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Stamps (Philately)/free stamped letter

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Question
Terry I have a letter dated 1788 from New York signed by Secretary of war,  Henry Knox.   The letter has no stamp, but the word free where a stamp usually goes on a letter.  Please advise to the added value of this signed letter. JIM REIS

Answer
Hello Jim,

Thanks for your letter.

The "free" designation on the front of the envelope is a courtesy that was allowed to politicians and armed forces throughout our history.  

There are collectors that specialize in collecting letters, signatures and envelopes of notable people.  If your envelope contains a letter inside, it is more desirable to a collector.  All that being said, the list value of what you have is speculative.  A lot depends on demand, condition and authenticity.   If genuine, I would place a list value of $15 to $20 on what you have--even more if there is a letter inside.    I suggest getting the item authenticated, making sure it is genuine.    

Nice find for your collection!

Thanks again for your question and let mw know if I can be of any more help.

Terry

Stamps (Philately)

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Terry Tipton

Expertise

I have been involved in philately for most of my 56 years. I specialize in United States Issues and Postmarks. I have numerous reference sources to research if I do not know the answer. I am organized and promise swift courteous answers. I am a member of the American Philatelic Society. I also have my own philatelic mail order business.

Experience

As I mentioned, I have been collecting philatelic items for most of my 56 years. I have several albums of United States issues (most of them are pages I designed myself) and I also have numerous albums of postmarks sorted and researchhed by state.

Organizations
American Philatelic Society, All Nations Stamp Club and Harford County Stamp Club

Publications
Linn's, All Nations Stamp Club Website, and local Newspaper

Awards and Honors
Board of Directors for Christmas in April 1990-1996

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