Pony Express Addressed to Abraham Lincoln to be Auctioned for First Time in Over 30 Years
01/19/2022

On January 26, H.R. Harmer auctioning a Pony Express envelope addressed to Abraham Lincoln.

Online PR News – 19-January-2022 – New York, New York – On January 26, H.R. Harmer Fine Stamp Auctions will be offering the sixth installment of ten in the “Erivan” Collection of United and Confederate States Postal History. This collection includes a Pony Express envelope addressed to Abraham Lincoln. The cover is postmarked August 18th, 1860, 4 months before he was elected President. This is the only Pony Express addressed to a U.S. President, and one of only 250 surviving Pony Express covers. It was last purchased by prolific German collector, Erivan Haub. When it was sold in 1991, it was valued at $150,000. However, industry experts have stated they would not be surprised if the cover sold for significantly more this January.

“It is rare for lightning to strike twice like this,” remarked H.R. Harmer CEO, Charles Epting, “There are only 250 Pony Express covers in existence. For one of those envelopes to be mailed to one of the most important Americans of the 19th century in one the most pivotal times of his life, after his nomination and before his election, is extraordinary. The improbability is considerable and the fact that it has survived this whole time is amazing.”

The election of 1860 was one of the most highly contentious processes in American history. After the highly controversial Republican National Convention in May, Lincoln returned to his home in Springfield Illinois and became quite reclusive, giving very few speeches and writing almost no letters. It is nearly impossible to imagine the future president's mindset at this time, with both the Republican Party and the United States on the brink of war.

The envelope does not bear a return address and it is therefore impossible to conclusively determine who sent Lincoln the letter. However, a possible candidate is future Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field, who wrote in his memoir in 1880: “I could have recounted…the communications had with President Lincoln by relays of riders over the plains.” If the envelope carried a letter from Justice Field, it may have provided Lincoln with news regarding secessionist sentiments in California during the summer of 1860.

Few people realize that the Pony Express was only in operation for a little over 18 months (April 3, 1860- October 31, 1861) and that it was incredibly expensive to send a letter via the service. The letter sent to Lincoln would’ve cost at least $5, which adjusting for inflation, is $150 in current US Dollars. The most up-to-date census includes approximately 250 envelopes carried via Pony Express. After over a century and a half, it is unlikely that many more examples will come to light in the future.

The value of a Pony Express envelope addressed to one of the most renowned Presidents in history cannot be measured in merely monetary terms—it is a key piece of Americana. Erivan Haub, a German business mogul and philanthropist with a love for the American West, spent decades curating a collection of US Postal History that documents the 19th century and beyond. Haub preserved some of the most precious artifacts from America’s past and this January, the Lincoln Pony Express will be returning home for another chance to make history.

About H.R. Harmer:
Henry R. Harmer, a signatory of the exclusive “Roll of Distinguished Philatelists,” founded the company that bears his name in England in 1918. In 1940, the Harmer firm opened its New York auction gallery and quickly ascended to the top ranks of philatelic auction houses in the United States. Now celebrating nearly eight decades in the business, H.R. Harmer has recently relocated from Southern California to Midtown Manhattan, just a stone’s throw from their original location.

As a part of the Global Philatelic Network, H.R. Harmer has four sister companies in Europe and Asia; combined, the group provides stamp collectors around the world with exceptional personal service, backed by decades of experience in the marketplace. Learn more about the company at: https://hrharmer.com/.