1 Insurance Statutes April 29, 1857 SECTION 1. [On and after the first day of July, eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, the following tax is hereby imposed, … to wit: … [on] any policy of insurance, contract or instrument in the nature thereof, upon any house, factory, machinery, ship, steamer or vessel, of any description, any goods, wares, or merchandise, or furniture, or any life insurance, one-half of the duty levied on bills of exchange. April 26, 1858 SECTION 1. Section one [of the Act of April 29, 1857] is hereby amended so as to read as follows: Section one—The following tax is hereby imposed, … to wit: … [on] any policy of insurance, contract, or instrument in the nature thereof, upon any house, factory, machinery, ship, steamer, or vessel, of any description, any goods, wares, or merchandise, or furniture, or any life insurance, if to run for one year or more, one-half of the duty levied on bills of lading as herein provided; if for nine months and not more than twelve months, three-fourths of the rates last above established; if for six months and not over nine months, one-half of the above established rates; if for three months and not over six months, one-fourth of the above established rates. April 23, 1860 SECTION 1. The Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint two Inspectors of Stamps to reside at the city of San Francisco. SEC. 2. The duties of the Stamp Inspector[s] shall [include] … to inspect the records of policies of insurance issued at the city of San Francisco. May 9, 1861 SECTION 1. On and after the first day of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, the following tax is hereby imposed, … to wit: … [on] any policy of insurance, contract, or instrument, in the nature thereof, upon any house, factory, machinery, ship, steamer, or vessel, of any description, any goods, wares, or merchandize, or furniture, or any life insurance, one-half of the duty levied on bills of exchange. April 10, 1862 SECTION 1. Section one of [the Act of May 9, 1861] is hereby amended so as to read as follows: Section 1. On and after the first day of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, the following tax is hereby imposed, … to wit: … [on] any policy of insurance, contract, or instrument in the nature thereof, upon any house, factory, machinery, ship, steamer, or vessel of any description, any goods, wares, or merchandise, or furniture, or any life insurance, one-half of the duty levied on bills of exchange, as herein provided: if for nine months, and not less than six months, three-fourths of the rates last above established; if for six months, and not less than three months, one half of the rates above established; if for three months, or less, one-fourth of the rates above established. SEC. 2. Section seven of said Act is hereby amended so as to read as follows: Section 7. No instrument or writing whatever, executed on or after the first day of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, and chargeable by this Act with the payment of duty, as aforesaid, and no contract of insurance, made and entered into with any insurance company, or companies, or individual insurers, upon property or lives within this State, or upon vessels, freights, or merchandise, owned, shipped, or consigned, by or to any person or persons in this State, shall be pleaded, or set up, or given, in evidence in any court, or admitted to be available in law or equity, but shall be and remain absolutely void, unless the same shall be stamped and marked, as aforesaid, and it shall not be lawful for any person or persons owning or controlling property in this State, to insure the same with any such insurance company or companies, or individual insurers, or to enter into any insurance contract, or to receive any policy on which the stamp tax has not first been paid; and in default of
2such payment by said insurer, insurers, insurance company or companies, every person soinsured, or receiving unstamped policies, shall become liable to the State of California for theamount of tax on the sums named to be insured by such unstamped policies. Any personor persons refusing or failing to comply with the provisions of this Act, or acting as Agentsfor any insurance company, or individual insurer, who shall neglect, or refuse, or fail, tocomply with the same, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon convictionthereof, before any Court of competent jurisdiction, be fined, for each offence, a sum notless than two hundred dollars or more than one thousand dollars, the amount recovered tobe paid into the State Treasury. SEC. 3. Any person, firm, officer, or agent, on his own account, or for, or on account ofany company, association, corporation, or individual, issuing any instrument or writingwhatsoever, charged by this Act, or the Act to which this is amendatory and supplemental,with the payment of taxes or duty, shall be required to place such stamp upon the face ofevery such instrument or writing, and to write upon the face of every stamp used the date atwhich the same is placed upon every such instrument or writing aforesaid; and such stampshall not again be used. Any person, officer, or agent, failing to comply with the provisions ofthis section, or issuing a stamp more than once, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor,and shall, upon conviction thereof, before any Court of competent jurisdiction, be fined in asum of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, the amountrecovered to be paid into the State Treasury.April 15, 1862 SEC. 3. … All insurers and insurance companies, or agents thereof, collecting premiumsat San Francisco, on the application of either of the Stamp Inspectors, shall exhibit to himtheir records of policies, or certificates, issued, and their books, showing the amount of theirbusiness, and the names of parties insured by them. All persons engaged in the collectionof premiums from citizens of this State, whether by the issuance of policies or certificatesof insurance, or by the indorsement of risks upon open policies, issued by the insurers orinsurance companies, shall be deemed to be insurance agents, for the purposes of this Act;and the amount of stamp tax to be paid by such agents shall be ascertained by applying therates of duty established by law to the whole sum insured by such agents, to be ascertainedby the Inspectors from the books of the agency. Any receipt for the payment of a premiumof insurance, when no policy or certificate has been issued, shall be deemed a policy, for thepurposes of this Act, and shall be stamped as aforesaid. But no policy, certificate, or entryof reinsurance, made by one company or individual for another, when the original insurancehas paid stamp duty, as herein before provided, shall be liable to the operations of this Act.March 8, 1866 SECTION 1. No stamp shall be required nor stamp duty exacted on any contract of insurancewhen limited to accident resulting in injury or death. Insurance First Period, 1857–8 By the Act of April 19, 1857, effective occasionally Third, Exchange stamps wereJuly 1, 1857, bills of exchange drawn in, sold. They were initially printed in blue, firstbut payable out of, California were taxed on white wove paper, then blue laid paper,according to a graduated schedule of 22 rates and after mid-October 1857 in red (Mahler,based on the amount of the transaction. The 1997a,b, 2010). Sixty-two intact stamped billstax on policies of insurance was defined to be from this period have been recorded (Mahler,half that on bills of exchange. These Exchange 2010); since just over 100,000 stamps wereand Insurance rates are shown in Table I. sold, the survival rate of intact bills has been These taxes lasted less than ten months, about 0.06%. Forty-six of these 62 bills bearending abruptly on April 26, 1858, when blue stamps.the legislature replaced the tax on bills of During this same period the Insuranceexchange with one on bills of lading for stamps, printed exclusively in blue on whiteshipments of gold or silver out of the state, wove paper, presumably had a pattern ofeffective immediately. These dates demarcate usage and survival similar to that of thea First Period of Exchange and Insurance early Exchange stamps. They paid the taxtaxes. State records reveal that during this on insurance policies and renewals. Liketime 50,683 sets of First, Second, and very bills of exchange, these documents remained
3 Figure Insurance-1. Policy of Home Insurance Co., November 10, 1857, amount $1000, stamped with $1 blue Insurance (DIN10), on sewing machines of Wheeler and Wilson Manufacturing Co., San Francisco. One of two recorded documents bearing blue Insurance stamps.
4Figure Insurance-2. Policy of Niagara Fire Insurance Co., November 10, 1857, amount $1000, stampedwith $1 blue Insurance (DIN10), on sewing machines of Wheeler and Wilson. The other of the two recordeddocuments bearing a blue Insurance stamp.
5 Table I Exchange and Insurance Taxes, 1857–8 and 1861–72 Amount Exchange Insurance Amount Exchange Insurance Above $20 to $50 .08 .04 Above $2000 to $3000 $6 $3 Above $50 to $100 .20 .10 Above $3000 to $4000 $8 $4 Above $100 to $150 .30 .15 Above $4000 to $5000 $10 $5 Above $150 to $200 .40 .20 Above $5000 to $7000 $14 $7 Above $200 to $300 .60 .30 Above $7000 to $10,000 $20 $10 Above $300 to $400 .80 .40 Above $10,000 to $15,000 $30 $15 Above $400 to $500 $1 .50 Above $15,000 to $20,000 $38 $19 Above $500 to $750 $1.40 .70 Above $20,000 to $30,000 $56 $28 Above $750 to $1000 $2 $1 Above $30,000 to $50,000 $90 $45 Above $1000 to $1500 $3 $1.50 Above $50,000 to $100,000 $175 $87.50 Above $1500 to $2000 $4 $2 Above $100,000 $200 $100 in effect for a short time (a month or so for Shown above are the key pieces from exchange, up to a year for insurance), then a group of six stamped policies insuring passed into personal or commercial archives sewing machines of the Wheeler and whose survival depended upon the same Wilson Manufacturing Co. against fire at vagaries of fate: fires, floods, earthquakes, various locations in San Francisco (Figures deaths of key individuals, business successes Insurance-1,2). These two are virtually or reversals, and similar elemental forces. identical except for being issued by different The key difference between the Exchange companies, the Home Insurance Co. and the and Insurance stamps of the First Period is Niagara Fire Insurance Co. Each provided that far fewer of the latter were sold, a total $1000 coverage for one year commencing of only 3321 spread over 20 denominations November 10, 1857, at a cost of $25, on (no 4¢ or $100 stamps were ever sold, only machines stored at 157 Sacramento Street. one $87.50, and four each of the $28 and The policies are even made in the same $45; Mahler, 1997a, 2010). Any example is hand, that of Jonathan Hunt, agent for both a first-class rarity. Smith (1903) referred to companies. Each bears a $1 blue Insurance “documents in my possession, both insurance stamp (DIN10), cut square, with blue “GWW” and exchange papers, bearing stamps in Controller’s handstamp, correctly paying the blue,” but until recently no intact policies tax for amounts above $750 to $1000. The bearing blue stamps were known to modern Records of the State Controller confirm that revenue specialists. A decade ago it was Jonathan Hunt had purchased 32 Insurance noted that “assuming the same survival rate stamps on October 17, 1857, including six for insurance policies as observed for bills of of the $1 (Mahler, 1997a, 2010). These are exchange, 0.06%, allows us to hope one or two the long-awaited discovery examples of blue might still exist on original policies.” (Mahler, Insurance stamps on original policies. A fuller 1997a). That hope has now been fulfilled. description of the “Wheeler and Wilson Find” is provided in Mahler (2009). Insurance Second Period, 1858–61 In the original schedule of 1857, the year or more, the tax on insurance was set Insurance tax had been specified indirectly, at half that for bills of lading, which was 30¢ not explicitly, defined to be half that for bills for amounts to $100, and 0.2% for all other of exchange. When the Exchange tax was amounts; the Insurance rates were thus 15¢ rescinded in 1858, the Insurance tax was not; for amounts to $100, and 0.1% for all other it was merely reformulated, tied instead to amounts. The legislature then introduced the new Bill of Lading tax. For policies of one short-term rates, as follows: Term Rates Amount to $100 Over $100 One year or more 15¢ 0.1% 9 to 12 months 75% of rates for one year or more 11¼¢ 0.075% 6 to 9 months 50% of rates for one year or more 7½¢ 0.05% 3 to 6 months 25% of rates for one year or more 3¾¢ 0.025%
6 To accommodate this rather unwieldy These large Insurance issues wereschedule, 36 large circular Insurance stamps mistakenly dubbed “Marine Insurance”were created, printed in red. For each stamps by early catalogers, at least as fartime bracket, stamps were issued in nine back as Adenaw (1894), an error perpetuateddenominations corresponding to convenient ever since. They were in fact general purposeamounts of coverage from $100 to $50,000, stamps designed to be used on all manner ofthe same amounts specified on the nine policies or receipts.lowest Bill of Lading denominations. Asalways, the stamps were user-friendly; here Problematic Pro-ratingthey stated not only the tax, but the time of This short-term schedule of 1858 was notthe policy and the upper limit of its coverage. well thought out, on two counts. The most12 Month stamps, the most common—or obvious is that the pro-rating was not donemore appropriately, least rare—time bracket, proportionately, and left policies of less thanare known in all nine denominations. 3 three months untaxed. It seems obvious thatMonth and 6 Month stamps are listed in for durations up to one-fourth of a year theCabot (1940) and Hubbard (1960) for all but rate should have been one-fourth the yearlythe highest denomination, corresponding to rate; up to half a year, half the rate; and up to$50,000 coverage; state records show that three-fourths of a year, three-fourths the rate.25 each of the unlisted stamps were issued Years later the Act of April 10, 1862, wouldto the San Francisco County Treasurer, but correct this error. By then the Bill of Ladingall eventually returned unsold. For the little- tax had been abolished, and the originalused 9 Month stamps, the standard catalogs slate of Exchange taxes re-established. Thelist only five (and price only one); again, the Insurance rates were again defined to beother four were issued, but all returned half the rates for bills of exchange, with theunsold (Kenyon, 1920; Mahler, 2011).1 following exceptions: Term Rate 6 to 9 months 75% of basic rate (i.e., 37½% of Exchange rates) 3 to 6 months 50% of basic rate (i.e., 25% of Exchange rates) 3 months or less 25% of basic rate (i.e., 12½% of Exchange rates)This made more sense. In the meantime, the two applicable, hardly an ideal situation;though, by the letter of the law policies of less the public was left to deduce what the lawthan three months were exempt. Amazingly, intended rather than what it said, and trustedin a few cases the party affixing the stamps to pay the higher rate!deduced what the rate should have beenunder proportional pro-rating, and paid this End of the Second Period“phantom rate”! On January 28, 1861, the U.S. Supreme The effects of this disproportional pro- Court declared California’s tax on bills ofrating in the 1858 schedule were minimized lading unconstitutional. That tax, enactedby a second flaw, namely that the brackets April 26, 1858, had replaced the Exchangewere not mutually exclusive, but overlapped tax originally enacted in 1857. Now the Actat their endpoints. Policies of exactly nine of May 9, 1861, effective on passage, broughtmonths were taxed at both the 75% and 50% matters full circle, implicitly rescinding therates; six month policies at both the 50% tax on bills of lading and reestablishing theand 25% rates; and three month policies Exchange and Insurance taxes enacted infell into both the three to six month 25% 1857 (see Table I). Thus ended the Secondbracket and the “phantom” bracket of up to Period for Insurance, which had lasted justthree months. Since the majority of maritime over three years, and began the Third Period.policies were for exactly three months, theywere accidentally taxed at the proportionally The Stampscorrect 25% rate. Only policies strictly less As pointed out nearly a century agothan three months were left out of the rate by Kenyon (1920), the large Insurancetables. For six and nine month policies the stamps were printed in four distinct colors,proportionally correct rate was the higher of which he called orange-vermilion, brick red and carmine-lake, all on bluish paper, and vermilion on white paper; Figure1. The unlisted stamps were issued June 25, 1858, Insurance-3 shows examples of each. Afterand returned July 31, 1861, along with 21 of the the denomination, its color is the next most9 Mo./$7.50 and 23 of the 12 Mo./$50 (four and basic defining characteristic of a giventwo had been sold, the only sales of these stamps). stamp. The fact that the seminal catalog of
7 Figure Insurance-3. Left to right: large Insurance stamps in orange-vermilion, brick red, and carmine-lake on bluish paper, and vermilion on white paper. Adenaw et al. (1921) failed to incorporate stamp color, via the overarching notation this fundamental descriptor into its listings “dull orange to deep rose”; their “dull orange” is surprising, the more so as Kenyon was one and “deep rose” are evidently Kenyon’s orange of the co-authors. [It is not generally realized vermilion” and carmine-lake. that the detailed listings of Cabot (1940) were Using the Stamp Record of the State copied verbatim from the now little-known Controllers, supplemented by intact stamped work of Adenaw et al. —i.e. Julius K. Adenaw, documents, all deliveries by the Stamp J. Delano Bartlett, Brewster C. Kenyon, E. Commissioners to the Controllers have been H. Vanderhoof, Walter D. Grout and Frank identified by color Mahler, 2011a). The dates L. Applegate, a veritable Who’s Who of state of first deliveries for the four printings were revenue authorities.] These “savants of 1921” as follows: made only a cursory nod in the direction of Orange-vermilion on bluish paper May 13, 1858 Brick red on bluish paper July 1, 1859 Carmine-lake on bluish paper March 16, 1860 Vermilion on white paper December 10, 1860 As with all California issues of 1857–72, issuance to County Treasurers. During the the Controller’s initialed handstamp was period they were in use, the Controllers, with applied to these stamps before sale or their terms of office,2 were: George W. Whitman January 7, 1856–October 6, 1858 Aaron R. Meloney October 11, 1858–March 15, 1860 Samuel H. Brooks March 15, 1860–November 20, 1861 Meloney used two handstamps, dubbed plain stamp color, then control handstamp, there and fancy. are six distinct types. Detailed catalog listings If the large Insurance stamps are classified have been proposed with the six types labeled by denomination, then paper color, then A through F, in the following format: —————————Thin bluish paper————————— Thin white paper orange-vermilion brick red carmine-lake vermilion (June 1, 1858) (July 1, 1859) (March 16, 1860) (Dec. 10, 1860) GWW ARM plain ARM fancy SHB SHB SHB A B C D E F Appendix X lists the 36 large Insurance of the numbers sold, and proposed current stamps in this format, with the best estimates prices. 2. All previously published works erroneously give the changeover dates from Whitman to Meloney as October 12, 1858, and from Meloney to Brooks as January 15, 1860. In the State’s Stamp Record, Whitman’s final entry is dated October 6, 1858, and Meloney’s first entry, October 11, 1858. Meloney remained in office until March 15, 1860, with Brooks assuming the duties March 16.
8 Comments Only 25 full documents taxed at the schedule, it was $7, as the policy falls into theSecond Period rates have been recorded, 23 $5000–$7000 bracket. Only $6 was paid, bypolicies and two renewals; all are listed in 6 Mo./$5 and 12 Mo./$1 stamps (DIN38, 53).the accompanying census. Nineteen are for While the property insured was in Columbia,one year, taxed at the 0.1% rate. One is for the policy was issued in San Francisco bysix months, taxed at 0.05%; four for three or the Liverpool and London agent there, andfour months, taxed at 0.025%; and one for presumably stamped by him. Evidently evenone month, by the letter of the law not taxable, some seven weeks after the Insurance stampbut stamped at the 0.025% “phantom rate.” A taxes had been revised by the Legislature, thelarge piece of a policy bearing two stamps and agent of one of the major insurers in the statedated July 20, 1858, is also listed; this is the was still unaware of it. By implication twoearliest recorded usage of the large Insurance earlier items bearing large Insurance stamps,stamps (Figure Insurance-4). dated May 15 and June 18, 1861, have also The classification of four of these been classed as Second Period usages, anddocuments is somewhat problematic. The a policy made some two weeks later, on JulyAct of May 9, 1861, effective on passage, had 16, 1861, has been included as well.rescinded the Second Period Insurance rates Besides Columbia, insured propertiesand re-established the original First Period on recorded Second Period usages were atrates, retroactive to May 1, 1861. It must have Healdsburg, Forest Hill, Sacramento, Santaken some weeks or months for this news Francisco, Stockton and Suisun City, but theto reach all appropriate parties. For most documents all appear to have been issuedpolicies—at least those for a year or more— in San Francisco, and presumably stampedthe taxes computed by the two schedules there. Later this would change.were the same; how then to classify the Three more usages of large Insurancedocuments, Second Period or Third? Ideally stamps have been recorded, but now payingthe determining factor, if it could be known, the Third Period rates, before the new smallwould be the schedule used to compute the red Insurance stamps came into general use.tax; if the old rates were used even though The earliest recorded usage of the small redthe new ones were already in effect, the usage stamps is October 18, 1861, on a Liverpoolcould be plausibly attributed to the Second and London Fire and Life Insurance Co. policyPeriod. One policy furnishes a useful clue (Figure Insurance-34), but other users stillin this regard, issued by the Liverpool and had the old stamps on hand: a Hartford FireLondon Fire and Life Insurance Co. on July Insurance Co. policy dated September 18,1, 1861, providing $6000 coverage for one 1861, for $1150 has the new $1.50 rate paidyear to William Daegner on a building and by 6 Mo./50¢ and 12 Mo./$1; a Connecticutcontents including gold scales in Columbia, Fire Insurance Co. of Hartford policy datedTuolumne County. (Daegner was the Wells November 1, 1861, bears a 12 Mo./$2; andFargo Agent at Columbia, and the building a renewal receipt affixed to an Atlantic Firewas presumably their agency there.) For a Insurance Co. policy, dated November 1,$6000 policy, the tax at the Second Period 1861, bears 6 Mo./$2.50 and12 Mo./50¢0.1% rate was $6; by the Third Period (Figure Insurance-12). Notable Examples 1. Portion of policy #405 of R. E. Haven, eleven bear at least one mismatching stamp;Insurance Broker, San Francisco, July 20, evidently any combination was tolerated1858, to Janson Bond & Co., stamped with provided the amount paid was correct.6 Mo./$2.50 and 12 Mo./50¢ in orange- This is the earliest recorded usage of largevermilion with blue “GWW” control handstamp Insurance stamps. Even better, these two(DIN37A, 52A) (Figure Insurance-3). There appear to have been part of the very first salewas no requirement for use of “matching” of large Insurance stamps! On May 29, 1858,stamps, i.e. 3 Month stamps on three month brokers Haven & Johnston had purchasedpolicies, 6 Month stamps on six month one to ten apiece of 17 denominations,policies, and so on; in fact the Act of April 26, totaling $50, including two apiece of the1858, which redefined the Insurance rates, 6 Mo./$2.50 and 12 Mo./50¢; their nextmade no mention of stamps whatsoever. purchase was on July 19, and it would haveOf the 25 recorded Second Period usages, been virtually impossible for stamps delivered
9 Figure Insurance-4. Portion of policy, R. E. Haven, San Francisco, July 20, 1858, stamped with 6 Mo./$2.50 and 12 Mo./50¢ (DIN37A, 52A), the earliest recorded usage of large Insurance stamps. that day in Sacramento to have been used in with blue “ARM” fancy control (DIN26C, 29C), San Francisco July 20. (Figure Insurance-7). 2. Policy #581 of Home Insurance Co., 5. Policy #646 of Quaker City Fire Insurance November 10, 1858, to Wheeler and Wilson Co., September 25, 1860, to H. Crandell & Manufacturing Co., $1000 for one year on Co., $1000 for one year on a hotel in Forest sewing machines and other merchandise in Hill, stamped with 12 Mo./$1 carmine- their building at Montgomery and Sacramento lake with “SHB” control (DIN53E) (Figure Streets, San Francisco, stamped with 12 Insurance-8). One of five recorded policies Mo./$1 (DIN53A) (Figure Insurance-5). As with identical coverage, dates and stamps, with the two policies made a year earlier each issued by a different company. Forest bearing blue stamps (Figures Insurance Hill, now a ghost town, was in Placer County, 1, 2), here too a policy with identical date 17 miles north of Auburn. and coverage was obtained from the Niagara 6. Policy #983 of Continental Insurance Co., Insurance Co, #18023, bearing the same December 10, 1860, to the estate of John stamp. Both stamps have blue “GWW” Rivett, $3000 for one year on a building in handstamp and are generously cut square, Sacramento, stamped with 3 Mo./$2.50 the only recorded large Insurance stamps on and 12 Mo./50¢, both carmine-lake “SHB” document not cut to shape. (DIN29E, 52E) (Figure Insurance-9). Policy 3. Policy #56 of Humboldt Fire Insurance Co., #984 has also survived, for $2000 to the same May 26, 1859, to Daniel Gibb & Co., $10,000 parties, stamped with two 6 Mo./$1 (DIN35). for one year on merchandise in their building 7. Policy #1726 of Hartford Fire Insurance at Post and Vallejo Streets, San Francisco, Co., to Chas. B. Cooley, $400 for one year stamped with 12 Mo./$10 orange-vermilion on a dwelling in Sacramento, January 10, with “ARM” handstamp (DIN56A) (Figure 1861, 40¢ tax paid by two 12 Mo./20¢ Insurance-6). Only 45 of these were ever vermilion on white paper (DIN51F) (Figure sold. $10 is the highest-denomination large Insurance-10). Policies were seldom made in Insurance stamp recorded on document. amounts this small, and these are the only 4. Policy #218 of Merchants’ Insurance recorded 12 Mo./20¢ stamps on document, Co. of Hartford, March 7, 1860, to H. C. This is also the earliest recorded usage of Hayden, Agent, $3000 for one year on sewing white paper stamps. The large Insurance machines and other merchandise stored at stamps were printed first on bluish paper, the northeast corner of Pine and Leidesdorff with subsequent printings only of the most- streets (Hayden is identified in the 1858 San used denominations on white paper. The 29 Francisco Directory as agent for Wheeler & recorded documents bearing these stamps Wilson’s Sewing Machines), stamped with 3 have a total of 44 stamps on bluish paper Mo./$2.50 and two 3 Mo./25¢, all brick red and only five on white paper.
10Figure Insurance-5. Policy of Home Insurance Co., November 10, 1858, $1000 for one year, stamped with 12Mo./$1 (DIN53A) cut square, on sewing machines of Wheeler and Wilson Manufacturing Co., San Francisco.
11 Census of Insurance Policies and Renewals Bearing California Revenue Stamps FIRST PERIOD (July 1, 1857, to April 26, 1858) $1 Rate (above $750 to $1000) Date Company Amount Stamp(s) Location Comments 11/10/1857 Home Ins. Co. $1000 $1 Insurance (DIN9) S. Francisco #461; Wheeler & Wilson Mfg. Co., on Sewing Machines, 157 Sacramento St. 11/10/1857 Niagara Ins. Co. $1000 $1 Insurance (DIN9) S. Francisco #17991; details as above (All other rates) No examples recorded SECOND PERIOD (April 27, 1858, to May 9, 1861)3 One Year orMore Amount to $100, tax 15¢ No examples recorded Amount over $100, tax 0.1% Date Company Term Amt. Tax Stamp(s) Location Comments 7/20/1858 R. S. Haven, Broker ??? ??? $3 6 Mo./$2.50 (DIN37A) ??? Piece only; “GWW” handstamps 12 Mo./50¢ (DIN52A) 11/10/1858 Home Ins. Co. 1 year $1000 $1 12 Mo./$1 (DIN53A) S. Francisco #581; Wheeler & Wilson Mfg. Co., on sewing machines, etc. 11/10/1858 Niagara Ins. Co. 1 year $1000 $1 12 Mo./$1 (DIN53A) S.Francisco #18,023; as above; many tone spots 4/8/1859 Liverpool & London 1 year $10,000 $10 12 Mo./$5 (x2, DIN55B) S. Francisco On “50 Vara lot No. 532” Fire & Life Ins. Co. 5/26/1859 Humboldt Fire In. Co. 1 year $10,000 $10 12 Mo./$10 (DIN56B) S. Francisco #56 3/7/1860 Merchants’ Ins. Co. 1 year $3000 $3 3 Mo./25¢ (x2, DIN26C) S. Francisco #218; for Wheeler & Wilson Mfg., 3 Mo./$2.50 (DIN29C) Co., on sewing machines, etc. 8/21/1860 Hartford Fire Ins. Co. 1 year $2000 $2 12 Mo./$2 (DIN54) Healdsburg #1305 9/18/1860 Aetna Ins. Co. 1 year $5000 $5 12 Mo./$5 (DIN55B) Stockton #489, to Wm. Pierce 9/25/1860 Charter Oak Ins. Co. 1 year $1000 $1 12 Mo./$1 (DIN53E) Forest Hill #1233; to H. Crandell & Co. on hotel 9/25/1860 City Fire Ins. Co. 1 year $1000 $1 12 Mo./$1 (DIN53E) Forest Hill #136; same property as above 9/25/1860 Hartford Fire Ins. Co. 1 year $1000 $1 12 Mo./$1 (DIN53E) Forest Hill #1305; ditto 9/25/1860 Imperial Fire Ins. Co. 1 year $1000 $1 12 Mo./$1 (DIN53E) Forest Hill #???; ditto 9/25/1860 Quaker City Ins. Co. 1 year $1000 $1 12 Mo./$1 (DIN53E) Forest Hill #646; ditto 12/10/1860 Continental Ins. Co. 1 year $3000 $3 3 Mo./$2.50(DIN29E) Sacramento #983 12 Mo./50¢ (DIN52E) 12/10/1860 Continental Ins. Co. 1 year $2000 $2 6 Mo./$1 (x2, DIN36E) Sacramento #984 1/10/1861 Hartford Fire Ins. Co. 1 year $400 40¢ 12 Mo./20¢ (x2, DIN51F) Sacramento #1726; stamps on white paper 5/15/1861 Imperial Ins. Co., 1 year $700 70¢ 6 Mo./25¢ (DIN34C) Stockton? Renewal of policy #284,191, one Calif. Agency 12 Mo./50¢ (DIN52F) of six recorded renewals 6/18/1861 Imperial Fire Ins. Co. 1 year $2000 $2 12 Mo./$1 (x2, DIN53C) Stockton #294,617; renewal attached dated 6/21/1862 (see below) 7/1/1861 Liverpool & London 1 year $6000 $6 6 Mo./$5 (DIN38) Columbia On bldg. and contents incl. gold Fire & Life Ins. Co. 12 Mo./$1 (DIN53) scales; tax $7 by new rates effective May 1,1861, old rates used here 7/16/1861 Hartford Fire Ins. Co. 1 year $750 75¢ 3 Mo./3¾¢ (DIN23) Marysville #2309; underpaid 3 Mo./25¢ (DIN26) Nine Months to 12 Months Amount to $100, tax 11¼¢ Amount over $100, tax 0.075% No examples recorded 3. These Second Period rates were replaced with a new schedule by the Act of May 9, 1861, which made the new rates retroactive to May 1, 1861. I have used May 9, not May 1, as the nominal termination date for the Second Period; in practice, the old rates were used for some time thereafter, until news of the new schedule was disseminated.
12Figure Insurance-6. Policy of Humboldt Insurance Co., May 26, 1859, $10,000 for one year, bearing 12Mo./$10 with “ARM” control (DIN56B), the highest recorded large Insurance denomination on document.
13 Figure Insurance-7. Policy of Merchants’ Insurance Co. of Hartford, March 7, 1860, $3000 for one year, stamped with 3 Mo./25¢ (x2) & 3 Mo./$2.50 brick red (DIN26C 29C), on Wheeler and Wilson sewing machines.
14Figure Insurance-8. Policy of Quaker City Fire Insurance Co., September 25, 1860, $1000 for one year,stamped with 12 Mo./$1 carmine-lake (DIN53E), on hotel in Forest Hill.
15 Figure Insurance-7. Policy of Continental Insurance Co., December 10, 1860, $3000 for one year, stamped with 3 Mo./$2.50 and 12 Mo./50¢ carmine-lake (DIN29E, 52E).
16Figure Insurance-9. Policy of Hartford Fire Insurance Co., January 10, 1861, $400 for one year, stampedwith two 12 Mo./20¢ on white paper (DIN51F), the earliest recorded usage of white paper stamps.
17 Six to Nine Months Amount to $100, tax 7½¢ No examples recorded Amount over $100, tax 0.05% Date Company Term Amt. Tax Stamp(s) Location Comments 5/1/1861 Atlantic Fire Ins. Co. 6 Mos. $3000 $1.50 9 Mo./75¢ (x2, DIN44D) Suisun City #67; to Wm. Pierce; stamp unpriced by Cabot, only 92 sold; 1 yr. renewal affixed (see below) Three to SixMonths Amount to $100, tax 3¾ ¢ No examples recorded Amount over $100, tax 0.025% Date Company Term Amt. Tax Stamp(s) Location Comments 3/9/1859 Humboldt Fire In. Co. 4 Mos. $3000 75¢ 6 Mo./$1 (DIN36) S. Francisco #26; to Daniel Gibb & Co. on merchandise in New Orleans Warehouse; overpaid by 25¢ 8/14/1860 Quaker City Ins. Co. 3 Mos. $3500 87.5¢ 3 Mo./12½¢ (DIN25D) S. Francisco Marine policy #479, on cargo of 6 Mo./25¢ (DIN34E) bark “Vickery,” voyage San 12 Mo./50¢ (DIN52E) Francisco to New Westminster 8/14/1860 Neptune Ins. Co. via 3 Mos. $3500 87.5¢ 3 Mo./12½¢ (DIN25D) S. Francisco Marine policy #72, on cargo of Pacific Ins. Agency 6 Mo./25¢ (DIN34E) bark “Vickery,” voyage San 12 Mo./50¢ (DIN52E) Francisco to New W estminster 8/31/1860 Home Ins. Co. 1Mo. $3000 75¢ 3 Mo./25¢, (DIN26D) S. Francisco #841: H. C. Hayden, Agent (for 12 Mo./50¢ (DIN52) Wheeler & Wilson Mfg. Co.), on Sewing Machines, Montgomery St. 4/20/1861 Security Fire Ins. Co. 3 Mos. $10,000 $2.50 12 Mo./50¢ (DIN52E) Not stated Renewal #401 on policy #348; 12 Mo./$2 (DIN54F) $2 on white paper Figure Insurance-10. Renewal of Imperial Fire Insurance Co. Californian Agency, May 15, 1861, $700 for one year, stamped with 6 Mo./25¢ on bluish paper plus 12 Mo./50¢ on white paper (DIN34C, 52F).
18Figure Insurance-11. Policy of Imperial Fire Insurance Co. Californian Agency, June 18, 1861, $2000for one year, stamped with two 12 Mo./$1 brick red (DIN53C). Renewal attached dated June 21, 1862,stamped with $2 small red Insurance (DIN69) with “GRW” monogram handstamp.
19 8. Renewal receipt for policy #284,191, The arrival at the San Francisco mint Imperial Insurance Co. Californian Agency, in 1858 of 800 ounces of gold from the May 15, 1861, $700 for one year, to Mrs. F. J. Fraser River region in present-day British Huggins of Stockton, stamped with 6 Mo./25¢ Columbia triggered a wild rush to that area. brick red with “ARM” fancy control plus 12 New Westminster sprang into existence on Mo./50¢ vermilion on white paper (DIN34C, the north bank of the Fraser, and became 52F) (Figure Insurance-10). Ms. notation a major outfitting point for expeditions. In “Stamp $.75” added to the $8.75 premium, February 1859 it became the capital of the making $9.50 received; this shows that the newly-created Colony of British Columbia. stamp tax was passed by the insurers to the The Fraser River rush was short-lived, but public. Here the 70¢ tax was overpaid by 5¢. opened the door to far-ranging exploration One of two recorded combinations of stamps and richer strikes in the 1860s. on blue and white papers. 12. Renewal receipt #401 on policy #348, 9. Policy of #294,617 of Imperial Fire Security Fire Insurance Co. California Insurance Co. Californian Agency, June 18, Agency, April 20, 1861, to S. C. Shaw, 1861, to Frank Huggins, $2000 for one year $10,000 for three months, tax at the 0.025% on a dwelling in Stckton, stamped with two rate $2.50, stamped with 12 Mo./50¢ and 12 12 Mo./$1 brick red “ARM” fancy (DIN53C) Mo./$2, the latter on white paper (DIN52E, (Figure Insurance-11). 54F)) (Figure Insurance-14). The second of A renewal receipt (now inscribed “San the two recorded combinations of stamps on Francisco Agency”) for one year is attached, blue and white papers, which best shows the dated June 21, 1862, stamped with $2 small contrast between the papers. Insurance (DIN69) with “GRW” monogram handstamp, and ms. cancel as newly required The “Phantom Rate” by the Act of April 10, 1862. 13. Policy #841 of Home Insurance Co., August 31, 1860, to H. C. Hayden, agent for Short-Term Rates Wheeler and Wilson Sewing Machines, $3000 10. Policy #67 of Atlantic Fire Insurance Co., for one month on “Sewing machines, Work, May 1, 1861, to William Pierce, $3000 for Upholstery, Portable room Paintings, Mirrors six months on a warehouse in Suisun City, and Similar articles on exhibition contained in Solano County, stamped with two 9 Mo./75¢ the one Story Frame Pavilion building on West brick red with “SHB” control (DIN44D) (Figure Side of Montgomery Street between Sutter & Insurance-12). This stamp was unlisted by Post Streets, San Francisco,” stamped with Cabot and Hubbard; only 66 were sold. The 12 Mo./50¢ and 3 Mo./25¢ carmine-lake with only recorded example of the 0.05% rate for “ARM” handstamps (DIN26E, 34E) (Figure six to nine months. Ex-Joyce. Insurance-15). The exhibition referred to was Renewal receipt #122 is affixed, dated the Industrial Exhibition, or Mechanic’s Fair, November 1, 1861, for an additional year, opening September 4, 1860, in a pavilion on taxed at the Third Period $3 rate, stamped the corner of Sutter and Montgomery. with 6 Mo./$2.50 and12 Mo./50¢, both on The 75¢ tax paid on this one-month policy white paper (DIN37F, 52F). One of three is one-fourth that for a year’s coverage in the recorded usages of large Insurance stamps same amount. Strictly speaking, because of to pay Third Period rates; this and one other a legislative blunder no tax need have been made the same day are the latest. paid. Short term rates had been set as follows: 11. Marine policy #479 of Quaker City Term Rate Insurance Co., August 14, 1860, $3500 on 9–12 months 75% of one year rate the cargo of the bark Vickery on a voyage 6–9 months 50% of one year rate from San Francisco to New Westminster 3–6 months 25% of one year rate (British Columbia), tax at the three-month Logically, for durations up to one-fourth of a 0.025% rate 87½¢, paid by 12 Mo./50¢ and 6 year the rate should have been one-fourth the Mo./25¢ carmine-lake and 3 Mo./12½¢ brick yearly rate; up to half a year, half the yearly red, all with “SHB” control (DIN25D, 34E, rate; and up to three-fourths of a year, three- 52E) (Figure Insurance-13). The cargo was fourths the yearly rate. The Act of April 10, insured for $7000, and the policy providing 1862, would so stipulate. In the meantime, the other $3500 has also survived, marine though, policies of less than three months policy #72 of the Neptune Insurance Co. via were exempt. Amazingly, in the case at hand the Pacific Insurance Agency, identical to this the “phantom rate” that would have applied one in all details. under proportional pro-rating was paid. It is natural to wonder at the logic employed.
20Figure Insurance-12. Policy of Atlantic Fire Insurance Co., May 1, 1861, $3000 for six months on awarehouse in Suisun City, tax $1.50 at 50% of the one-rear rate, stamped with two 9 Mo./75¢ (DIN44D).The only recorded example of the 50% rate for policies of six to nine months. The 9 Mo./75¢ is unpricedby Cabot; only 92 were sold. Ex-Joyce.Renewal receipt for an additional year affixed, November 1, 1861, Third Period $3 rate paid by 6 Mo./$2.50and 12 Mo./50¢, both on white paper (DIN37F, 52F), the latest recorded usage of large Insurance stamps.
21 Figure Insurance-13. Marine policy of Quaker City Insurance Co., August 14, 1860, $3500 on cargo of bark “Vickery” from San Francisco to New Westminster, British Columbia, tax at the three-month 0.025% rate 87½¢, paid by 12 Mo./50¢ & 6 Mo./25¢ carmine-lake and 3 Mo./12½¢ brick red (DIN25D, 34E, 52E).
22 Figure Insurance-14. Renewal receipt of Security Fire Insurance Co. California Agency, April 20, 1861,$10,000 for three months, tax $2.50 as 25% of the one-year rate, stamped with 12 Mo./50¢ and 12 Mo./$2,the latter on white paper (DIN52E, 54F). One of the two recorded combinations of stamps on blue and whitepapers; this one best shows the striking contrast between the two papers. Insurance Third Period, 1861–72 During the Second Period of Insurance were created in the same 22 denominationsstamp taxes, the rates were half the Bill originally issued in blue in 1857, one forof Lading rates. In January 1861, though, each rate, as listed above in Table I, usingthe U.S. Supreme Court declared the bill of the original dies.4 There was a lag of somelading tax unconstitutional. It was implicitly months, however, before the new stampsrescinded by the California legislature in its came into general use. The Records of theAct of May 9, 1861, which in its place re- State Controller show that the large Insuranceestablished the original schedule of taxes stamps continued to be sold throughout May,on bills of exchange. The Insurance tax was June and July 1861, with the last sale onnow reset to half that on bills of exchange, as July 30, after which the notation “Policies ofduring 1857–8. This initiated a Third Period Insurance closed” appears; the first delivery offor Insurance, which would last until the the small red stamps reached the Controllerexpiration of the stamp taxes on December only on August 1, 18615 and the first sale was31, 1872. New small red Insurance stamps made on August 5. Even then it was necessary for the stocks of the large Insurance stamps still in the hands of the public to be depleted before the new stamps were used exclusively.4. From the Stamp Commissioners Minute Books, The earliest recorded usage of the small redJune 1, 1861: “The Board after an examination ofthe dies prepared under the provisions of [the Act Insurance stamps on an intact document isof April 29, 1857] adopted the same for Exchange, October 18, 1861, and the latest recordedInsurance, Attorneys and Passengers, and ordered use of the large stamps, November 1, 1861that the Secretary of State cause such stamps to (Figures Insurance-12, 34). In late 1866be printed and delivered to the State Controller. ...” the small Insurance stamps and all other5. In contrast, the first delivery of the new Circulars would be replaced by the generalExchange stamps was on June 15, 1861. state revenue stamps (the “Rectangulars”).
23 Figure Insurance-15. Policy of Home Insurance Co., August 31, 1860, $3000 for one month, on Wheeler and Wilson Sewing Machines displayed in pavilion of the Industrial Exhibition or Mechanic’s Fair, San Francisco, which opened September 4, 1860. Tax 75¢ at the “phantom rate” for policies of less than three months, paid by 12 Mo./50¢ & 3 Mo./25¢ carmine-lake (D25E, 34E).
24 Short-Term Rates Unlike the 1858–1861 Second Period, when 9 The Act of May 9, 1861, failed to pro-rate Mo., 6 Mo., and 3 Mo. stamps were created,the Insurance taxes for short-term policies, this time no new stamps were issued for thesebut this was remedied by the Act of April 10, short-term rates, and until now they have1862, which set the following short-term rates: been virtually unknown to philatelists. Only Term Rate eight documents taxed at these rates have 6 to 9 months 75% of one year rate been recorded. 3 to 6 months 50% of one year rate 3 months or less 25% of one year rate Notable Examples 20¢ Rate (above $150 to $200) Francisco, premium $2, stamped on reverse1 Policy #7069 of Phoenix Insurance Co., with 20¢ brown rouletted (D6a) and U.S. 10¢September 17, 1866, to E. Hooper, $200 Bill of Lading (R32c) (Figure Insurance-17).for one year on a barn in Linda Township, The second of the two recorded examples of“about two miles from Marysville,” Yuba the 20¢ rate and the only recorded exampleCounty, premium $7.50, stamped with 20¢ of the 20¢ roulette on document.Insurance with tablet error “ABOVE $50 TO The 20¢ is tied by “LIV. & LON. & GLOBE$100” instead of “ABOVE $150 TO $200” INS. CO. S.F.” dated handstamp, and the(DIN62a) and U.S. 10¢ Inland Exchange U.S. 10¢ by a dated herringbone that breaks(R36c) (Figure Insurance-16). One of two the paper of the stamp. Why were differentrecorded examples of the 20¢ rate, and one of cancels applied to the two stamps? Thetwo recorded examples of the 20¢ tablet error answer illustrates a fine point of U.S. stampon document. The stamps are cancelled by tax regulations. In his Circular No. 82 of“J. F. SMITH & CO. M’VILLE” datestamp, and February 10, 1870, U.S. Commissioner ofsigned as Agent by Jos. F. Smith at Marysville; Internal Revenue Columbus Delano hadthe stamps were presumably affixed there. mandated that stamps be cancelled eitherIncidentally, Marysville was named in 1850 by writing the date and user’s initials inafter Mary Murphy, a survivor of the ill-fated ink, or by a handstamp or machine cancelDonner Party, who had recently married one that cut the stamp; handstamp cancels thatof the co-owners of the townsite. did not cut the stamp were prohibited. In a The 20¢ tablet error resulted from Supplement dated July 15, 1870, he addedinsertion of a tablet for the 20¢ Exchange the requirement that cut cancels include thestamp into the cliché of an Insurance stamp. date (Mahler, 1988). The company handstampThere is no useful primary evidence as to used here on the 20¢ state stamp would thusthe rarity of the error relative to that of the have been illegal if used on the 10¢ U.S.normal stamp. Cabot (1940) priced the error stamp, but the dated herringbone conformedon thin white paper at $5, and the normal precisely to the federal guidelines. Since itstamp at $2.50; and on medium white paper also satisfied the only requirement in theat $5 for the error and $1 for the normal. state statutes regarding cancels—that theyOn document, two examples of the error are specify the date—it could have been usedknown, and six of the normal. This would be on the California stamp as well. This wouldconsistent with a small sheet size, possibly a certainly have been more convenient thanstrip of four, one with the erroneous cliché. using two cancels; there must have been The U.S. Insurance stamp taxes were some real or perceived benefit in retainingbased not on the amount of coverage, but on the company cancel for the state stamps.the premium. Effective August 1, 1864, they All recorded policies of the period executedwere as follows: at San Francisco show this puzzling dual cancellation (Figures Insurance-xx).Rate Premium10¢ To $10, after 3/3/1863 30¢ Rate (above $200 to $300)25¢ All premiums, 10/1/1862–3/2/1863 3. Policy #6017 of Phoenix Insurance Co., Above $10, 3/3/1863–7/31/1864 January 25, 1872, $250 for one year on Above $10 to $50, after 8/1/1864 property in San Bernardino, stamped with $150¢ Above $50, after 8/1/1864 yellow quadrisect (D23) and U.S. Postage 3¢2. Policy #1,635,159 of Liverpool and London Banknote strip of three. The California stampand Globe Insurance Co. Pacific Department, has ms. cancel “30 cts” with date and initials.January 26, 1872, to Perry Fitzhugh, $200 for The only recorded example of the 30¢ rate.one year on belongings in a dwelling in San
25 Figure Insurance-16A. Policy of Phoenix Insurance Co., September 17, 1866, $200 on barn in Linda Township, Yuba County, stamped with 20¢ Insurance with tablet error “ABOVE $50 TO $100,” U.S. R36c. One of two recorded examples of the 20¢ rate, and one of two recorded 20¢ tablet errors on document.
26Figure Insurance-17. Policy of Liverpool & London & Globe InsuranceCo., January 26, 1872, $200, stamped on reverse with 20¢ brownrouletted (DIN6a) , U.S. R32c. The second of the two recorded examplesof the 20¢ rate, and the only recorded example of the 20¢ roulette ondocument. Right, close view of stamps; note “JJG” Controller’s handstampand the different cancels used on the state and federal stamps (see text).Figure Insurance-16B. Close view of 20¢ tablet error.
27 THIRD PERIOD (May 10, 1861, to December 31, 1872)6 Term Nine Months or More7 20¢ Rate (above $150 to $200) Date Company Amt. Stamp(s) Location Comments 9/17/1866 Phoenix Ins. Co. $200 20¢ Insurance (DIN62a) Marysville #7069; on barn in Linda Twp; 20¢ U.S. R36c is “ABOVE $50 TO $100” error 1/26/1872 Liverpool & London $200 20¢ brown rouletted (D6a) S. Francisco #1,635,159; stamps on back; only & Globe Ins. Co. U.S. R32c recorded example of 20¢ roulette on document; scarce “JJG” h.s. 30¢ Rate (above $200 to $300) 1/25/1872 Phoenix Ins. Co. $250 $1 yellow quadrisect (D23) S. Bernardino #6017; Calif. stamp with ms. “30 U.S. 3¢ Banknote strip of three cts,” date and initials 40¢ Rate (above $300 to $400) 6/13/1867 Home Mutual Ins. Co. $400 20¢ brown (x2, D6) Chinese Camp #2468 U.S. 5¢ stamp (x2) 2/14/1872 Home Mutual Ins. Co. $400 40¢ rose carmine (D8) Oakland Renewal on policy #12,388 U.S. R32c 50¢ Rate (above $400 to $500) 4/3/1862 Home Ins. Co. $500 50¢ Insurance (DIN65A) S. Francisco Policy #2441; stamp on bluish paper (unpriced in Cabot), “GRW” monogram; several renewals exist, one affixed (see below) 4/11/1863 Home Ins. Co. $500 10¢ Insurance (DIN60) S. Francisco Renewal form of Bigelow & Bro., 20¢ Insurance (x2, DIN62) Agents, #3137 affixed to policy U.S. R47a #2441 (see above); stamps on back 4/4/1865 Home Ins. Co. $500 10¢ Insurance (DIN60), S. Francisco Renewal form of Bigelow & Bro., 20¢ Insurance (x2, DIN62, 62a) Agents, #5747 on policy #2441 U.S. R48c (miswritten “2241”); one 20¢ is “ABOVE $50 TO $100” error 7/23/1870 Occidental Ins. Co. $500 50¢ olive yellow rouletted (D12a) S. Francisco #12,432; only recorded example of U.S. R32c 50¢ olive yellow roulette on document 70¢ Rate (above $500 to $750) 5/17/1862 Imperial Ins. Co. $700 20¢ Insurance (DIN62) Stockton Renewal on policy #284,191 50¢ Insurance (DIN65) 5/16/1863 Imperial Ins. Co. $700 20¢ Insurance (DIN62) Stockton Renewal on policy #284,191 50¢ Insurance (DIN65) U.S. R50a 5/15/1864 Imperial Ins. Co. $700 30¢ Insurance (DIN63) Stockton Renewal on policy #284,191 40¢ Insurance (DIN64) U.S. R42b, 27b 11/28/1864 Phoenix Ins. Co. $600 70¢ Insurance (DIN66) Oakland Renewal #1024 on policy #6033 U.S. R48c 5/13/1865 Imperial Ins. Co. $700 20¢ Insurance (DIN62) Stockton Renewal on policy #284,191 50¢ Insurance (DIN65) U.S. R44c 6. The Second Period rates were replaced with those of the Third Period by the Act of May 9, 1861, retroactive to May 1, 1861. Here May 9, not May 1, has been used as the nominal termination date for the Second Period; in practice, the old rates were used for some time thereafter, until news of the new schedule was disseminated. 7.All pieces listed below have term one year.
28 70¢ Rate (above $500 to $750), cont.Date Company Amt. Stamp(s) Location Comments5/12/1866 Imperial Ins. Co. $700 10¢ Insurance (DIN60) Stockton Renewal on policy #284,191 15¢ Insurance (DIN61) 50¢ Insurance (DIN65) U.S. R50c2/21/1868 Phoenix Ins. Co. $600 70¢ yellow orange (D16) Oakland Renewal #1109 on policy #6168 U.S. R32c2/21/1869 Phoenix Ins. Co. $600 30¢ rose carmine (D7) Oakland Renewal #1271 on policy #6168 40¢ rose carmine (D8) U.S. R32c1/23/1872 Liverpool & London $600 70¢ orange (D15) S. Francisco #1,635,103; stamps on back; 70¢ orange & Globe Ins. Co. U.S. R32c die-cut; state stamps cancelled company d.s., U.S. stamp by dated herringbone $1 Rate (above $750 to $1000)2/15/1862 Home Ins. Co. $800 $1 Insurance (DIN67) S. Francisco #2361; stamp “SHB” control, bluish paper?6/11/1862 Home Ins. Co. $1000 $1 Insurance (DIN67) S. Francisco Renewal #2510 on policy #1020; “GRW” monogram1/2/1865 Phoenix Ins. Co. $1000 $1 Insurance (DIN67) Marysville #6575 U.S. R48c3/1/1865 Home Ins. Co. $800 50¢ Insurance (x2, DIN67) S. Francisco Renewal form of Bigelow & Bro., U.S. R48c Agents, on horses, chaise, buggy10/29/1866 San Francisco Ins. Co. $800 $1 violet (D20) S. Francisco #5799 U.S. R47c1/20/1869 Phoenix Ins. Co. $800 $1 (D19/22) Salinas Stamps on back; $1 die-cut U.S. R43c12/16/1869 Phoenix Ins. Co. $800 $1 yellow (D23) Oakland Renewal #1491 on policy #6612 U.S. R44c7/12/1870 Liverpool & London $1000 $1 yellow rouletted (D23a) Oroville #1,283,334; stamps on back; only & Globe Ins. Co. U.S. R48c recorded example of $1 yellow roulette on document7/23/1871 Occidental Ins. Co. $800 50¢ olive yellow (x2, D13) S. Francisco #26,504; wonderful ABNCo-engraved U.S. R32c vignette of Golden Gate and Fort Point7/6/1872 Liverpool & London $1000 $1 yellow (D23) S. Francisco #1,637,311; stamps on back, $1 die-cut & Globe Ins. Co. U.S. R32c $1.50 Rate (above $1000 to $1500)9/18/1861 Hartford Fire Ins. Co. $1150 6 Mo./50¢ (DIN35C) Folsom #2550; renewal affixed bearing DIN68 12 Mo./$1 (DIN53F) (see below)8/20/1862 Liverpool & London $1500 50¢ Insurance (DIN65) Columbia Stamps with ms. cancel “Aug 20 1862,” & Globe Ins. Co. $1 Insurance (DIN67) early example (required as of 4/10/1862)9/18/1862 Hartford Fire Ins. Co. $1150 $1.50 Insurance (DIN68) Folsom Renewal affixed to policy #2550 of 9/18/1861 (see above); stamp on back11/21/1863 City Fire Ins. Co. of $1500 $1.50 Insurance (DIN68) S. Francisco #960; h.s. cancel of John Fowler, Agent Hartford, Conn. U.S. R42c, 27c11/21/1863 Metropolitan Ins. Co. $1500 $1.50 Insurance (DIN68) S. Francisco Renewal #34,908 on policy #33,343; U.S. R42b, 27c stamps on reverse2/12/1865 Hartford Ins. Co. $1500 $1.50 Insurance (DIN68) S. Francisco Renewal #5658 on policy #6490; stamps U.S. R48c on back, tied by Bigelow Bros. h.s.1/29/1867 Phoenix Ins. Co. $1500 50¢ violet (D189) Long Bar (3 mi. from Marysville) $1 violet (D20) U.S. R47c8/19/1867 Liverpool & London $1500 $1.50 yellow green (D27) S. Francisco #565,121 & Globe Ins. Co. U.S. R48c10/14/1868 Fireman’s Fund Ins. $1500 $1.50 yellow green (D27) S. Francisco #17,774 Co. U.S. R43c10/1/1869 Phoenix Ins. Co. $1500 $1.50 gray green (D28) S. Francisco Policy #18,198 U.S. R44c
29 Figure Insurance-18. Policy of Home Mutual Insurance Co., June 13, 1867, $400 on property in Chinese Camp, Tuolumne county, stamped with 20¢ brown (x2, D6) and two U.S. 5¢. One of two recorded examples of the 40¢ rate.
30Figure Insurance-19. Policy of Home Insurance Co., April 3, 1862, $500, stamped with 50¢ Insurance onbluish paper (DIN65B) with monogram“GRW” handstamp. Renewal receipt affixed, April 11, 1863, stampedon reverse with Insurance 10¢ and two 20¢ (DIN60, 62) and U.S. 25¢ Life Insurance imperforate (R47a).
31 Figure Insurance-20. Renewal form of Home Insurance Co., April 4, 1865, stamped with Insurance 10¢ and two 20¢ (DIN60, 62, 62a) and U.S. R48c. The 20¢ tablet error is juxtaposed with the normal 10¢ and 20¢, the tablets reading: “ABOVE $150 TO $200, 20CTS” “ABOVE $50 TO $100, 20CTS” “ABOVE $50 TO $100, 10CTS” Something is obviously wrong here! The error is in the middle stamp. Figure Insurance-21B. Close view of 50¢ roulette.
32Figure Insurance-21A. Policy of Occidental Insurance Co., July 23, 1870, stamped with 50¢ olive yellowrouletted (D12a), the only recorded example on document, and U.S. R32c. Facing page, close view of 50¢.
33 Figure Insurance-22. Renewal receipt of Imperial Insurance Co., Stockton, May 15, 1864, for $700, stamped with 30¢ and 40¢ Insurance (DIN63–4) and U.S. Inland Exchange 5¢ and 20¢ part perforates (R27b, 42b). The only recorded examples of the 30¢ and 40¢ Insurance on document. Figure Insurance-23. Renewal receipt of Phoenix Insurance Co., Sacramento Agency, November 28, 1864, for $600, stamped with 70¢ Insurance (DIN66) and U.S. 25¢ Power of Attorney (R48c). The only recorded example of the 70¢ Insurance on document.
34 40¢ Rate (above $300 to $400) (DIN65A) with striking monogram“GRW”4. Policy #2468 of Home Mutual Insurance handstamp (Figure Insurance-19). ThisCo., June 13, 1867, to S. J. Pratt, $400 stamp was unpriced in Cabot and Hubbard.for one year on property in Chinese Camp, Renewal receipt #3137 is affixed, AprilTuolumne county, premium $10, stamped 11, 1863, again for $500 and one year, withwith two 20¢ brown (D6) and two overlapped premium $22.50, stamped on reverse withU.S. 5¢ stamps (Figure Insurance-18). One Insurance 10¢ and two 20¢ (DIN60, 62) andof two recorded examples of the 40¢ rate. U.S. 25¢ Life Insurance imperforate (R47a),Chinese Camp had a population of some tied by BIGELOW BRO’S. & FLINT” fancythousands in the 1850s and 1860s, many handstamp cancels. Both policy and renewalChinese. Today it is essentially a ghost. are forms of Bigelow & Brother, Agents. 50¢ Rate (above $400 to $500) 6. Renewal form of Home Insurance Co., Bigelow & Bro., Agents, #5747 on policy5. Policy #2441 of Home Insurance Co., April #2441 (miswritten “2241”) to Mrs. Charlotte3, 1862, to Mrs. Charlotte Brueck, $500 Brueck, April 4, 1865, $500 for one year,for one year on property in San Francisco, premium $22.50, stamped with Insurancestamped with 50¢ Insurance on bluish paper 10¢ and two 20¢ (DIN60, 62, 62a) andFigure Insurance-24. Renewal receipts on the same policy of Phoenix Insurance Co., Oakland Agency,each for $600, one made February 21, 1868, stamped with 70¢ yellow orange (D16) and U.S. 10¢ Bill ofLading (R32c), the other dated February 21, 1869, stamped with 30¢ and 40¢ rose carmine (D7, 8) andU.S. 10¢ Bill of Lading (R32c). The 30¢, 40¢ and 70¢ Rectangulars are all rare on Insurance documents,no more than three of each having been recorded.
35 Figure Insurance-25. Policy of Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Co. Pacific Department, January 23, 1872, amount $600, stamped on reverse with die-cut 70¢ orange (D15) and U.S. 10¢ Bill of Lading (R32c). Left, close view of the stamps. Figure Insurance-26B. Close view of $1 roulette.
36U.S. 25¢ Power of Attorney (R48c) (Figure 70¢ Rate (above $500 to $750)Insurance-20). One 20¢ is the “ABOVE 8. Renewal receipt for policy #284,191 of$50 TO $100” tablet error, the second of Imperial Insurance Co., May 15, 1864, to F.the two recorded examples of this stamp on J. Huggins of Stockton for $700, premiumdocument, wonderfully highlighted here by its $13.12, stamped with 30¢ and 40¢ Insurancejuxtaposition with the normal 10¢ and 20¢, on thin white paper (DIN63A, 64A) and U.S.the tablets reading: Inland Exchange 20¢ and 5¢ part perforates “ABOVE $150 TO $200, 20CTS” (R27b, 42b) (Figure Insurance-22). The “ABOVE $50 TO $100, 20CTS” only recorded examples of the 30¢ and 40¢ “ABOVE $50 TO $100, 10CTS” Insurance on document. For stamps on document it can be difficultSomething is obviously wrong here—these to distinguish between thin and mediumcannot all be correct! white papers However the “SHB” control, as7. Policy #12,432 of Occidental Insurance on the 30¢ here, is a sure sign of thin paper;Co., July 23, 1870, to J. McMann, $500 on Samuel H. Brooks remained in office onlyfurniture and clothing in a dwelling in San until November 20, 1861; by then relativelyFrancisco, premium $5, stamped with 50¢ few of the new small Insurance stamps hadolive yellow rouletted (D12a) and U.S. 10¢ been delivered, issued or sold. His handstampBill of Lading (R32c) (Figure Insurance-21). is known only on stamps on thin white or thinThe only recorded example on document of bluish papers, proving that these precededthe 50¢ olive yellow roulette. The policy has the issues on medium and laid papers. Thisa lithographed vignette of the Golden Gate. 30¢, a little-used value, evidently languishedExample 14 describes another policy on in the company’s stock for two and a halfthe same property, made a year later with years before finding its way onto this receipt.increased coverage.Figure Insurance-26. Policy of Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Co. New York Department,July 12, 1870, $1000 for one year on a dwelling and belongings in Oroville, stamped on reverse with $1yellow rouletted (D23a) and U.S. 25¢ Power of Attorney (R48c), executed and stamped in San Francisco.The only recorded example of the $1 yellow roulette on document. Facing page, close view of the $1 stamp.
37 Figure Insurance-27. Policy of Occidental Insurance Co., July 23, 1871, amount $800, stamped with two 50¢ olive yellow (D12) and U.S. 10¢ Bill of Lading (R32c).
38Figure Insurance-28. Policy of Liverpool and London and GlobeInsurance Co. Pacific Department, July 6, 1872, amount $1000,stamped on reverse with die-cut $1 yellow (D23) and U.S.10¢ Billof Lading (R32c). Left, close view of the stamps. The 40¢ here is also on thin paper, based not on its control, but on the fact that the ornamental border of the receipt can be seen quite clearly through the paper. 9. Renewal receipt #1024 for policy #6033 of Phoenix Insurance Co., Sacramento Agency, November 28, 1864, to D. Hardy for $600, premium $30, stamped with 70¢ Insurance (DIN66) and U.S. 25¢ Power of Attorney (R48c) (Figure Insurance-23). The only recorded example of the 70¢ Insurance on document. 10. Renewal receipt #1109 for policy #6168 of Phoenix Insurance Co., Oakland Agency, February 21, 1868, to Robert McCutcheon for $600, premium $4.50, stamped with 70¢ yellow orange (D16) and U.S. 10¢ Bill of Lading (R32c) (Figure Insurance-24). Renewal receipt #1271 for the same policy for the following year has also survived, dated February 21, 1869, again for $600, premium now $5.10, stamped with 30¢ and 40¢ rose carmine (D7, 8) and U.S. 10¢ Bill of Lading (R32c). The 30¢, 40¢ and 70¢ Rectangulars are all rare on Insurance
39 Figure Insurance-29. Policy of City Fire Insurance Co. of Hartford, November 21, 1863, amount $1500, stamped with $1.50 Insurance (DIN34) and U.S. Inland Exchange 5¢ and 20¢ part perforate (R27c, 42b).
40Figure Insurance-30. Policy of Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Co. New York Department,August 19, 1867, amount $1500, stamped with $1.50 yellow green (D27) and U.S. R48c.
41 Figure Insurance-31. Policy of Phoenix Insurance Co. Pacific Department, April 27, 1872, $1200 on printing equipment in Printing House Square, San Diego, stamped with 50¢ & $1 orange yellow (D13, 24) and two U.S. 10¢ Bill of Lading (R32c). The only recorded usage of the 50¢ orange yellow on document.
42(Figure Insurance-32). Renewal receipt of Hartford Fire Insurance Co., Eureka Agency, September 2,1872, amount $1500, stamped with 50¢ olive yellow and $1 yellow (D12, 23) and U.S. Second Issue 25¢(R112). Relatively few U.S. Second Issue stamps were used in the West.documents, no more than three of each $1 Rate (above $750 to $1000)having been recorded. 13. Policy #1,283,334 of Liverpool and London12. Policy #1,635,103 of Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Co. New York Dept.,and Globe Insurance Co. Pacific Department, July 12, 1870, to Timothy Fogg, $1000 for oneJanuary 23, 1872, to Perry Fitzhugh, $600 year on a dwelling and belongings in Oroville,for one year on furniture in a dwelling in San Butte County, “on Oak street between Miner’sFrancisco, premium $2, stamped on reverse Alley and Montgomery Street,” premiumwith 70¢ orange (D15) and U.S. 10¢ Bill of $15, stamped on reverse with $1 yellowLading (R32c) (Figure Insurance-25). rouletted (D23a) and U.S. 25¢ Power of The state stamp is die-cut—separated by Attorney (R48c), executed and stamped in Sana punch, or die, rather than more laboriously Francisco (Figure Insurance-26). The onlywith scissors—but using a die designed for recorded example of the $1 yellow roulettethe old circular stamps! Even with perfect on document.placement, this was guaranteed to cut into 14. Policy #26,504 of Occidental Insurancethe design of the stamp, but the overall effect Co., July 23, 1871, to J. McMann, $800 onis striking. Forbin (1915) listed these die-cut furniture, clothing and a piano in a house inRectangulars, with prices generally about San Francisco, premium $8, stamped withthree times those for normal stamps. Four two 50¢ olive yellow (D12) and U.S. 10¢ Billmore have been recorded on policies of this of Lading (R32c) (Figure Insurance-27).company, all dated January 1872 and later; The company had previously used policieson others as late as October 1871 the stamps printed locally featuring a striking vignette ofare cut square. The Liverpool and London was the Golden Gate lithographed by Britton andnot the only company to employ this device; Rey of San Francisco (Figure Insurance-21).an 1869 policy of the Phoenix Insurance Co. This one, inscribed “Edition of 1870,” wasbearing a die-cut $1 violet, and two policies printed by the American Bank Note Co., nowand a renewal of the Pacific Insurance Co. engraved, with an even more impressivebearing die-cut $3 blue, $4 carmine and $5 vignette of the Golden Gate showing ancarmine have also been recorded (Examples imposing Fort Point.25, 28). As on the policies of the Liverpool and As on the policy described in Example London and Globe Insurance Co. described2, here too the U.S. stamp is cancelled by a above, here too the U.S. stamp is cancelleddated herringbone, and the state stamp by a by a dated herringbone, and the state stampcompany datestamp. by a company datestamp.
43 15. Policy #1,637,311 of Liverpool and London Stockton, $2000 for one year, June 21, 1862, and Globe Insurance Co. Pacific Department, stamped with $2 small Insurance (DIN69), July 6, 1872, to L. W. Boyer, $1000 for one affixed to the original policy which is dated year on belongings in a dwelling in San June 18, 1861 (Figure Insurance-11). The Francisco, premium $8, stamped on reverse stamp has “GRW” monogram handstamp and with die-cut $1 yellow (D23) and U.S. 10¢ a manuscript cancel as newly mandated by Bill of Lading (R32c) (Figure Insurance-28). the Act of April 10, 1862. Until then there $1.50 Rate (above $1000 to $1500) had been no requirement to cancel the state stamps; now it was required “to write upon 16. Policy #960 of City Fire Insurance Co. the face of every stamp used the date at which of Hartford, Conn., November 21, 1863, to the same is placed upon [the instrument]; John Kentfield, $1500 on dwelling in San and such stamp shall not be used again.” Re- Francisco, premium $20, stamped with using a stamp was declared a misdemeanor, $1.50 Insurance (DIN68) and U.S. 5¢ Inland punishable by a fine of not less than $200 Exchange and 20¢ Inland Exchange part nor more than $1000. This is the earliest perforate (R27c, 42b), all tied by h.s. cancel recorded cancel on an Insurance document, of John Fowler, Agent (Figure Insurance-29). but cancels as early as May 21, 1862, have 17. Policy #565,121 of Liverpool and been seen on bills of exchange. London and Globe Insurance Co. New 21. Policy #6763 of San Francisco Insurance York Department, August 19, 1867, to Co., March 24, 1867, to Henry Duffy, $2000 B. McDougall, $1500 for one year on a for one year on a dwelling in San Francisco, dwelling in San Francisco, premium $22.50, premium $15, stamped with $2 purple (D207) stamped with $1.50 yellow green (D27) and and U.S. 25¢ Power of Attorney (R48c), with U.S. 25¢ Power of Attorney (R48c) (Figure spectacular vignette of firefighting scenes Insurance-30). (Figure Insurance-33). 18. Policy #6141 of Phoenix Insurance Co. $3 Rate (above $2000 to $3000) Pacific Department, April 27, 1872, to San 22. Policy #455,882 of Liverpool and London Diego Publishing Co., $1200 for one year on Fire and Life Insurance Co., October 18, printing equipment in a building on Printing 1861, to Wm. Pierce, $3000 for one year House Square, San Diego, premium $45, on a dwelling in Sacramento “20 feet from stamped with 50¢ and $1 orange yellow (D13, wood,” stamped with $1 and $2 Insurance 24) and two U.S. 10¢ Bill of Lading (R32c) in thin white paper (DIN67A, 69A) (Figure (Figure Insurance-31). The only recorded Insurance-34). The earliest recorded use of document bearing the orange yellow 50¢, and small red Insurance stamps. one of three with the $1. The policy was signed The stamps are die-cut, making them also by company’s agent in San Diego and the perforce the earliest recorded red Insurance stamps are cancelled with matching initials die-cuts. (Blue Insurance die-cuts exist, but and date. Only a handful of documents have none on document.) The die used here had been recorded from San Diego bearing U.S. stamps of the Civil War era, and this is the diameter 25mm, slightly less than that of the stamps, which is about 25.5mm; this only recorded usage of California stamps guanteed that even with perfect placement there. The U.S. 25¢ tax was underpaid by 5¢; the design would be a bit cut into. ghost images of the four stamps show there are no stamps missing. 23. Policy #443 of California Mutual Life Insurance Co., September 27, 1869, $2500 on 19. Renewal receipt #472 on policy #4716 of the life of Charles Bigelow Cutting of Chinese Hartford Fire Insurance Co., Eureka Agency, Camp, executed at Stockton, stamped with September 2, 1872, to John Striker, $1500 for $3 blue (D34) and U.S. 50¢ Life Insurance one year, premium $11.25, stamped with 50¢ (R58c) (Figure Insurance-35). Both stamps olive yellow and $1 yellow (D12, 23) and U.S. cut to shape. One of five recorded life policies Second Issue 25¢ (R112), the state stamps on bearing California stamps. The U.S. tax was the back (Figure Insurance-32). Counter- based on the amount of coverage, as follows: signed at San Francisco and presumably stamped there, not at Eureka. Relatively few Rate Amount U.S. Second Issue stamps, and even fewer 25¢ To $1000 Third Issues, were used in the West. 50¢ Above $1000 to $5000 $1 Above $5000 $2 Rate (above $1500 to $2000) 24. Policy #1,631,734 of Liverpool and London 20. Renewal receipt of Imperial Fire Insurance and Globe Insurance Co. Pacific Department, Co. San Francisco Agency for policy #294,617 February 14, 1872, to Thomas Gardner, of their Californian Agency, to F. J. Huggins of
44Figure Insurance-33. Policy of San Francisco Insurance Co., March 24, 1867, amount $2000, stampedwith $2 purple (D30) and U.S. R48c, with spectacular engraved vignette of firefighting scenes.
45 Figure Insurance-34. Policy of Liverpool & London Fire & Life Insurance Co., October 18, 1861, amount $3000, stamped with $1 & $2 Insurance on thin white paper (DIN67A, 69A), both die-cut. The earliest recorded use of small red Insurance stamps.
46Figure Insurance-36. Policyof Liverpool and London andGlobe Insurance Co. PacificDept., February 14, 1872,amount $2800, stamped onreverse with die-cut $3 green(D35) and U.S. R44c. The onlyrecorded example of the $3green on document. During 1868-72 severalcompanies separated theRectangular stamps with diesfirst employed for the Circulars.Figure Insurance-34B. Closeview of the stamps, the earliestrecorded Insurance die-cuts.
47 Figure Insurance-35. Policy of California Mutual Life Insurance Co., September 27, 1869, $2500 on the life a resident of Chinese Camp, Tuolomne County, executed at Stockton, stamped with $3 blue (D34) and U.S. 50¢ Life Insurance (R58c), both cut to shape. One of five recorded life policies bearing California stamps.
48Figure Insurance-37. Policy of Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Co., July 7, 1871, for $3500 onthe San Lorenzo Paper Mill near Santa Cruz, stamped on reverse with $4 carmine (D36) and U.S. R60c.Made to John Sime, whose San Francisco banking house would fail mere months later.executor of J. Haman, $2800 for one year on a 25¢ stamp. Another of the three companiesdwelling and stable in Sacramento, premium for which die-cut Rectangulars have been$22.05, stamped on reverse with die-cut $3 recorded on document.green (D35) and U.S. 25¢ Certificate (R44c), 26. Policy #1,320,103 of Liverpool andexecuted and stamped in San Francisco London and Globe Insurance Co., July 7,(Figure Insurance-36). The only recorded 1871, to John Sime, $3500 for one year on theexample of the $3 green on document. San Lorenzo Paper Mill , on the San Lorenzo The $3 was issued first in red, then blue, River two miles from Santa Cruz, premiumthen green! The change to blue was made $22.50, stamped on reverse with $4 carminein 1868, perhaps to eliminate resemblance (D36) and U.S. 50¢ Original Process (R60c)to the $4 and $5, which were both initially (Figure Insurance-37). One of two recordedprinted in carmine. The $4 was changed to examples of the $4 carmine on document.green in 1869, perhaps for the same reason; John Sime & Co. was a San Franciscobut if so, why was the $3 changed to green banking house opened in 1858. It would failat the same time? in November 1871, mere months after this $4 Rate (above $3000 to $4000) policy was executed. Its failure was coupled25. Policy #20,378 of Pacific Insurance Co., with that of the banking house B. F. HastingsApril 10, 1868, to Edward Barnes, $3200 & Co. of Sacramento; Hastings had been afor one year on three dwellings in Petaluma, partner in Sime & Co. According to CrossSonoma County, premium $27, stamped with (1927), Sime & Co. failed “as a consequencedie-cut $4 carmine (D36) overlapping U.S. of the operations of the manager of its agency