Details For Cover ID# 28685

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Cover Type: USA outbound stampless
Entered by: bridgemania
Added on:Jun 4, 20
Edited on:Jun 5, 20
Postmark: Oct 20, 1870 (Direct mail during Franco-Prussian War - simple letter for US and double port for France)
Origin: New York, New York, UNITED STATES
Destination: Nimes, FRANCE

This letter is an example of the Direct Mail U.S.-France from 1 January 1870 to 31 July 1874. In 1870, essentially only two steamship lines carried mail directly from the United States to France. The first line was the HAPAG Line, which called at Cherbourg in route to Hamburg from New York on the eastbound voyages and at Havre on the westbound voyages from Hamburg to New York. The second line was the French Line H operating between Havre and New York with a call at Brest, France. The rate from the United States for a ½ oz. (14.17 grams) letter by direct steamship to France was 10¢. This rate had been established by the Act of 30 June 1864, effective 1 July 1864, which set a uniform fee for all letters carried by steamships addressed to or received from countries with which the U.S. did not have an international convention. The 10¢ fee had to be prepaid on letters to France and covered transit fees to the French arrival port only. On letters from France the 10¢ postage was collected from the addressee in the United States. Letters arriving in France by direct steamship from 1 January 1870 were subject to postage due of 80 centimes (8 decimes) per 10 grams. This envelope with letter inside of the “S. Housman & Co.” firm was posted in New York on 19 October 1870, and was addressed to Nimes. On backside the 23 mm private blue double circle datestamp “S.HOUSMAN & CO/(date)/NEW YORK”. It was prepaid 10¢ for the single outgoing steamship rate, a letter weighing less than ½ oz., with a 10¢ brown 1870 National Bank Note adhesive cancelled with a black cork cancel. A New York exchange office clerk struck a 26 mm red orange date-stamp, “NEW-YORK/(date)”, to show the date that the letter would be forwarded from New York, 19 October.(1) The letter was included in the mail placed on board the French Line H steamship St. Laurent, departing New York on 20 October and arriving at Brest, France, on 31 October 1870.(2) The French postal agent on board the St. Laurent struck the 21 mm red orange octagonal date-stamp, “ETATS-UNIS/(date)/PAQ.FR. H N°4”, showing that the letter came from the United States, entered the French mail system on a French Line H steamer, and that the agent used marking set no. 4 on this voyage. The date in the agent's marking, 20 October 1870, reflected the date that the steamer left New York. The agent marked an orange crayon "2" in the upper left corner showing that the letter required two rates and struck the black “16” handstamp to show that 2 x 8 decimes = 16 decimes postage was due. This was the amount for a letter from the United States by direct packet weighing between 10 and 20 grams and so we can say that this letter weight had to be 10 to 14,17 grams. The letter arrived in Nimes on 3 November (arrival datemark on backside) in 4 days and this long time is probably due to conveyance problems during the Franco-Prussian war, especially in those days of the Siege of Paris.

1) Hubbard and Winter - North Atlantic Mail Sailings 1840-75 - pag.367, marking no.247 2) Hubbard and Winter - North Atlantic Mail Sailings 1840-75 - pag.282

An identical letter in Richard Winter book “Understanding Transatlantic Mail Volume 1” fig.5-424 pag.377

Certificate? No
For Sale? Yes, price not specified.   Interested in this cover? Contact bridgemania.
Stampless? Yes