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Lot
15343

Salt Lake City, UT- California & Salt Lake Mail Line $5 . ...

2011 April Rosemont CSNS Signature Currency Auction #3513

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Auction Ended On: Apr 27, 2011
Item Activity: 4 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Location: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
5555 N. River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018
Description:
Excessively Rare California & Salt Lake Mail Line $5
Salt Lake City, UT- California & Salt Lake Mail Line $5
A newly discovered example which is the first of a pair from this excessively rare issuer. The story of this stage line is a link to one of the most romantic periods of American history, as it spans the years just prior to the completion of the transcontinental railroad and telegraph. In 1858, the government awarded a mail contract to one George Chorpenning to carry mail between Salt Lake City and Sacramento, California. The round trip took sixteen days and the cost of each letter was 10 cents. Chorpenning was an experienced mail contractor whose earlier efforts had been plagued by Indian attacks and the damages attributable to them. In fact, at the time that this contract was awarded, Chorpenning was engaged in a long running battle to recover damages from the Federal government, a struggle that was not resolved until 1870, when Congress rejected his efforts to collect $500,000.

All of the notes that survive from this endeavor, in all denominations combined, number fewer than a dozen examples. Three notes are known bearing the Sacramento location, while the rest were likely issued in Salt Lake City. The Ford collection contained a $5, a $10 and a $50 note, plus an uncut sheet consisting of $1, $10, and $5 notes, along with one Sacramento engraved example. Nyholm's new Utah reference indicates that any example offered today would certainly carry a valuation of $15,000 or more. That figure is very likely conservative in today's market for great western obsoletes. PCGS Very Fine 25.

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