VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED PITTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE 5-CENT PROVISIONAL STAMPS ON LAID PAPER, TWO OF WHICH HAVE OCTAGONAL MARGINS. ONE OF THE RAREST AND MOST OUTSTANDING OF ALL SOUTHERN POSTMASTERS' PROVISIONALS.
James P. Johnson was appointed U.S. postmaster of Pittsylvania Court House (known as Chatham today) by President James Buchanan on January 20, 1859. He was appointed C.S.A. postmaster on July 29, 1861 (Richard L. Calhoun, The Confederate Postmaster Provisionals of Virginia). During his term as postmaster Johnson issued a 5c Red provisional adhesive stamp bearing his name. The typeset design is nearly identical to the Danville typeset provisional, and Danville's postmaster, William D. Coleman, stated that his stamps were printed at the offices of the Democratic Appeal. For this reason philatelists assume that the same printer produced both postmasters' stamps, substituting one name for the other. The Pittsylvania Court House stamps were printed on wove and laid papers. Dangerous counterfeits on wove paper were made from type and borders that closely resemble the originals, and these are often counted in census work. The count of genuine examples currently (and correctly) stands at 10 on Wove (66X1) and 3 on Laid (66X2).
Ten Pittsylvania C.H. 5c provisionals are known on wove paper, but only three are recorded on laid paper (Scott 66X2). These are as follows: 1) Cut rectangular, Ty. I, cover to Secretary of the Commonwealth, Oct. 9, ex Worthington, Caspary, Lilly, Gallagher, Kilbourne and Gross; 2) Cut to shape, Ty. I, cover to Geo. Rives, Feb. 1862, Siegel 1983 Rarities sale; 3) Cut to shape, Ty. II, cover to Wm. T. Law, Dec. 20, the cover offered here.
The date pattern does not indicate a specific time period for laid paper, and it is likely that the wove and laid papers were used interchangeably during the printing.
Ex Hart, Dr. Graves, "Beverly Hills" and Dr. Green. With 2000 P.F. certificate