Rhode Island Stamp Issues and Covers 1846 to 1900
1875 Turned Letter From Reverend S. R. Shaw - Barrington Centre, RI
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The turned cover side exhibits a Barrington Centre postmark. The Barrington Centre Post Office, (Barrington Township, Bristol County) was established on April 19, 1866  under Postmaster Levi Staples. The post office was disestablished on April 30, 1912 and the name changed to the (2nd) Barrington Post Office. 

The Barrington Post Office was established on May 12, 1810 under Postmaster Joshua Kennicott. the post office was closed on October 27, 1898 and mail was handled through the Barrington Centre Post Office until April 30, 1912 when the Barrington Post office was reestablished under Postmaster Charles H. Martin.

This Cover was originally sent to Reverend Samuel. B. Shaw at the Barrington Centre Post Office in Barrington, Rhode Island. it was sent in an embossed envelope (Scott #U76). The Reverend Shaw evidently was short of envelopes, a common occurrence of the times. Mr. Shaw turned (reversed) the envelope by slitting it open on three sides and then resealing it with his enclosures and then placed a strip of three Washington 3 cent, pale-green stamps, (Scott #136 - issued 1870) on the turned cover. This was triple the normal first class rate set in March 1863 and indicates that the cover and its contents weighed between 1 and 11/2 ounces, (3 cents for each 1/2 ounce or portion thereof).

The cover was sent to Robinson Colborn, Esq at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC. Reverend Shaw included a note on the inside of the cover stating, "Excuse the envelope I had no new ones large enough. I am 9 miles from the city."

The Barrington Census of 1870 lists a Samuel B. Shaw as a Clergyman living in that town with his wife Caroline F. Shaw and two children; Anna L and Abby G. He is listed on the 1850 Lanesborough, Berkshire County, Massachusetts Census as an Episcopal Clergyman. In the 1850 census there are 5 children listed as living at home; Caroline, Ellen, Emily, Edward, and Abby. He is also listed on the 1860 Lanesborough Census as still residing in that town, thus he must have been posted to the Episcopal Church in Barrington sometime between 1860 and 1870. Reverend Shaw is listed as being born both in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in 1800. (Portions of Bristol County were originally a part of the state of Massachusetts before transfer to Rhode Island.)
SEE ALSO: 1936 Tercentenary First Day of Issue Cover with Barrington Town Cancel

Check List of Rhode Island Post Offices 1790-1994 - Del Beaudreau
Rhode Island Postal History: The Post Offices - Merolla, Jackson & Crowther

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