Postal Updates

Hometown of famed abolitionist honors him on postmark

May 3, 2021, 10 PM
Abolitionist minister Calvin Fairbank was harshly punished for aiding escaping slaves in the 1840s and 1850s. He is remembered on his birth bicentennial with this Angelica, N.Y., postmark.

By Michael Baadke

The historic village of Angelica, N.Y., is commemorating the birth bicentennial of one of its prominent residents, Rev. Calvin Fairbank, an important abolitionist.

Fairbank was born in Pike, N.Y., some 25 miles north of Angelica in western New York, on Nov. 3, 1816. 

He was ordained as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church in 1842, but by that time he was already providing transportation for escaping slaves, leading them from the South to freedom across the Ohio River.

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Fairbank was arrested in Kentucky in 1845 and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. He was pardoned after serving more than four years. Following his release in 1849, he returned to helping escaping slaves, and in all brought 47 enslaved men and women to their freedom.

Arrested again in 1851, he served a full 15-year term in a Kentucky prison, and died in Angelica in 1898.

To obtain the Calvin Fairbank postmark, mail your request to:

FAIRBANK Station, Postmaster, Box 9998, Angelica, NY 14709-9998, Nov. 3.

The following cancels are also available:

DEDICATION Station, Postmaster, 130 E. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, FL 33950-9998, Nov. 5. (Large star with circle background, box outlined in stars, hand touching side, “Southwest Florida Vietnam Memorial Wall dedication.”)

A “FOUR DAYS IN MELROSE” Station, Postmaster, 859 N. State Road 21, Melrose, FL 32666-9998, Nov. 5. (Butterfly on flower, “Melrose Library Fundraising Kick-off,” “Event on Nov. 5, 2016 in Melrose FL 32666.”)

200 YEARS OF DELIVERING THE MAIL Station, Postmaster, 169 Champlain Ave., Ticonderoga, NY 12883-9998, Nov. 5. (Ten circular postmarks identifying New York towns “Putsville, Eagle Cliff, Chilson Lake, Addison Junction, Rogers Rock, Fort Ticonderoga, Streetroad, Eagle Lake, Chilson, Ticonderoga,” “1816-2016.”)

HOOD COUNTY SESQUICENTENNIAL Station, Postmaster, 530 N. Crockett St., Granbury, TX 76048-9998, Nov. 5. (Text only postmark with large circle, “Hood County Sesquicentennial, 150 Years, 1866 [star] 2016.”)

ELMIRA Station, Postmaster, 1580 Sullivan St., Elmira, NY 14901-9998, Nov. 5. (Coffee mug with inscription “Cafe,” seven stacked books with titles spelling out “Barnes & Noble, Elmira NY, 20 Years, Bringing, The World, To Your, Family.”

SOLDIER’S MEMORIAL MILITARY MUSEUM Station, Postmaster Attention Retail, 1720 Market St., Room 2033, St. Louis, MO 63155-9998, Nov. 5. (Image of museum including flagpole, trees, “33rd Annual Veterans Day Celebration,” “Heroes Remembered Desert Shield/Desert Storm 25th Anniversary,” row of stars.)

PITTPEX Station, Retail Specialist, 1001 California Ave., Room 2036, Pittsburgh, PA 15290-9681, Nov. 5-6. (Text only postmark with a fess chequay, or checkerboard pattern from the city seal, “City of Pittsburgh, 1816-2016, ‘Benigno Numine.’”)

The following postmark has been granted a 30-day extension:

CHIEF PETTY OFFICER ADAM BROWN POST OFFICE DEDICATION Station, Postmaster, 335 Section Line Road, Hot Springs, AR 71901-9998, Oct. 24. (Silver Star medal, “Silver Star, Bronze Star with Valor — Purple Heart.”)

Share information by writing to Postmark Pursuit, Box 4129, Sidney, OH 45365.

Instructions for requesting postmarks

Linn’s subscribers can see complete instructions for requesting postmarks here.