Stamp Issues & Covers 1846 to 1900
1866 Issue - Fifteen Cent Lincoln
15 Cent Lincoln - 1866 Issue (No Grill) Scott #77 on Cover
Paying 5 Times the 3 Cent Rate
(Nr. 10 Sized Envelope)
Sent November 5, 1867 from Newport, RI

The Postal Act of March 3, 1855 made the pre-payment of all domestic letters compulsory. The Postal Act of March 3, 1863 defined letter mail as first class and set the rate at 3 cents for each 1/2 ounce on all domestic mail over any distance. The Foreign Mail rate was set at double the domestic rate. 

The 1866 - 15 cent issue was normally used to pay the 15 cent rate to France under the 1857 treaty. It paid the 2x and 3x rate multiple to France. The rate to England was 24 cents and to Germany was 10, 15 or 30 cents depending on the treaty. Most of the covers seen bearing this stamp are addressed to France and its use on domestic mail is rare and not often seen. Scott's Specialized U.S. Catalog lists it at $225.00 on cover to either France or Germany

In this case, the cover was sent at 5 times the domestic rate indicating that it weighed between 2 to 2 1/2 ounces and contained legal documents as indicated by the notation above.

 Henry Joshua Spooner, (the son of Joshua Spooner - b. 1812) was born on August 6, 1839 in Providence, Rhode Island.  He attended public schools and was graduated from Brown University where he studied law on August 6, 1839. He married Mary S. Brown on November 16, 1868.

Henry served as a Second Lieutenant in the 4th Regiment of the Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. After the leaving the service he was admitted to the bar in 1865 and began his practice in Providence, Rhode Island.

He was elected to the State House of Representatives in 1875 and served as speaker from 1875 to 1881. He served as a Republican in the 47th through the 50th United States Congresses from December 5, 1881 to March 3, 1891. He served an additional term in the State House of Representatives in 1902, after  which he resumed his law practice. He died on February 9, 1918 in Providence, Rhode Island and is buried in the Swan Point Cemetery.

There were too many J. M. Noyes listed during this time period to determine which Mrs. J. M. Noyes the note is referring to. (Could be one of several - James, Joseph or John M. Noyes)

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