Revolutionary War Express Mail Letters

1782 Revolutionary War express letter

Very fine example of a 1782 Revolutionary War express letter sent from Fort Herkimer, New York to Fort Rensselaer, New York. The letter is endorsed public service, and is endorsed Pr Express.

Please visit my Biblio store to view my current offerings of Revolutionary War Express Mail letters and more items for sale:

Revolutionary War Express Mail

Other Revolutionary War postal history

A Brief History of Revolutionary War Express Mail

(Please note: This letter has been sold. Please check my Biblio website for Revolutionary War Express letters.)

During the years prior to the Declaration of Independence there were 5 different categories of mail carriers.

One of these categories was express riders hired by either the continental Congress, the Army, or by private interests.

At the outbreak of hostilities between British Forces in America, and French and Indian Armies, the British commanders immediately took steps to insure prompt transportation of the Military mail.

This practice seems to have been carried over into the Revolutionary War period, and use of Military Express riders was common during the war years. Most examples of military mail have the endorsement “on public Service,” and “Express” notations on the address panel of the folded letter. Other letters have been noted that were carried to ships by a military express horseback rider. Often these letters went unanswered as the addressee was either infirmed, or in prison.

Many of these Revolutionary War Express letters were sent between military officers. Letters between forts are also known, as well as mail from civilians to military officers, which also bear the “on public service” endorsement. Some of the information used was taken from the Ter Braake book, “The posted letter in colonial and Revolutionary America.”

Offered are several examples of mail carried by military express rider.

My main area of concentration is from the 1740's to 1820, with emphasis on the war periods, and early United States express mail and military letters. Please click on the links below to view my postal history offerings, or contact me directly at . Thanks very much for your interest.

Please visit my online Biblio store to view Revolutionary War Express Mail letters and other history items for sale, including soldier's letters and stampless folded letters, covering the mid 18th century to early 19th century periods in US history:

Revolutionary War Express Mail

Other Revolutionary War postal history

If you prefer to buy privately, please email me your want list, and I'll send scans of what is available for sale.

I am a life member of the APS, and a registered dealer member. American Philatelic Society

Thanks for visiting. —Brad Sheff


P.O. Box 246  |  Northfield, Vermont 05663  |  802-485-8239