|Stamps - Postal History - Pre 1900|
Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions / The Westpex Sale - 25/04/2019 / Western Express Covers - Adams to Todd & Bryan's / Lot 820
Todd & Bryan's Express, wonderful clear strike of small shield handstamp and " Columbus " straightline handstamp on folded letter to Florida, Missouri, entered the mails with " San Francisco, 17 June / 40 " large cds with integral rate in red and light strike of " Per Str. Columbus " straightline handstamp in matching red, letter (2-1/2 pages) is from a miner to his mother back home and datelined "Tuoloma (sic) County, State of California, June 2d A.D. 1850" even though California was not yet a state at the time, the writer describes Tuolumne County as a "wild barren mountainous country" and himself as "shut out as it were from all the social blessings of life, which is the fate of all who are in pursuit of the only desirable thing that this country abounds in (that is gold)…I have been doing very well during the last ten days, I have taken out of the dirt over three hundred dollars… I have taken out one piece in company with three others with whom I am now working that weighs 20 ounces the value of which is over 300 dollars and a variety of others weighing from 5 to 30 dollars," separation at the folds, corner and edge wear, a bit soiled, F.-V.F., a rare if not unique example of a ship endorsement applied by an express company , cover illustrated in Nathan's Franks of Western Expresses (page 208) and Coburn's Letters of Gold (page 150), ex-Drew . Estimate $2,000 - 3,000. This cover was carried on the first departure of the non-contract Law's Line SS Columbus from San Francisco on June 18, 1850. Endorsements were required for letters to be carried on non-contract ships, and Todd & Bryan's Express was clearly prepared. Todd & Bryan's Express was one of the first express companies to emerge during the California gold rush. They operated from the southern mines to Stockton and thence to San Francisco. This cover was sent a month before Bryan left the partnership and the company was renamed simply Todd & Co.'s Express.