VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE CONFEDERATE DEAD LETTER OFFICE MANUSCRIPT MARKING ON A COVER FROM FLORIDA.
This cover combines numerous rare elements. It is a Confederate use of U.S. postage from Florida, sent to Virginia before that state seceded on April 17. It was struck with Hampton forwarding and Richmond advertised markings. Going unclaimed, it most likely sat in the Richmond Post Office until approximately May 24 and then was sent to the Confederate Dead Letter Office (along with suspended northbound mail), where it was held until August 19. The Walske-Trepel Special Routes book records fewer than ten examples of the C.S.A. Dead Letter Office markings (handstamp or manuscript). The other manuscript markings we have seen are on northbound mail diverted at Richmond between May 24 and June 1, 1861. This is the only recorded Dead Letter Office cover from Florida.
C.S.A. Catalog value $7,500.00
VERY FINE. THIS IS BY FAR THE FINEST STRIKE OF THE CONFEDERATE "DEAD LETTER OFFICE" OVAL AMONG ONLY SIX RECORDED EXAMPLES. THIS IS ALSO THE EARLIEST KNOWN USE OF THE HANDSTAMP AND THE ONLY USE ON A COVER ADDRESSED TO A CONFEDERATE STATE.
Van Dyk MacBride illustrated four examples of the Confederate States Dead Letter Office oval in his 1944 Congress Book article. We record one other which is pictured in the Special Routes book on page 12. These five strikes (earliest dated Aug. 23, 1861) are on covers sent from the South to a Union state which were intercepted after the closure of mail routes and sent to the Dead Letter Office. The date in the Dead Letter Office oval indicates when it was released, rather than when it arrived.
This sixth example is the only known use on cover to a Confederate state. It is not clear from the datestamp when it was mailed, or whether it originated in a Confederate or a Union state (prior to June 1, 1861, it could have been either and been franked with U.S. stamps), but it is apparent from the "Advertised" marking that it found its way to the Dead Letter Office because it was undeliverable, rather than intercepted. It most likely contained money or other items of value.
C.S.A. Catalogue value $5,000.00