Today in Postal History

Ireland to United States
December 13, 1862

Today's cover requires some detective work as the scan isn't very good.

The cover went into the mail in Derry (synonymous with Londonderry)
where it received a single circle H DERRY DE 13 (could be 18?) 62 duplex
with a diamond grid and 172 killer.
The stamp is an 1856 1s. deep green Victoria without corner letters
(SG 71 - SG J100 {specialized} covers the three green 1s. stamps SG 71-73).*

The next marking is a single circle PAID DERRY DE 19
(makes you think that 18 was the proper date for the first Derry CDS)
62 COL PACKET D (or maybe O).
Mackay, Irish Postmarks since 1840, records this
Derry Colonial Packet mark as having been in use from 1862 to 1875.*
A CO? PACKET mark is shown in Hubbard and Winter
North Atlantic Mail Sailings 1840-1875 associated with Liverpool.

The cover was marked in Portland with
a red 21 Cents to credit the Transatlantic rate to the US.
It then received an arrival marking in Portland showing 24 cents due.
The marking appears to be 24 PORTLAND [ME AMER. PKT?] JAN 6 1862.
The bracketed insertion is suggested by similar markings shown by Hubbard and Winter.
The 24 cent charge includes 3 cents for the domestic rate (< ½ oz, < 3000 miles).

The cover would have been carried by the Allan Line, a Canadian
steamship line, which operated between Liverpool and North America
carrying mail under contract with the US Post Office.

Portland, Maine, was the exchange office for mail
from this packet into the eastern United States.

During the summer, mail was put off at Riviere du Loup, the terminus
established on the St. Lawrence River 130 miles below Quebec.
The mail went via a connecting rail route to Portland.
When ice froze the St. Lawrence, the terminus was moved to Portland.

At this time, Londonderry on the north coast of Ireland was the
port of call for the line en route from Liverpool to North America.
Londonderry was also an exchange office for British mails.
The Allan Line was an alternative to the Cunnard and Inman lines
which stopped at Queenstown (Cobh) on the southern coast of Ireland.

This cover was carried by the steamer Anglo-Saxon
which sailed from Liverpool on December 18, Londonderry
on December 19, and arrived in Portland on January 6.

From Portland, the letter was forwarded to its destination in
Newark, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from New York City.

*Thanks to purpleandgold23 for help on the Derry duplex
and the Derry colonial packet markings.
Thanks, too, to Jim Whitford-Stark for his confirmation of the stamp identification.

Index

Today in Postal History
January February March April May June
July August September October November December

Pastnotes Index - The First 300 and the Next 208
provides more tidbits about stamps and collectors.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.