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Updated: May 11, 2022

U.S. City Despatch Post - 6LB5 Local Carrier Stamp
U.S. City Despatch Post - 6LB5

Today we will be looking into a fascinating cover from our collection, that was recently published in the August 2020 No. 267 issue of the The Chronicle of U.S. Classic Postal Issues and also discussed in the May 1987 No. 134 issue.

The Chronicle is published by the US Philatelic Classics Society. Visit and/or join the USPCS for the best resources and articles in United States philately.

This cover originated in Montreal, Canada on March 25, 1844 and was "Forwarded from Howard's Hotel, New-York" to David S. Kennedy, Esq. This is a rare example of a cover bypassing the government mail route between Canada and New York, carried by Mr. Knapp down the Hudson River to New York. The cover also boasts a U.S. City Despatch Post - 6LB5 local carrier stamp. The blue carrier stamp is canceled by the red letters US in an octagonal frame. Three cents paid one cent drop-letter postage and two cents carrier's fee for delivery. This is one piece of the famous Kennedy correspondence that has retained its original format for almost one hundred and eighty-odd years.

blue "Forwarded from Howard's Hotel, New-York" oval handstamp on folded letter originating in Montreal, Canada, Mar. 25, 1844, Very Fine, scarce example of mail circumventing government mail route between Canada and New York, but using government carrier service for only 3c
U.S. City Despatch Post - 6LB5 on Howard's Hotel Cover

As Clifford Alexander explains in the article,

Howard's Hotel was well located in lower Manhattan to facilitate both mail transportation on the Hudson River and delivery of letters addressed to New York City.....The census data suggests that Howard's Hotel may have had a special relationship with the City Despatch Post and the successor U.S. City Despatch Post.

Of the 32 covers that were sourced and included in the census of Howard's Hotel handstamp, this cover is only one of two to have originated in Canada.

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