VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED ADAMS EXPRESS COMPANY COVERS WITH THE NASHVILLE 10-CENT PROVISIONAL, OF WHICH ONLY TWO ARE MIXED FRANKINGS WITH UNITED STATES POSTAGE. AN OUTSTANDING COVER THAT COMBINES THE RAREST ELEMENTS OF PHILATELY AND POSTAL HISTORY.
Adams Express Company was required to ensure the prepayment of government postage (Federal and Confederate), although the letter was carried outside the regular mails. Very few covers are recorded with Confederate provisional stamps or markings used in conjunction with across-the-lines express service. This group includes the provisionals of Atlanta (handstamp), Houston (handstamp), Lynchburg (press-printed entire), Memphis (adhesive), Mobile (adhesive), Montgomery (handstamp), Nashville (adhesive and handstamp) and New Orleans (adhesive).
Only three across-the-lines express covers are recorded with the Nashville 10c adhesive provisional (Special Routes Census Nos. S-AD-44, 45 and 46), all dated at Nashville on August 1. Only two of the 10c covers are mixed frankings (the third is used alone). These two Nashville 10c mixed-franking covers carried by Adams, both North-to-South usages, are the only 10c adhesive Confederate provisionals known in combination with United States postage. As such, they are quite significant artifacts from this remarkable period of postal history.
Our records contain six genuine covers with the Nashville 10c Green provisional: 1) Tied by Aug. 1 (1861) Adams Express oval, to Hardy & Bros., Norfolk Va.; 2) Tied by Sep. 15, 1861, Nashville datestamp, to Shelbyville Tenn., ex Caspary; 3) 5c & 10c used together, tied by Aug. 21, 1861, Nashville datestamp, to D. Cleage, Athens Tenn., ex Caspary, Lightner, Graves and Boshwit; 4) Tied by Aug. 1 (1861) Adams Express oval, used on 3c Star Die entire to Rev. Leavenworth, Petersburg Va., ex Kilbourne and Walske, the cover offered here; 5) Tied by Aug. 1 (1861) Adams Express oval, used on 3c Star Die with additional 3c 1857, to Albert F. Ryan, Norfolk Va., ex Gallagher; and 6) Tied by "10" rate handstamp, Sep. 18, 1861, Nashville datestamp, on building corner card cover to Thos. H. Caldwell, Shelbyville Tenn., ex Needham, Kimmel, Haas and Rudy.
The addressee, Reverend Abner Johnson Leavenworth, was at this time the principal and proprietor of the Leavenworth Academy and Collegiate Seminary for Young Ladies.
Special Routes Census No. S-AD-46 (illustrated on p. 55). Illustrated in Shenfield book (p. 23). Ex Antrim (acquired by the Kilbournes in 1958), Kilbourne, Kramer and Walske. With 1999 P.F. certificate