Rhode Island Stamp Issues and Covers 1846 to 1900
1893  Two Cent Columbian Exposition Issue - Brown-Violet - Scott  #231
Imperial Size Envelope Canceled at Kingston, RI on March 6, 1893 
Mailed to Elisha A. Peckham in Middletown, (Newport County), RI

(Scroll Down for Historical Background and Information on the Columbian Issue)

The World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois from May 1 to October 30, 1893 commemorated the 400th anniversary of the European discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. The United States Post Office issued a set of what is generally accepted as the first commemorative stamps for the occasion. Sixteen different stamps were issued ranging in value from 1 cent to 5 dollars. The most common stamp in the issue was the 2 cent variety, which paid the domestic first class rate of the period.

The stamps were printed by the American Bank Note Company and were issued on January 2, 1893 with the exception of the 8 cent value, which was issued on March 3, 1893. The 2 cent Columbian was issued in sheets of 200 with two panes of 100 stamps each and also in sheets of 100 with two panes of 50 stamps each.

Covers actually canceled at the Worlds Fair with either the Exposition Station Hand Stamp or Machine Cancel are highly sought and fetch premium prices.

The 2 cent issue has several error varieties including the "Broken Hat," "Broken Frame," "Double, Triple & Quadruple Transfers," and the "Cracked Plate" variety.

The cover was addressed to Elisha A. Peckham in Middletown, Rhode Island. Elisha Angell Peckham was born on December 25, 1857 in Middletown, RI.  He was an 8th generation descendent of John Peckham, (born 1607 - Westhrope, Suffolk, England). Elisha died on March 14, 1941.  He was married to Lillie P. in 1885 and they had two children; Elizabeth M. and Elisha Raymond.

The cover was sent from and canceled at Kingston. The Post Office at Kingston, (South Kingstown Township, Washington County) Rhode Island was established on January 3, 1826 with James S. Taylor as Postmaster. The post office was disestablished on December 31, 1941 and became a station of Wakefield, RI. This post office was originally known as "Little Rest," (October 1, 1807 to January 3, 1826). Cancels from Little Rest are known only in Manuscript.

NOTE:  The "Checklist of Rhode Island Post Offices 1790-1994" by Del Beaudreau lists the Little Rest Post Office as "Pre-1790."

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