THE FIRST LETTER ORIGINATING FROM CANADA BEARING A POSTAGE STAMP
1840 (December 7) Folded lettersheet with handwritten “Fort Malden, Amherstburg Upper Canada December
8, 1840” addressed to Dover, England, showing a very clear Amherstburg double arc dispatch at top left along
with PAID handstamp and manuscript “Sterling ½” and “Currency 1/4” dual rates (1), carried by Cunard Line
Steamer (2), arrival in London with PAID JA 18 1841 datestamp in red and arrived same-day at Dover with
JA 18 backstamp; redirected to Sandwich JA 19, due a penny “1d” manuscript and then forwarded again, now
with postage paid to “Poets Corner, Westminster”. Mail forwarded to a new address after acceptance,
became liable to one penny British inland postage, in this case a clear margined example of the 1840 One
penny black, Plate 8 [OF] was placed and cancelled by Maltese Cross.
Canadian postage stamps were not issued until 1851. This letter bearing the world’s first postage stamp issued
in May of 1840 is the earliest known letter from Canada bearing a postage stamp.
Expertization: 1995 British Philatelic Expertizing certificate; a signed and embossed sealed copy.
(1) Treasury Letter Book dated July 6, 1840 established the new all-in Packet rate at 1s2d per half ounce (1/- sterling packet postage, plus 2d sterling BNA
inland postage), equivalent to 1/4 Currency.
(2) Hubbard and Winter, page 19: Caledonia sailed from Boston on January 2, 1841.