The only recorded example of the small Red River manuscript postmark
(Red River Settlement to Victoria Island, Nova Scotia, May 13, 1858). Boldly written "Red River 13 May 1858" manuscript postmark in circle on blue folded letter datelined "Red River Settlement April 9th, 1858" and addressed to "Patrick's Channel County of Victoria Island of Cape Briton" in Nova Scotia, with manuscript "Paid 10 Cents" at top right, "Pembina May 15/50" manuscript postmark, light strike of red "U. States" curved handstamp, St. John, New Brunswick and Pictou transit backstamps, outer panel with overall soiling and slight splitting along folds
FINE. THE HIGHLY SOUGHT-AFTER AND ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE SMALL RED RIVER MANUSCRIPT POSTMARK, DATED MORE THAN TWO YEARS AFTER THE LARGER EXAMPLES. IT IS ALSO THE ONLY KNOWN RED RIVER POSTMARK USED BETWEEN POSTMASTER ROSS'S DEATH AND THE START OF CANADIAN POSTAL SERVICE AT RED RIVER IN 1870.
The diameter size of this postmark measures approximately 22mm, whereas the earlier Postmaster Ross circles are approximately 30mm. It is the only recorded postmark used in Red River from the period after Postmaster Ross's death in May 1856 to the start of Canadian postal service at Red River in 1870.
The letter contains interesting contents: "Since the arrival of the soldiers here the price of produce is increasing...if you are accustom to reading the newspapers I suppose you have seen the desperate betwixt the Hudson Bay Company and Canada government the expectation of the Red River people is that this place will be united to Canada soon and monopoly of the Hudson Bay Company will soon be finished. The government of Canada already grated £5,000 to make a road between Lake Superior and the Red River...there is no doubt but merchants and settlers will emigrate to the Red River and throughout all the country...". It was about a decade later in 1869 that the Hudson Bay Company's monopoly came to an end when they returned Rupert's Land to Britain.
Our census is available on our website at This is not only the unique small manuscript postmark, but it is also one of only two examples addressed outside of Toronto.
Census no. RRS-COV-11. Ex Steinhart
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Dienstag 24.03.2020, 08:00 EDT