Feb. 6, 1849
Feb. 6, 1849
Originating in Marseille, France and sent via London forwarder (Coxhead & Co.). Contents are an invoice copy, evidently of no great urgency. Since at original time of posting, this letter would have been anticipated to be charge retaliatory (double) postage through normal postal channels (Anglo-French treaty mail via Cunard Line) it was sent to the forwarder to select an economical route, perhaps in anticipation of the reduced treaty (US-British) rates already negotiated but not yet effective. The forwarder received the letter one day after the British lifted the retaliatory charge on American Packet letters, but the USA was still charging retaliatory postage on Birtish Packet letters. Not knowing that the American Packets had both encountered a storm and the “Washington” had sustained damage, he justifiably consigned this letter as he did. He paid the (restored) 8d ship charge and the British Post Office accepted the letter. Then, since the letter was underpaid for Steam Packet (British), and they chose not to hold it for some undetermined time for an American steamer, they sent it by sailing ship instead. Hargest states (p. 29): “…it is not known whether Britain would have assessed the 8d. ship rate (during the restored rate period).” This cover appears to have answered that question.
The restored rate period was from Dec. 29, 1849 – Feb. 15, 1849 (Hargest p. 29). This cover appeared in the Wilmette Life on June 9, 1977.
There is a letter inside.