Canadian Cross-Border Covers and Accountancy Markings, 1819-1857
By: Chip Gliedman

Feb 8 , 2022

Our most recent meeting of the New York Chapter USPCS took place on February 8 via Zoom, with Chip Gliedman speaking on “Canadian Cross-Border Covers and Accountancy Markings, 1819-1857.” While Chip is a recognized expert on 19th century U.S. postal history, he demonstrated his deep knowledge of Canadian Cross-Border mail with a myriad of covers showing many different rates and postal markings. 

Chip noted that the first postal convention dealing with Canadian Cross-Border mail went into effect in 1792.  For much of the first half of the 1800s, Canadians could send such mail postage due, partially prepaid or fully prepaid to the U.S.  However, mail sent from the U.S. could only be prepaid to the Canadian border, will the remaining postage paid by the recipient in Canada.  By the end of the 1850s, postal treaties simplified the rates for both sides.

Chip showed a great many covers that transited from the U.S. to Canada, from Canada to a U.S. city and covers that went from Canada through New York and on to England.  Covers from 1815 showed the 50% increase in postal rates due to the War of 1812. There were also many different handstamps and manuscript markings that showed the breakdown of postal rates between the U.S. and Canada, including the 2 cent “ferriage fee”.  Other handstamps showed both the American and British rate components. One particularly scarce cover reflected a double free frank, from one postmaster to another.  Other covers showed Freight Money rate markings.  Chip also showed several covers with U.S. stamps, including a nice pair of the 5 cent Franklin stamps used in 1849.

During his presentation, Chip mentioned that he found a great deal of helpful information on Canadian Cross-Border rates and postmarks in a particular book that he felt others would benefit from.  The book is titled:   History of Cross Border Communications Between Canada and USA between 1761 – 1875 by Dr. Dorothy Sanderson & Malcolm B. Montgomery.