A VERY FINE BEAUMONT 10-CENT PROVISIONAL ON YELLOW PAPER -- ONE OF FIVE KNOWN EXAMPLES OF THIS RARITY -- USED ON A TURNED ADVERSITY COVER FROM A MEMBER OF THE TEXAS MARINE BRIGADE ABOARD THE C.S.S. SACHEM. THIS IS THE ONLY COVER KNOWN WITH THE BEAUMONT PROVISIONAL TIED BY THE TOWN MARKING.
According to Jim Wheat's Postmasters & Post Offices of Texas, 1846-1930, the following men served as postmaster of Beaumont, Texas, from 1860 to 1866: John J. Herring, appointed Aug. 17, 1860 (resigned); Wilson A. Junker, Aug 5., 1861 (CSA) (resigned); P. H. Glaze, Nov. 12, 1861 (CSA); Rev. Alexander Hinkle, Dec. 5, 1863 (CSA); Thomas Snow, Feb. 22, 1865 (CSA); John J. Herring, Apr. 6, 1866; and George L. Ewing, Jul. 19, 1866.
Since all recorded examples of the Beaumont provisional stamps are dated in 1864, they were probably issued by Reverend Alexander Hinkle, a Methodist pastor who settled in Beaumont around this time and was appointed as postmaster on December 5, 1863.
The stamps were typeset and printed from three different settings: one printed on Pink paper (Scott 12X2), and two on Yellow paper (12X1 and 12X3). A setting of four subjects (two by two) has been reconstructed from the Pink singles (there are no recorded multiples). Each subject has a different arrangement of long and short frame pieces. The printings on Yellow paper were made from two entirely different settings: one slightly smaller than the Pink stamps, and the other much taller with the words "Texas" and "Postage" added to the design.
Only 21 of any kind are recorded, including the unique Large 10c on Yellow (on cover), five of the Small 10c on Yellow (each on cover), and 15 of the Small 10c on Pink (12 covers, 3 off cover). Most of the recorded covers are faulty, and only four have postmarks of any kind tying the stamps; this is the only cover known with the handstamped marking tying the provisional. The others are tied by manuscript.
The five Small 10c Yellow covers we record are as follows:
1) manuscript "X" cancel, not tied, manuscript Apr. 9, 1864 date, to Mary J. Watson, San Augustine Tex., ex Hind and Hall (Siegel Sale 823, lot 397)
2) tied by rimless town with manuscript Jun. 11 (1864) date on turned cover to Mary J. Watson, San Augustine Tex., ex Caspary, Weatherly, Kilbourne, the cover offered here
3) uncancelled, used on turned cover to Mrs. Wm. B. Duncan, Liberty Tex., ex Caspary, Lilly
4) manuscript "X" cancel, not tied, used on cover to Cypress City Tex., Siegel Sale 226
5) manuscript "10" cancel, not tied, rimless town with manuscript Nov. 12 (1864) date on cover to James C. McKnight, Palestine Tex., 1864 docketing, ex Ferrary.
The inside address to the C.S.S. Sachem at Sabine Pass is the key to establishing this cover as an 1864 usage. The Sachem was one of two Federal gunboats captured by the Confederates at the famous Battle of Sabine Pass in September 1863. Sachem became part of the Texas Marine Department and served the Confederate army at Sabine Pass. In the spring of 1864, she was turned into a blockade runner under the command of John Davidson.
Ex Caspary, Weatherly and Kilbourne