Hussey's Local Delivery Service
Local stamp issued by Hussey's Express Company
From 1842 -1860 a number of private companies issued stamps for delivery of mail within cities at a time when most government mail service delivered from post office to post office. The largest numbers of private stamps were issued by companies such as Bloods in Philadelphia and Husseys and Boyds in New York. By 1861 the government established a post office monopoly and, by 1883, the private services were virtually extinct; however, Hussey's continued to operate because it offered its messenger service exclusively to banks and other businesses and not to the general public.
Hussey's business was first established in an office at 82 Broadway. In 1858 it moved to 50 William Street. When that building was demolished in 1872 the office was relocated to 54 Pine Street (identified on the stamp pictured above). In 1875 George Hussey sold his business to Robert Easson whose name first appeared on the stamps of the company two years later. In 1888 the company moved to 61 Pine Street.
Werner G. Mayer notes, "Mr. Hussey's postage stamps, as are all other privately issued postage stamps, were considered quite collectable in the late 1800's and early 1900's. As a result, many of his stamps have been counterfeited to meet the demand of collectors." The printer identified on the imprint at the bottom of this stamp is N(icholas) F. Seebeck who, in association with the Hamilton Bank Note Company, contracted to provide new issues of stamps to Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Salvador between 1890 and 1899. At the end of each year, the stamps were declared invalid for postal use. Seebeck received unsold stamps and the right to reprint the stamps from the original plates for sale to collectors.