"Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 12, 1861", clear strike of circular datestamp on 3¢ Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) to New York City, 3¢ Dull Red, Type III (26) cancelled by blue grid with matching "Louisville Ky. Aug. 13, 1861" circular datestamp, receipt docketing of August 15, 1861, at left
Very Fine example of mail carried from the South to the North across the lines, after the regular transmission of mail along pre-war postal routes was suspended. This is also an unusual combination of a 3¢ adhesive and a 3¢ entire on this type of mail. The 3¢ adhesive was probably affixed by the Adams office in Louisville to avoid having the prepaid postage rejected as Southern contraband.
Ex Stephen D. Brown, Lawrence L. Shenfield and Robert W. Wiseman. Special Routes census no. N-AD-64.
EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE PRECURSOR EXPRESS COMPANY COVER FROM NEW ORLEANS TO JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, CARRIED BY ADAMS EXPRESS OUTSIDE THE MAILS BEFORE JUNE 1, 1861, ENTIRELY WITHIN THE STATES IN REBELLION.
In the early months of 1861, express companies began carrying mail in anticipation of service disruptions. The Adams New Orleans marking is rare, and this beautiful cover is an extremely rare example of Adams mail carried between New Orleans and another seceded state -- the typical use is on mail to New York City or other states in the Union.
Illustrated in Chase book (p. 318). Ex Chase, Knapp, Emerson, Shenfield and Richey. With 1999 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A LIKELY UNIQUE USE OF THE RARE ADAMS EXPRESS MEMPHIS DATESTAMP ON A PATRIOTIC COVER.
Shortly after the Confederacy was formed on February 4, 1861, the private freight express companies began carrying mail. Soon after June 1, 1861, newspapers published the first advertisements for thru-the-lines express service after the Federal government suspended the mails to seceded states. Tennessee seceded on June 8, 1861, 12 days before this cover was sent. It likely originated in Memphis and was handed directly to the Adams office in that city. This is the only use of the Adams Memphis marking on a Confederate Patriotic cover we have encountered
FINE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF CENSORSHIP BY THE ADAMS EXPRESS AGENT OF CIVILIAN MAIL BETWEEN SOUTHERN AND NORTHERN CORRESPONDENTS.
This interesting pro-Confederate letter opens with comments on reported unreliability of American Letter Express and difficulty sending letters. The writer also describes watching the Battle of First Manassas. The last portion of the letter has been censored by being crossed out with squiggles and writing in a different pen (some ink bleed-thru to front). The writer's reaction to the censorship is expressed in the letter offered in the following lot.
The opening of mail, for censorship and espionage purposes, was a sore point with the civilian population. This reference to Adams Express opening and censoring mail is a significant contemporary account.
Walske-Trepel Cenus no. N-AD-66. Ex Gallagher. With 2005 C.S.A. certificate
VERY FINE AND RARE THROUGH-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVER BEARING POSTAGE OF THE 1861 ISSUE. THIS WAS POSSIBLE FOR ONLY A FEW DAYS IN LATE AUGUST, 1861. ALSO AN OUTSTANDING CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNT OF FRUSTRATION OVER CENSORSHIP OF CIVILIAN MAIL.
This letter was posted on August 22, four days before the August 26 prohibition of thru-the-lines express mail. Through-the-lines express covers bearing 1861 Issue stamps are very rare as there was less than a one-week window from the date of issue to the prohibition. The Walske-Trepel census records only three such covers with 1861 Issue stamps.
Walske-Trepel Cenus no. N-AX-12. Ex Knapp, MacBride, Roser and Gallagher
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COMBINATION OF ADAMS EXPRESS NEW YORK AND AUGUSTA OFFICE MARKINGS, BOTH CLEARLY STRUCK ON THE OBVERSE OF A COVER FOR ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS SERVICE TO NORTH CAROLINA.
Only a few covers are recorded with this combination of Adams office markings and at least one of the others has the large New York oval handstamp struck on the back (ex Brandon). This cover was sent during the early period when Adams southbound mail was not postmarked at Louisville or Nashville. In this case, it was carried in the Adams network to Augusta and entered the C.S.A. mails there.
The Adams New York oval handstamp is extremely rare, and collectors should be aware that a number of clever fakes were handled by John A. Fox, which have only recently been properly identified. Genuine strikes are much rarer than the auction record would indicate.
Special Routes Census No. S-AD-10. With 1997 C.S.A. certificate