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Sale 1016 — Confederate States, U.S. Postal History, General Foreign

Sale Date — Tuesday-Thursday, 15-17 November, 2011

Category — Confederate States: Southern Letter Unpaid, First Day Postal System

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
528
c
Sale Number 1016, Lot Number 528, Confederate States: Southern Letter Unpaid, First Day Postal SystemSOUTHN. LETTER UNPAID, SOUTHN. LETTER UNPAIDSOUTHN. LETTER UNPAID. Bold strike of two-line handstamp in blue, only the first word somewhat incomplete, matching "DUE 3" straightline and "Louisville Ky. Jun. 29" double-circle datestamp (date struck in error), on small cover to Brandenburg, Kentucky, initially entered the C.S.A. mails with "Salem Va. Jul. 2" circular datestamp and manuscript "PM at Louisville will forward this letter to Brandenburg", matching "Paid 5ct" C.S.A. rate at top left, some ink bleeding from the Louisville handstamps and the ms. notation at bottom, part of top flap removed

FINE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF THE "SOUTHERN LETTER UNPAID" MARKING ON A COVER ADDRESSED TO KENTUCKY. ONE OF THREE RECORDED WITH THE INCORRECTLY-DATED LOUISVILLE DATESTAMP.

By Postmaster General Blair's order of May 27, mail service to disloyal Southern states was discontinued. On or about June 8, mail exchange between Louisville and Nashville was also banned. Starting June 13, the Louisville postmaster, Dr. John J. Speed, decided to hold the northbound mail received from Nashville, rather than divert it to the U.S. Dead Letter Office. Speed sent a request to Washington D.C. for instructions on how to handle the mail that was rapidly accumulating. Speed received instructions from the U.S. Post Office Department, which were wired on June 24, advising him to "forward letters from the South for the loyal states as unpaid after removing postage stamps..." Since it was impractical to remove stamps from all of the letters (although apparently that was attempted at first), Postmaster Speed created the "Southn. Letter Unpaid" marking to explain to the addressees that the U.S. stamps applied by the senders were invalid for postage.

This cover was mailed from Salem Va. on July 2 and arrived at Louisville on approximately July 5. However, the postal clerk applied the June 29 marking in error, neglecting to change the date slug in his handstamp. There are two other covers listed in the Special Routes census that also arrived after June 29 but received the June 29 datestamp.

A total of 29 "Southn. Letter Unpaid" covers are recorded in the Special Routes book (No. 25 has been deleted as a fake since publication).

Census No. SLU-20. With 1994 C.S.A. certificate

E. 7,500-10,000
6,000
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