Postal cover from Fort Laramie, N.T (Nebraska Territory, now Wyoming) sent by the naturalist, John H. McIlvain, in 1853 to his brothers in Philadelphia. John H. McIlvain.

Postal cover from Fort Laramie, N.T (Nebraska Territory, now Wyoming) sent by the naturalist, John H. McIlvain, in 1853 to his brothers in Philadelphia

Fort Laramie, Nebraska Territory (now Wyoming): 1853. Envelope or Cover. Light but legible circular postmark dated July 15 and a “5” rate mark, both in black. (July 15 is the first know use of this postmark per the ASCC, Vol. 1, p. 450.) Addressed to James & Hugh McIlvain in Philadelphia. Somewhat fragile paper with some splits starting at the folds. No content, cover only. Very good. Item #009544

McIlvain was a self-educated ornithologist who traveled west to live and study with American Indians.

This cover is from a February 2017 Cowan’s auction (Lot 250) of five letters and a journal kept by the American naturalist, John H. McIlvain during 1853. A clipping about McIlvain from the auction listing is included, but for much more information about him and his time at Fort Laramie, visit the Cowan’s website; a long lot description that includes an image of this cover is still on-line.

Very scarce. ASSC (1997) ascribes a value of $850 to Fort Laramie, N.T. covers. No auction records are located since a Siegel sale in 1978 when a similar cover sold for $115. At the time of this listing, a stampless cover with the same postmark is listed on eBay for $850.

Price: $750.00

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