Silk Road Letter, 1390.
This is the oldest paper letter in the National Philatelic Collection. It discusses prices of luxury fabrics and spices such as cinnamon and pepper. Mailed by a Venetian merchant in Damascus on November 24, 1390, it was carried by courier to Beirut, where it boarded a Venetian galley. It arrived in Venice on December 26, having traveled 1,650 miles in one month.