Rhode Island Stampless Covers & Letters
Double 10-Cent Rate - 1817 Letter from Joseph D. Bass in Boston -
to Joseph L. Tillinghast Attorney at Law in Providence

(Scroll Down for Background Information, History and Text of Letter)

The Stampless Folded Letter shown above and to the left was sent by Joseph D Bass - Boston, Massachusetts to Joseph L. Tillinghast, who at the time was practicing law in Providence, RI. The letter was sent on November 6, 1817 at double the 10 cent rate for mail traveling between 30 to 80 miles, which was set by the Postal Act of April 9, 1816 effective on May 1, 1816. As referenced within the letter, there was another letter for a Mr. Green attached, which accounts for the 20 cent double (2 sheet) rate. Although there is a single sheet marking on the cover, obviously there were two sheets sent. The cover is canceled with a Red Boston - November 7th CDS.

Joseph Leonard Tillinghast was born in Taunton, Massachusetts in 1791 to Pardon E. and Lydia Tabor Tillinghast.

He was a fifth generation descendant of Pardon Tillinghast; one of the original proprietors of Providence, Rhode Island. Joseph moved to Rhode Island where he initially pursued courses in classical studies. In 1809 he began publishing articles for the Providence Gazette under the pseudonym "Dion." Tillinghast received an honorary degree from Brown University in 1809 and was admitted to the bar in 1811, whence he began his law practice in Providence, RI. He was a member of the State House of Representatives from 1826 to 1833 and served as the Speaker from 1829 to 1833. In 1837 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Whig and served until March 3, 1843. He was a trustee of Brown University from 1833 to 1844.

Joseph Tillinghast died on December 30, 1844 in Providence, Rhode Island and is buried in the Old North Burial Ground.

Joseph's 1st generation ancestor, Pardon  Tillinghast was born in Seven Cliffs, (Eastborn) Sussex, England in 1622. He served under Cromwell and was a participant in the Battle of Marston Moor. He settled in Providence in 1645 and was one of the original proprietors of the colony. Pardon was the pastor of the 1st Baptist Church in Providence from 1678 to 1718.

Pardon Tillinghast died on January 19, 1718 in Providence, Rhode Island

The Complete Text of the Letter follows Below:


    Boston Nov 6th 1817     

Jos L Tillinghast  
                      The within and annexed letter deliver to Mr. Green & personally receive from him Forty four Dollars and 50/100 which you will receipt for on account of your award & at G & Julia Sumner, I have ordered him to pay via proctor nearly half as much as I understand he is very much in want of it. Why have you not complied with my last respects of appointing Wayland Sumner your attorney? As he has the other two powers & would relieve me & my friend Perk from some trouble.
                      Mr. Sumner and myself have written Mr. Whitney to make a division & distribution of the Bridge shares that we may collect the dividends due thereon.

                                                               Your Humble Serv
                                                               Joseph D. Bass

RI Historical Society
Stampless I
Stampless II

Stampless III
Stampless IV
Stampless V
Stampless VI
Brown & Ives Letters
The Hazard Family Letters
Joseph Tillinghast
Free Franked Letters
DeWolf Family Letters

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