Today in Postal History


Cuba to United States
February 27, 1873

This stampless letter was sent from Matanzas about 80 km east of Havana.
Matanzas is almost 190 km due south of Key West, Florida.

The sender was aboard a freighter just ready to load a cargo of sugar bound for the United States.
The tone of the letter suggests that he may have been a member of the Captain's family.
Often in this era, the Captain owned the vessel and bought the goods on his own behalf.

The letter was carried aboard a ship (probably not the sender's ship) whose first
port of call in the United States was New York where the letter was placed in the mail.
The sender probably paid the ship directly for carriage to the United States.

In New York the letter was postmarked N. Y. Steamship 10 indicating 10 due.
The script Due 10 ct. was also added.
The cover was then carried overland to its destination in Freeport, Maine.
Freeport is less than 30 km northeast of Portland on the coast.
The cover is somewhat shortened by opening at the right.
The cover also has an embossed monogram on the flap.
I suspect that mongramming unusual for a letter from
a member of the crew of a trading vessel at this time.


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