1787 Stampless Patriot Bishop Robert Smith Charleston *

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  • Item Category: Stamps
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Apr 17, 2010
  • Channel: Auction House

1787 Stampless Cover Charleston SC to Chestertown MD * Search

WOW is the word to describe this! Please read the entire description the content includes concern over small pox. A great piece of colonial American history!

I wish I could put more in the title this letter is a great piece of history. RARE 1787 Confederation period Stampless letter / cover from Revolutionary War Patriot Robert Smith Charleston South Carolina to the very wealthy family member John Galloway merchant Chestertown Kent County Eastern Shore of Maryland. Sent via Ship Philadelphia c/o Captain Jones . It has a nice bishop / Franklin mark CDS black circle stamp with 3 over SE 3rd of September, days before the United States Constitution was adopted!!!!! Manuscript cancel 2 dwt 16 gr rate based on Spanish silver. T is a notation about a mail bag being carried on a carriage as well. T is a little staining and a few small tears to be expected and visible in the scan. This letter does not have a straightline cancel but the markings and condition is wonderful for it age. I don't know that I have seen any letter from this period going to the Eastern Shore of MD.

Mr Smith was quite important part of US and South Carolina history. He was the first president of the college of Charleston, the first bishop of South Carolina and reverend of the historic St Phillips Episcopal church in Charleston. He chose the American side the war and served as a soldier during the siege of Charleston. Rev. Smith was imprisoned and was told he could go if he would pledge his loyalty to the crown but he said that he would rather hand by the king then hang himself in shame as Judas, I thought that was amazing. He was banished from Charleston to Philadelphia losing his wife who died a few months earlier and lost all that he had to the British. He was later able to return and rebuild. I believe he was an early free mason and also the father in law to John Rutledge Jr son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, United States Representative and Commander in the War of 1812. . You can read more about Bishop Smith :


John Galloway was a wealthy Maryland merchant who owned 30 ships and inherited Tulip Hill Mansion which he doubled in size the year this letter was written. His house is going up for auction on the 10th!!!! is a link, it is quite the estate:


The content is primarily of a personal nature. It is hard for me to read but he talks about small pox and going to the country to avoid sickness, and talks about a anxious mother and child. I believe he lost a child the year before this and a child was born soon after this letter. "and in hopes Robert will escape" he sends a very interesting message from Sally "she says it is all that saucy indecent Jack Galloway and vows that this climate is warmer than Maryland and not such (washy ?? days) as in Chestertown" He also mentions Mr Chew which is another family name. He discusses having horses sent to Charleston and he will have a Carolina youth Thomas help. He also says that he is welcome to lodge at his plantation.

I have included large scans so that you can read this and see the condition. I tried very hard to find out more information about the ship Philadelphia, I am guessing it was a merchant ship but I do not know. I will probably add information to this auction as I find out more.

Thank you all for your interest in this letter, I am sorry that I can not end this auction early in fairness to those that have placed bids already. T is NO reserve and this will go to the highest bidder.