Details For Cover ID# 24249

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Cover Type: USA outbound with stamp(s)
Entered by: dwsnow
Added on:Jul 1, 16
Edited on:Sep 9, 21
Postmark: Sep 25, 1866
Origin: New York, New York, UNITED STATES
Destination: Palermo, Sicily, ITALY
10c Yellow Green (68). Horizontal pair, used with 1c Blue (63) and tied by circle of wedges cancels on folded letter from New York City to Palermo, Sicily, Italy, red "New York Paid Sep 25, 18" exchange office marking, and "New-York Am. Pkt. Sep. 29" datestamp, clear strike of "Paid-Only to England" and 40c Anglo-French accountancy marking, 1866 French transit railroad marking, "7" decimes manuscript marking, On reverse is boxed "10" decimes due handstamp as well as London transit and Palermo receiving backstamps, an unusual usage.  If it had been sent by French Mail the rate to destination would have been 21c, however due to the "Via England" routing instructions it was sent via England where it was treated as unpaid from England to Palermo.

This letter was carried on the Harve Line steamer Fulton, which departed New York on Sept. 29, 1866, and arrived in Falmouth, England, on Oct. 12. Judging by the earlier Sept. 25 New York marking, this letter evidently just missed an earlier packet, likely the Cunard Line steamer China, which had departed Boston on Sept. 26.

On 1 January 1862, the Two Sicilies had the French mail rate reduced from 30c per 7.5 grams to 21c. This rate paid to destination in Palermo as an Italian city. By British open mail, the 21c rate paid only to England, from where it was sent to destination as an unpaid letter. Unpaid letters were charged with transit postage of 40 centimes per 30 gram bulk rate. By this means England debited France only with British transit postage. This was the rate under article XXI of the Anglo-French treaty of 1856, but applied to all mail from the U.S. by a provisional agreement between England and France developed in 1850.

This letter was not subject to sea postage, because that had been paid in the U.S. as it was sent to Falmouth by the U.S. Mail steamer Fulton of the Havre Line. From Falmouth it was sent to London, where it received a small circular "A. B/ London/ Oc. 12/ 66" applied in blue on the reverse. The London exchange office also marked the letter "Paid - Only/ To England" and "GB/ 40c" before forwarding the letter to France.

The "Angl./ Amb. Calais D 13 Oct. 66" marking was applied by the traveling post office on board the train from Calais to Paris. The "D" in this railroad marking signifies the brigade, or mail crew that handled the letter. "Amb." stands for Ambulant. This traveling post office rated the cover for 7 decimes. The postage from France to Italy was evidently 2 decimes; added to the 5 decimes charged by France yielded 7 decimes, or 70 centimes to be collected in Palermo.

On the reverse is a red rectangular receiving datestamp from Palermo, as well as a boxed "10" marking that signifies a collection of 10 decimes required to pay Sardinian internal postage.

Sources: "Mail to the Two Sicilies" by George E. Hargest, Chronicle, May 1979, pages 138-139.  "Franco-British Accountancy Markings on Transatlantic Mails From The United States 1843-1875" by Jeffrey C. Bohn, Chronicle, February 1989, pages 63-64.  "North Atlantic Mail Sailings 1840-75" by Walter Hubbard and Richard F. Winter, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, 1988. Special thanks to Bob Watson.
Owner's ID: 1152
Certificate? No
For Sale? No
Stampless? No
Stamps:Stamp images are from reference catalog. Click image to view at larger resolution.
[SNS 16] SNS# 16 [1861 1¢ Blue - USA Stamps 1861-1865 Issue]
[SNS 20] SNS# 20 [1861 10¢ Green - USA Stamps 1861-1865 Issue]