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A Mystery Item Postmarked Rome, California Circa 1870s

This item, which is just a piece of an envelope or wrapper with a stamp on it, is largely a mystery to me.


It was postmarked at the Rome, California post office on September 19, year unknown. Rome was a short-lived post office in Sutter County not too far from present day Yuba City.


A 15-cent stamp is affixed to the piece of paper. It appears to be US Scott #152 depicting Daniel Webster. That stamp was issued between 1870 and 1871, but it obviously could have used later than that.


The cost of sending a letter at that time was 3-cents per 1/2 ounce with no distance differential, so this stamp could have paid for a letter that weighed 2-1/2 ounces. I haven't been able to determine any other rate combination that would have added up to 15-cents at the time. There was registered mail at the time, for example, but that would have cost 18-cents -- 3-cents for the postage (per 1/2 ounce) plus 15-cents for registry service.


There are some pencil marks to the left with a name that might have been the sender, but I can't make them out. It might be BT or BJ Wilkerson.


I can see that this item was addressed to Colonel John Baker of Jackson, Tennessee, but I can't find anyone with that name and/or title living in Jackson in the 1870s.


This one has me stumped.

Figure 1

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