14 FILATELIC FACT AND FALLACIES.
DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN FRANKS AND LOCALS.
Conducted by H. B. Phillips.
All communications for this department should be addressed to the Department Editor, 307 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, California, U. S. A.]
“Whoe’er expects a faultless work to see
Expects what never was, nor is, nor is to be.”[Criticisms of statements made in this department are invited. It is only by sifting process theat the whole truth can be made plain in many instances.]
To a writer on ordinary philatelic subjects quite an extensive literature is available. Much of the material in philatic publications is now-a-days shaped in the library in regular literary fashion. It is not so, however, with material for this department.
Facts have to be hunted for at random, and when a tril is found, run down and captured one by one. Library pot shots ar few and far between.
Occasionally one comes as a suprise. Such an event, showing the antquity of the post and express service, happened recently while engaged in an inspection of the Bible. See Jeremiah 11, 31.
It therefore seems we can very properly place the Book at the head of our list of books belonging in this department of our philatelic library.
There are two other books that all students and collectors of United States Franks and Locals should include in their libraries, but unfortunately they are both out of print and very hard to get.
One is entitled “Waifs from the Way-Bills of an Old Expressman” by T. W. Tucker, Boston, 1872. (PDF Copy) It is a compact little volume of 143 pages, containing matter pertinent to the express and local business to as far back as 1811 in the days of the old Burrell line of Salem and Boston stages.
The other is “Stimson’s Express History” by A. L. Stimson, first published in 1860, (PDF Copy) but re-written, enlarged and published in 1881, as a subscription book only, by the author, and printed by Baker & Godwin, New York City,
This is a most comprehensive work of nearly four hundred pages, covering the field of express history from the time of Hornden in 1839 down to the date of publication.
While not written from a philatelic standpoint, it is most valuable to a philateist as a work of reference for the verification and amplification of philatelic facts.
Six copies only are recorded as coming to California, as follows:
Lloyd Tevis, San Francisco.
J. J. Valentine, ”
E. C. Barrett, Sacramento.
Felix Tracy, ”
C. P. Lyndall, Cornwall, Cal.
Wm. B. Storey, Colfax, Cal.
An investigation of the history of what is known as the Snow Shoe Express, sometimes called Zach’s Express, or Thompson’s Express, is in progress and when completed, the results will be published by this department. It is desired in order to make it as thorough and complete as possible that any collector, either in the United States or abroad, who may have specimens in his collection will communicate to the Editor a careful description of the same, with the source whence they came, as far as possible. An inspection of any used specimens is specially desired; any such will be returned by registered mail.