R145 $2.00 Third Issue Revenue Stamp, Pacific Mail Steamship Co, OCEAN QUEEN


Some of the most popular revenue cancels are those of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, founded April 18, 1848, as a joint stock company under the laws of the State of New York by a group of New York City merchants, William H. Aspinwall, Edwin Bartlett, Henry Chauncey, Mr. Alsop, G.G. Howland and S.S. Howland. These merchants had acquired the right to transport mail under contract from the United States Government from the Isthmus of Panama to California awarded in 1847 to one Arnold Harris.

Some collected data about the steam­ships of the P. M. S. S. Co. may be of interest to those collectors of the straightline cancels of this company. To recap briefly, the company had four fleets of ships in addition to those used in local ship lanes on the Pacific coastal trade. The Atlantic line, be­tween New York and Aspinwall, Col.; the Pacific line, between San Francisco and Panama, Col.; the China line, be­tween San Francisco, Yokohama and Hongkong; and the Shanghai branch line between Yokohama and Shanghai…All ships are wooden sidewheelers. – Ships of the Pacific Mail S. S. Co., H. P. Shellabear, M.D. The American Revenuer, October 1962

OCEAN QUEEN: This ship was built in 1857 but was purchased by the P.M.S.S.Co. from the Atlantic Mail S. S. Co. in 1865. She was continued on the New York-Aspinwall run until 1869, when she was laid up for lack of business. It was chartered for a single trip to Europe in 1870, but again laid up until 1873, when it was sold for scrap. There is some doubt as to this data as there are several stamps with this cancel and a dating of Oct 14, 1871. It is possible that it may have made one or two voyages during the year 1871, which are not included in the data.

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Wilcox Chameleon paper


5x straight-line handstamp OCEAN QUEEN

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