Postal Stationery Envelope, circa 1876
Tuesday Aug 31st Have not done any sewing to day Was
looking about house most of the forenoon and
fixing work for Catharine Mr French and
son were here to dine & Alson & Arden Hall.
Augusta & I have been to North Bridgewater
and home by West B and brought Susan
home She has been at Mr Burrells
a week We called at Rachels Alson
& wife Arden Hall & wife there
There was sunshine today after several days of rain. “[I]t cleared of[f] to day pritty warm there was five inches of water fell in this storm + it raisd the water verry much”* was the upbeat report. The ponds were full.
The clear weather meant that Evelina could fetch her daughter, Susan, who had been staying in Bridgewater with the Burrell family, under the care of Orinthia Foss. With Augusta Pool Gilmore in tow, Evelina rode out in the afternoon. Ten-year-old Susie had been gone a whole week; one imagines she was ready to return home. The women also stopped to see Rachel Gilmore Pool en route. Rachel was Evelina’s niece, and Augusta’s sister-in-law.
In Washington, D. C. on this date, Congress approved the very first pre-stamped envelopes, also known as postal stationery envelopes (PSE’s). The Postmaster General was authorized to provide “suitable letter envelopes with such watermarks or other guards against counterfeits… with the addition of the value or denomination of the postage stamps so printed or impressed thereon…”** The following year, the first set of stamped envelopes became available. They were known as the 1853 Nesbitt issues, after the contractor who produced them. This was high technology at the time.
*Oliver Ames, Journal, Stonehill College Archives, Arnold Tofias Collection
** Wikipedia, “Postal Stationery,” accessed August 27, 2015.