Frequently Asked Questions

What is Minnesota postal history?

The study and collection of Minnesota covers that chronicle the movement of the mails. Desirable covers will have significant postal markings, rates, routes, usages, origins, or destinations.

What are the major reference materials to Minnesota postal history?

  1. The Minnesota Territory in Postmarks, Letters and History, by Floyd E. Risvold.
    The definitive work on the development of the Minnesota Territory through its postal system.  It has better philatelic works regarding the history, markings, stampless letters, classic stamp usages and lettersheets. Also includes an article by Belmont Faries about the Fort Snelling six-cent commemorative postage stamp issued October 17, 1970 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Thomas Cowperthwait & Co. Philadelphia, Publishers for the Collectors Club of Chicago, 1985, 329 pages, full color map, hardbound.
  2. Minnesota Geographic Names, by Warren Upham. Contains the geographic names, origins and historic significance of Minnesota place names. Minnesota Historical Society, publishers, second printing 1979, 788 pages, hardbound.
  3. The Post Offices of Minnesota, by Alan Patera and John Gallagher. ¬†Contains a list of Post Offices by County, Post Offices rescinded or never in operation, an alphabetical list of all Minnesota Post Offices, map location of each county and a list of every post office’s first postmaster. The Depot, publisher, 1978, 279 pages, hardbound.

Are there minor reference materials to Minnesota postal history?

There are many other publications that refer to Minnesota post history. Some of these may have later printings or editions. Here is a short list:

  1. U.S. Route and Station Agents Postmarks, by C.L. Towle. Contains a section on Minnesota railway postal markings. Indexed by state. Mobile Post Office Society, Inc., publishers, 1986 422 pages, hardbound.
  2. Simpson’s U.S. Postal Markings 1851-61, by Thomas J. Alexander. Contains postal markings used in the United States from July 1, 1851 to the demonetization of the 1851-1861 issue of United States postage stamps, approximately September 1861. U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, Inc. 1979 second edition, 434 pages, hardbound.
  3. The First Hundred Years of Untied States Territorial Postmarks, 1787-1887, by Carroll Chase and Richard Mcp. Cabeen. Contains territorial postmarks starting with the territory northwest of the River Ohio, through the settling of the West, the Indian Nations – today largely in Oklahoma – through 1887. The American Philatelic Society, Inc., publisher, 1950, 341 pages, hardbound.
  4. American Stampless Cover Catalog (three volumes), by David G. Phillips, Editor in Chief. Contains a listing with valuations of American handstamped and manuscript town postmarks by states, including colonial and territorial periods, U.S. possessions, and unorganized territories from the early 1700s to 1870. 1997, fifth edition; Vol I, 454 pages; Vol II 306 pages; Vol III, 336 pages; all volumes hardbound.