Independent Mail & Local Carrier - Covers and Stamps
Hale & Company - Philadelphia, PA to Providence, RI
December 1, 1844 Bill of Sale to J. Hutchins, Esquire

The Stampless Folded Letter (SFL) above was mailed by Wood & Abbot from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to J. Hutchins, Esq. in Providence, Rhode Island on December 1, 1844. It was forwarded by the private mail service, Hale & Company. The cover contains two Hale & Company markings. At the left is an oval marking, which reads: "FORWARDED / BY / HALE & CO. / FROM / 37 S. Third Street / PHILADELPHIA." This marking was used from 1844 to 1845 and measures 35 by 21 millimeters. It is known only in red. The boxed marking at the right side of the cover measures 23 by 12 millimeters and is known in both red and black. It was used from 1844 to 1845 and reads: "COLLECT / SIX CENTS / FOR / HALE & CO."

The contents of the SFL are a Bill of Sale for goods that Jhubael Hutchins sent to Woods & Abbot with a note at bottom stating that the "Goods are in hand." One of the items listed is Brown Sheetings, thus the sale must relate to the textile industry. The sum of $91.55 is credited to the account of Mr. Hutchins, (after deduction of commission, freight, insurance and labor totaling $9.02).

The American Stampless Cover Catalog - Volume II states that, "The private letter mail and express service of Hale & Company was founded by James W. Hale at New York, NY in 1842." It further states that, "Hale operated a forwarding office in New York as early as 1839." The company first expanded into New England and by 1844 had extended it routes as far south as Baltimore and north to New Brunswick. The company was one of the largest independent mail carriers in the county.


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