Cover sorted on board Cunard's 'Palmyra'

Shortpaid entire sorted on board ship and charged 1/- due


Unpaid cover sent from New York to belfast on board Cunard's 'Palmyra' on 26th February 1868.
Treaty rate for up to half oz: 6d
Fine for short payment: 6d plus deficiency
Postage due: 1/-
The '1/-' handstamp was applied while sorting on board the eastbound voyage.
The handstamp, Robertson type M80, was issued from 1859 to Cunard (and Allan Line) ships for use on board.
'Palmyra' left New York on 26th February and arrived Queenstown 8th March 1868 on the return leg of its maiden voyage.
The US Postmaster general contracted Cunard to carry eastbound mail during 1868. In this direction the Cunard ships were considered by the Americans to be American packet vessels, hence the use of
'NEW-YORK / FE 26 / AM PKT' on this cover.
The Treaty fee of 6d for the first half ounce was introduced 1st January 1868 and applied to end December 1869.
The British fine for an unpaid letter was set at 6d plus deficient postage from January 1868 and lasted until end December 1868.
[C J Starnes & R F Winter, Chronicle of US Postal Classics Society No 147, August 1990.]
The Transatlantic Mail, by Frank Staff, Quartermain Publications, 1980 Edition
History of Letter Post Communications Between the United States and Europe 1845-1875, by G E Hargest
North Atlantic Mail Sailings 1840-75, W Hubbard and R F Winter.
Robertson Revisited, Colin Tabeart;
United Kingdom Letter Rates, Inland and Overseas, 1635 to 1900, Colin Tabeart;

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