Rhode Island Stampless Covers & Letters
1828 Stampless Cover - Ichabod Price, New York to Joseph Yates, Providence
Letter concerns a shipment of Sealskin Hats to Mr. Yates. 
(Scroll Down for Text of Letter and Graphic of a Seal Hat)

The rate of 183/4 cents is the correct rate for a single sheet letter weighing less than one ounce and traveling a distance between 150 and 300 miles, (New York to Providence). The rate was set by the Postal Act of March 3, 1825 and became effective on May 1, 1825. This zone rate remained in effect until July 1, 1845. Previously this zone rate set in 1816 was 181/2 cents.

NOTE: The reason for the rate change was that during the early 19th century the Spanish Real was still in wide usage. The Real was equivalent to $1.00 in U.S. currency and could be divided into 8 bits, (pieces of eight). One (1) bit was equal to 121/2 cents and 183/4 cents was the equivalent of 11/2 bits. (This is also the origin for the term 2 bits equaling a quarter.) 

This is a second letter from New York to Mr. Joseph Yates. The letter concerns the sale of 12 Sealskin Hats and includes an invoice for same. The seller is Ichabod Price. The letter traveled by the sloop Recover, but it must have been charged at the steamboat rate even though there is no marking indicating that, as the rate would have been 201/2 cents for ship mail. Mr. Yates has appended an item list and costs at the bottom of the letter.

The letter text and a graphic of  a sealskin hat follow below.
For further information on Felt Hats, See: 1826 Joseph Yates Letter.

    Nathaniel Chrin
For George Price
Mr. Joseph Yates,  
     Dear Sir,
   I have sent by Capt Childs who sailed
 this afternoon one box containing 12 seal hats and a band box containing 65/8
wire particular Inut??  The particular brown that will be sent I expect out on
Saturday steam boat. These seals come high but it is only 2/ more than last year
and the seal costs 28 dollars per
They are handsome.
            Respectfully Your obedient Servant,
            Ichabod Price

New York 16th April 1828

(Mr. Yates appended his costs at bottom of letter)

                               Mr. Joseph Yates bought of Ichabod Price

       12 Seal Hats at



       1 particular Inut?? at



       1 band box at



       pr for getting from packet 



       on the  31st with thirteen empty boxes  


There is also a note appended at to the letter (at top) from the ship's supercargo which states:
Shipped by Ichabod Price on board the sloop called the Recover - George Childs Master and says one box and one band box marked "Joseph Yates, Providence, R.I." which are to be delivered to Mr. Joseph Yates at Providence aforesaid in good order / dangers of the sea only excepted by paying the freight thereof
                                                                                         Dated New York 16th April 1828
                                                                                         Nathaniel Allin
                                                                                         Fr George Childs

View: Full Size Letter

I could find no information in particular concerning Felt Hats made with Sealskin, however I did find a graphic of a felt hat that states it is possibly sealskin and is illustrated at left. I also found a reference to the bands on  felt hats being made of sealskin. Thus it is possible that the seal hats actually refer to Beaver felt hats with a sealskin band. I also note that the price is down for 12 hats from the 1826 price to Mr. Yates indicating that the market has declined. For more information on Felt Hats, (Beaver Fur) See: 1826 letter to Joseph Yates

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

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