Postal Stationary - Penny Postal Cards
First USPS Issued Postal Card - 1873 Scott #UX1
(Large Watermark 90x60 mm)
Fancy Maltese Cross Cancel
Mailed to Wm Earle in Providence, RI
(Letter on reverse is reproduced below)

Port Richmond – October 2, 1873

In Care Dear Sir,

We arrived here last night – all well having had a very tedious time getting out – had to run back to Sandy Hook twice on account of head winds and heavy seas. We are leaving for New Bedford at 220 Per Time (possibly 2:20 Pier Time). I will be loaded tomorrow. I have had to have the "oakum" or "a rum" all made in the lower seam of the trunk. I have had the seam cottened all around; can’t tell whether she will leak or not yet – has not broken any so far  Hope she will not – Please remember me to Mr. Ross – no more at present so I will bid you good day.

Very respectfully yours,

George K. Roekell or Rockell

NOTES: The letter was hard to read, however I believe I have reproduced most of it accurately. It appears that the writer was either an officer on or a crew member of a steamship. He has made some modifications to a trunk that he owns and may possibly be smuggling something aboard hidden in the seam of the trunk. "I will be loaded tomorrow" could either be referring to the ship's cargo or possibly what he is hiding in the seam of the trunk. (Could be alcohol - "can’t tell whether she will leak or not yet") The text that I was not sure of is in Bold Gold.

The letter heading states Port Richmond - October 2, 1873,  however the card was mailed from Philadelphia, PA on October 4. Port Richmond is on Staten Island, NY and Sandy Hook is at the entrance to the bay. The letter could possibly have been given to a Harbor Pilot for mailing, but I believe the part of the text that states "arrived here last night" gives us the answer. I believe the writer may have originally intended to mail the letter from Port Richmond but actually mailed it from Philadelphia. Although the letter states "leaving for New Bedford," the sailing route southeast towards Sandy Hook rather than north up the Long Island Sound indicates another destination. I believe the Ship left Port Richmond; sailed to Philadelphia and after taking on cargo sailed for New Bedford. I also believe, given the ports visited that the ship must have been steam driven as a pure sailing vessel could not have made those ports in the given times.

RI Historical Society
The Post Offices
Home Page
RI Tercentenary Issue History
RI Philatelic Society
Recently Added Pages
Philatelic Primer
Rhode Island Around the World
Rhode Island Town Postmarks
Other Websites of Interest

Return to Penny Postal
Cards Thumbnail Page