Rhode Island Stampless Covers & Letters
July 27, 1799 Stampless Cover & Note to/from Brown & Ives
Suydam & Wykoff, New York Clamshell Cancel - Double Rate

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

This Stampless Folded Cover (SFL) was originally sent by Suydam & Wykoff of New York to Brown & Ives in Providence, Rhode Island on July 27, 1799. The cover contains a New York Clamshell cancel of the type used from 1798 to 1799, (29mm x 22mm - black). There is a note on the back of the cover evidently from either an earlier collector or dealer that states, "latest use of old English type." That type was only used in 1799. However, I don't believe this is the old English type but the earlier type used beginning in 1798. There is a received docketing next to the rate dated July 31. The letter was charged at double the 17 cent rate established by the Postal Act of May 8, 1799, (effective the same date) for inland mail traveling between 150 to 300 miles. There was an enclosure with the letter, (2 sheet rate)

There is what appears to be a return note from Brown and Ives inside this Stampless Folded Letter, although I'm not sure whether the note and cover were enclosed in another return letter or if this was just a draft of another letter sent in return to Suydam & Wykoff. The note/letter is signed B & I. During this time, Thomas Poynton Ives was handling most of the transactional business for the firm and it is highly likely that the note and signature are his.  It was also interesting to note that although the original letter and enclosure were mailed to Brown and Ives on July 27 and received on July 31 that the note drafted in reply was not penned until October 22. The reason for the lengthy delay in replying to the original letter remains a mystery.

The note concerns a shipment of tea, (2 types) that Brown and Ives had shipped to Suydam & Wykoff earlier, which weighed less than the invoice stated and charged for. The note states, that Brown and Ives will make good on the short weight. The complete text of the note/letter is reproduced below.

See below links for further information: 
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 

The Complete Text of the Note Follows Below:

                    Messrs Suydam
                                                       Providence,   Oct . 22 . 1799 .
                                 We observed by your letter of the 26th July
                       last, that part of the Souchon & Imperial Tea
                      which you purchased of us fell short in the weight
                      -  It's probable that the Scales in which the first
                      parcel was weighed, were not in order & if you will
                      send us a statement of the difference in weight, we
                      will make the allowance. 

                                                                       B & I


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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