielding a rich prize. Irving got scant revenge in the short story. "Cleopatra's Barge", by a man who married into the family in the 20th century has some amusing tales.

Posted Sep 12, 19 8:51 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Washington Irving


The ship is Washington Irving, not Washington Irvine. She was named after the author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Irving also served as U.S. Ambassador to Spain.

Posted Sep 12, 19 0:43 by Winston Williams (winstonw)

Washington Irving

John, Thank you, the clipper aspect explains the relatively quick sailing time. Your post prompted me to remember that a couple of years later Joseph Kennedy immigrated to Boston on the Washington Irvine. I've seen one ship letter carried on that voyage (letter had no Kennedy connection), although I imagine there are others carried on that voyage still in existence.

Posted Sep 11, 19 23:13 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

Boston Ship Cover

Nice find. Thanks John, and thanks to all who responded both on- and off-board.

Posted Sep 11, 19 15:55 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Washington Irving

Here is a record from the Salem Register.

"Washington Irving" was a clipper ship designed and built by Donald McKay in Boston. At the time his ships were the world's fastest vessels under sail, and they remain a marvel today.


Posted Sep 11, 19 13:21 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)



My error. The letter does seem to read 1847. The contemporary New Bedford papers note that the Washington Irving arrived at Boston on April 10.

Posted Sep 11, 19 12:38 by Winston Williams (winstonw)

Boston Ship Letter

Sorry, I don't agree with 1846 - sailing ships did not cross that quickly then, especially westwards! From the English side the Washington Irvine sailed on 21 March 1847, which would be the day after the letter date, if the year is 1847, although arriving on 10 April would be a relatively quick westward crossing.

Posted Sep 11, 19 12:08 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Boston Ship letter

George, I’d bet on it. The dateline is a day or two before the Washington Irving reportedly left Liverpool in April 1846. Everything fits.

Posted Sep 11, 19 10:02 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

Boston Ship Letter

Thanks, Mark. The cover isn't mine and I was asking for someone else. The owner thought the letter was dated either 1855 or 1857, and the attached scan is of poor quality. I suppose the date could be 1847?


Posted Sep 11, 19 9:42 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Boston Ship letter

George, First, the markings were applied at Boston. Second, is the letter dated? The markings are appropriate for a letter rated per the Act of 1845, with 5¢ for a letter sent up to 300 miles, plus a 2¢ ship fee. Hard to tell, but the CDS could be one used only in red from April 1842 through Oct. 1847. And the Washington Irving is reported to have arrived in Boston from Liverpool around April 19, 1846.

Posted Sep 11, 19 9:21 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Mary Harris

No need to apologize.  I suspect everyone here is just happy to see you post.
Rob Faux

Posted Sep 11, 19 9:03 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

British cover

Am I correct in my supposition that this cover was 7-cents due (Postal Act of March 3, 1851 specified unpaid mail up to 3000-miles charged 5-cents; 2 cents for Ship's Fee)?

Also, were the '7' and 'Ship' markings applied in Boston or in GB, and was the red ink used for them indicative of an unpaid letter?


Posted Sep 11, 19 8:40 by labron harris (golfer)

mary harris

I would like to give a belated thank you to all the people that posted messages about my recently deceased wife, Mary, on the message board. I really appreciated all the kind words and I would like to think that Mary saw them too. I am sorry I am so late in responding, but trying to handle all the problems one's passing requires takes up a great deal of time. I apologize to all our friends for being so late in posting this message. Labron Harris

Posted Sep 11, 19 7:30 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Louisiana Purchase Expo pictures


(a nice sequel to Kelleher's sale of Mel Getlan's 1904 Saint Louis philatelic collection)

Posted Sep 11, 19 6:56 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Captain Cook

The recent book Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia by Christina Thompson, which I recommend, says that scholars of Polynesia date events in the dispersal to and settlement of the East and South Pacific islands B.C. and A.C.

Posted Sep 11, 19 6:51 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Sachsenhausen letter

That letter is in the collection/exhibit I sold to the Spungen Foundation in 2007. It is intact, and can be viewed here. All my research material went with it, so I no longer have the exact wording that the APS Translation Service provided in the 1980s or 1990s. What I wrote on the page (Frame 2, Page 3) is:  Lorenz Janowski concealed a note to his wife beneath a pair of 6-pfennig stamps on this August 16, 1942, letter. Written in Polish, the secret message acknowledged receipt of clothing and asked for bread. The normal letter inside, written in German as required, contained only the permissible platitudes. Prisoners were allowed to request parcels from their loved ones, but they were not permitted to request specific items.

Posted Sep 11, 19 6:24 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

Sachsenhausen Censor

Ken, is there a translation of the secret message ? Tim

Posted Sep 11, 19 5:55 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Capt James Cook, Third Voyage

Daryl Kibble just sent me a publicity release about his new book which is shown below.

A subject near and dear to my heart.

Richard Cook Frajola


Posted Sep 10, 19 16:14 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Colin Tebeart

We now have Colin's last two books in stock

British Long Distance Mail Packets 1793-1815, 2019 , 500 pages, hard bound $95
British West Africa Mail Pakcets to 1900, 2015, 560 pages, hard bond  $105
Astralian and New Zealand, please enquire

First book $3 part postage, each additional $1

[email protected]

Posted Sep 10, 19 10:32 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Nazi POW censor

This prisoner-of-war cover sold yesterday on eBay. It would be a good addition to a Transport air mail collection. The Nazi POW censor tore away the 6¢ air mail stamp to search for a hidden message, then nicely struck the void with his marker.


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