Rhode Island Postal
1850 James A Potter - Providence to Russell & Bigelow - New York
Five Cent Benjamin Franklin Issue - Red-Brown - Scott #1
Folded Letter Mailed on September 18, 1850
(Scroll Down for History, Background Information & Letter Text)
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1848 Providence, RI to
Newton, MA Letter for further information and
history of the 1847 stamp issues.
This cover from James A. Potter
- Providence, RI to E. T. & J. H. Russell
& Bigelow, Attorneys, in New York is franked with the Five-Cent
Red-Brown Benjamin Franklin Issue of 1847 - Scott #1. The
stamp is tied with a red grid and there is a matching red Providence CDS.
The cover has been signed on the reverse by Mr.
Ashbrook, the authority on that issue and is listed on page
739 of "The
United States 1847 Issue: A Cover Census" by Thomas
Alexander and published by the U.S. Philatelic Classics
Society, Inc. It was purchased by the previous owner on March
24, 1994 at a Regency
Philatelic Auction. The Scott Catalog lists this stamp on
cover at $700.00, however an extremely fine copy with four ample margins,
such as this one on cover generally fetches a premium above catalog.
of the Stamp Showing the 4 Margins
I found three
James A. Potters listed for Providence that fit this time
period, however two of them would have been in their
twenties; one was a jeweler and
the other a Packet Boat Agent.
The best fit and most likely
James A. Potter who penned the letter above follows:
James A. Potter was born
in Providence, Rhode Island on March 26, 1815
to Earl H. and Hannah Frothingham Potter. He married Sarah
Abbot (date unknown) and their children were James
A. Jr., Earl H.,
Laura, and Imogene.
He died on June
21, 1872. In 1838
James founded James A Potter & Co.
The company manufactured and sold Yellow Pine
Lumber at their mill on Westminster
Street. He engaged in this business until his death in
1872, at which time his sons James A. Potter, Jr. and Earl H. Potter
assumed control of the company.
The Complete Letter Text Follows Below:
Messrs E. T. & J. H. Russell &
Your favor of the 16th Inst
is at hand. I would now say that I wish to have the depositions of
following named parties in New York taken to use as evidence in the
Morland case as they can not leave their business to give their evidence
personally before the court and as I shall be going to New York the
last of this week, I wish to you to forward to me the necessary documents
& prepare to use me in obtaining their depositions, if any there are
at your earliest convenience as I may go on Friday evening.
Messrs Howland & Asprinwall }
" " " Stafford, Tileston & Co
} New York
" " " Mason, Thompson & Co }
are the parties referred to above and the last, Messrs Mason, Thompson
& Co are the parties the draft may draw upon --
I have talked with all the parties about the case and
they are of the most respectable Houses in New York, their testimony
can but have some weight & tend to convince the jury of the justices
of my claim.
Please let me hear from you at your earliest convenience.
Your Obed Servt
James A. Potter