One of the Earliest Adhesive Franks
West of the Mississippi
Along with US #1L1, this stamp was one of the first adhesive stamps to be issued west of the Mississippi River. It was produced for the Adams & Company Express in California. The company’s beginnings date back to 1840 when Alvin Adams operated an express business in Boston. Over the years, business routes expanded, particularly with the gold rush out west. On September 15, 1849, the Adams & Co. Express was founded, with their main function being to forward gold dust from San Francisco to New York by steamers through Panama, though they also carried letters.
In 1854, Adams & Co. produced a set of 25¢ stamps. They were most likely used to send money by Express or as a substitute for money at Adams offices. This stamp is a neat piece of history.
Local Stamps Make a Neat Addition to Your Collection
Local stamps include stamps issued by Local Posts (city delivery), Independent Mail Routes and Services, Express Companies and other private posts that competed with or supplemented official services. Because only a few local posts used hand stamps for cancelling, most local stamps were left uncancelled. Cancelling, if any, was often done by pen, pencil, or government hand stamp.