Big Indian cover
One of the latest uses of the 14¢ American Indian stamp in this collection is entirely philatelic, but it is of interest due to the town name in the August 27, 1938, postmark tying the stamp to cover: Big Indian, New York.
The hamlet of Big Indian is located in New York’s Catskill Mountains.1 2 The community is named for Winnisook, a member of the Lenape people who lived in the area in the 1700s. According to legend, Winnisook was over seven feet tall; his height was the origin of the name of Big Indian.
The cachet on this cover features an illustration of a Native American chief, and the text on the reverse—“Pavois © S-M Co”—identifies it as a Stebbin Pavois design produced no earlier than 1938.3 A line of typewritten “X’s” crosses out the wording “First Day Cover”; since the rotary press printed American Indian stamp was issued in 1931, it is unclear for what stamp the cover may have originally been intended.
Additionally, since a previous owner of the cover removed the address, there is no way to identify where or to whom it may have been mailed; however, even with the “Via Air Mail” inscription, it seems virtually certain that the 14¢ stamp significantly overpaid the applicable postage rate in effect at the time.
Next: Vienna cover
- Big Indian/Oliverea. The Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.
- History of Big Indian and Oliverea. The Historical Marker Database. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.
- Nafziger, Ralph. Pioneers Who Created Generic FDC Cachets. First Days 15 July 2010. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.
Published 2023-03-21 Last updated 2023-03-22