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Scott Number: R10c Collection Reference No. for Communications: 3632
Denomination/Type: 2c Express, orange, perforated
2023 Scott Catalog Value (for a single stamp): $ 14.00
Estimated Retail Value: $ 175.00 What is this?
Cancel Method: Manuscript
Cancel Date: December 13, 1864
Cancel or Company Type: Express, Carrier, or Delivery
Company: Harnden Express
State: Rhode Island
A beautiful 'Army and Soldiers Package Express' receipt with vignette at left.
This is one of only stamped examples I have seen. Express receipts were only taxed during two short windows: Oct. 1, 1862 through Mar. 3, 1863, at which point the express stamp tax was rescinded, and then starting again Aug. 1, 1864 when a receipt tax was enacted, through Apr. 1, 1865 when the tax on receipts for delivery by an express company was rescinded.
It is also the only example I have ever seen pictures of that has the blue overprint at center. It reads 'It is further agreed, that said Harnden Express shall not, in any event, be liable for any loss, damage or detention caused by Civil or Military authority, or by rebellion, insurrection or riot.' Presumably the company was taking excessive losses due to the Civil War, so they added this overprint.
If you have any information or comments about this cancel or stamp, please email me.