Rhode Island Stampless Covers & Letters
May 14, 1793 Stampless Letter to Brown, Benson & Ives
Jacob Koch in Philadelphia, PA - Double Rate & Franklin Mark 

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


This Stampless Folded Letter (SFL) was sent by Jacob Koch of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 14, 1793. The letter contains a Franklin Mark at the upper left corner. (SEE: 1771 Nicholas Brown & Co letter for additional information on Franklin Marks.) The cover has a red Paid marking and a script 40 for double the 20 cent rate established by the Postal Act of February 20, 1792, (effective June 1, 1792) for inland mail traveling between 250 to 350 miles. The double rate charge was due to the enclosure mentioned in the text of the letter. The letter was sent to Brown, Benson and Ives, (1792 to 1796) and requests that the enclosed letter be forwarded by one of the Brown vessels to Suriname, (formerly Dutch Guiana)

NOTE: During my previous research, I had thought that the firm of Brown and Benson became Brown and Ives in 1792, however during my research for this Stampless Folded Letter, I discovered that Thomas Poynton Ives became a partner in 1792, however George Benson did not leave the firm until 1796. Thus the firm was known as Brown, Benson and Ives during the period 1792 to 1796.

I also discovered that John Brown, (1736-1803) owned a great many slaves and a large sugar plantation in Suriname and that Brown family ships were frequent visitors to Suriname until around 1794. The firm transported molasses from the plantation to be used in their Rum Distillery at Providence. 

The Complete Text of the Letter Follows Below:

        Messrs Brown Benson & Ives
                                                                                         Philad" 14th May 1793


Our mutual friends Messrs Anthony & Son have given me permission
to trouble you on the present occasion of which I hope you will excuse.

My request is that you will embrace the first opportunity from your port
for Surinam to forward the enclosed letter. I am told there are frequently
vessels sailing for that quarter.

                             I am with respect
                                      Gentm,                                         Your Humble Servt
                                                                                            Jacob Gerard Koch

See the below links for further information: (Brown Family history and bios)

The History of Brown and Ives with Brown family Genealogy 
1789 Brown and Benson Letter from Champion and Dickason - London 
1834 Brown & Ives Letter from Amsterdam Factor
1852 Brown & Ives Letter from Baring Brothers - London, England 
Brown and Ives Family of Providence - Covers & Letters 

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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