Bayonne, NJ local – history, census, plating
By: Calvet M. Hahn

Jan 1 , 2003

Postal Stationery

Some time during May, by the 15th if not the 13th, to meet a call for a stamped envelope a rubber stamp was made of the same design as the adhesive and imprinted in red on yellow envelopes. Only one size was issued 84 x 142 mm. The Scott Specialized lists this as 9LU1 one-cent purple on amber. An unused copy was sold as lot 194 in the Eno sale at Harmer Rooke March 7, 1951 and later at the Irwin Heiman sale of February 24, 1965 as lot 121, while a used example addressed to George Thomas, Ave. D in Bergen Point was lot 1218 in the R. Kaufmann sale of 9/5/1979 and lot 322 in his 1979 net price sale as well as lot 1580 in the Richard Schwartz sale.

Of the two recorded postal stationery items (census #39 and 40) only 39 is illustrated and it clearly shows the rubber handstamp created is not identical to the typographed adhesives in that the letters are much thicker and different in shape from the adhesives in the words ‘Bayonne City’ ‘ONE CENT’, and the ‘H’ of Dispatch among other things, while the whip in the illustration is closer to the ears of the first horse and the two rules have marks on the left end not seen on the adhesives, census 39.


Two types of purple handstamp cancellations are known. The more common reads BAYONNE CITY/Date /DISPATCH, while a rarer second version, of which nine are recorded in the census, reads BAYONNE CITY,/Date/DISPATCH PAID. It is only found on covers dated between May 9th and 15th. These are census numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 20 and 21. Gordon Stimmell illustrated this on a cover of May 12, 1883 to Dr. Mitchell in his ‘Blizzard Mail’ article on page 8 of the January 1995 Penny Post. It is an item introduced in May probably primarily for non-philatelic delivery, as only four are addressed to the putative owners of the company (census 4 and 8 to Dr. Mitchell, #9 to Harry Craft, and #20 to Philip LaTourette.

There are also several killers used. The most common is the local’s purple concentric 3-ring circle found on all but two adhesive covers. However, a cover to Harry Craft has a bold four bar vertical cork grid. It was lot 856 in the Siegel sale of 10/23/62 described as ex-Knapp, but I can’t find it there, but not when offered later in the Robson Lowe March 1, 1973 sale where it was lot 1597. A modified version of the killer is found on a June 19, 1883 cover to H. Vreeland, Pamrapo (Saltersville). (PF259288) with a 3¢ banknote (Scott 207). The grid is crosscut. The Hall cover (lot 418) to Craft had the normal purple concentric circle. Stimmell also illustrated a rare illustrated cover (printed by William P. Brown) from Dr. Mitchell to stamp dealer R.R. Bogert, Room 38, Tribune Building, Nassau Street, N.Y. that went outside the mail. It is an 1884 or later use.

Out of the almost 45 covers reported in the census, there are three items with no date (census 34, 35, and the out-of-period 1884 or later letter to Bogert 41) and two items with no identified addressee (census 10, 22).
There are a total of eight covers with the scarce ‘Despatch Paid’ handstamp (1,3,4,5,6,8,9,20) of which four are addressed to the putative owners of the company (4,8,9,20). Beginning May 19, 1883, only the four covers bearing both U.S. stamps as well as the Bayonne local are reported in the census. There are twelve covers (#1, 4, 5, 6, 21, 22, 32, 33, 36, 37, 38, 41; 27 and 32 are care of Tourette) that are not addressed to one of the three stamp aficionados who apparently backed the organization and there are two covers each to Dr. Mitchell (#4, 8) and Craft (#9, 33), and 23 to LaTourette.

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