Sale 1238 — Civil War Special Mail Routes
Sale Date — Wednesday, 23 June, 2021
Category — Blockade-Run Mail
FINE. A UNIQUE OUTBOUND BLOCKADE-RUN COVER FROM THE CONFEDERATE STATES TO CANADA VIA NASSAU AND NEW YORK, WITH THE "PAID AT BAHAMAS" CROWN-CIRCLE.
This cover is a remarkable and unique postal history artifact. It is addressed to Canada, a rare destination for Confederate mail of any kind. The forwarding agents in Wilmington used a blockade-runner to send the letter (no longer present) and cover to the Bahamas, but instead of enclosing them in another envelope, the forwarders used the original mailing envelope with a Confederate stamp postmarked at McDonough, Georgia. At Nassau the cover was prepaid 4 pence and handstamped with the "Paid at Bahamas" Crown-Circle, a marking recorded on only three blockade-run covers. Again, the same envelope was used to send the letter from Nassau to New York City. On arrival at the New York post office, the 6c debit datestamp was applied next to the "Paid at Bahamas" and 10c C.S.A. stamp. Think of the postal clerk who applied a U.S.-rated marking to an envelope bearing a Confederate stamp picturing Jefferson Davis, which was clearly a piece of mail that violated the ban on correspondence with the Confederate States. It is possible that the clerk or someone else realized this was illegal mail and sent it to the Dead Letter Office, because there is neither a U.S. marking indicating prepaid 10c postage to Canada nor Canadian markings indicating receipt. A red manuscript notation on back was probably applied at the Dead Letter Office.
Special Routes census no. BO-Nas-91