Michael Heller spoke at our February 8 meeting on the topic of “Domestic Postal Rates: 1799 – 1845.” After distributing a listing of the various postal rates applied during this time period, he presented many examples of stampless covers that demonstrated most of the rates applicable during this time period. This included a fair number of multiple rates and also many examples of re-rated and forwarded covers. He also explained the meaning of some of the more esoteric rates (e.g., 18 ¾) and how these rates related to the currency then available in our country.
Some of the highlights included: War rate covers from 1815; Restored rate examples from April, 1816; Express Mail covers from 1836 – 1839; and Express Mail handstamps from 1840’s. Among the multiple rate examples was a small cover rated $1.80 for the 18 times 10 cent rate (30 – 80 miles), which originally contained medicine – but the prescription was still in the folder letter!