Sale 779 — Civil War Postal History and Autographs

Sale Date — Wednesday, 10 July, 1996

Category — Military, Western and Indian Related

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
107
 
[The Battle of San Jacinto]. Hand-carried Aug. 14. 1836 folded letter from Monticello, Miss., from a J.E. Calhoun to his wife, with word from New Orleans: ""St. Anna being taken is a fact as the report was confirmed by 3 or 4 arrivals...the engagement was a fortunate one for the Texans...500 Mex fell & the Bal was taken prisoner while the loss on the Tex. side was about 7 killed & 20 wounded among the wounded was Houston slight I assume as he continued to command during the Battle which was very short about 10 minutes in which there was only 2 wounds Houston had two horses killed under him during the battle it was 2 or 3 days after the Battle before St. Anna was taken & then he was dressed in a common soldier's dress he has offered a treaty and to pay the expenses of the war which if ratified by the Mexican Government will close the War." Fine

E. 100-150
325
108
 
[Battle of New Orleans]. 2pp letter, 7-3/4 x 12-1/2 in., from John Reid, aide to Andrew Jackson, to Maj. Abram Maury in Franklin, Tenn., he writes (in part): "Yesterday the enemy made a dead set at us. Having, in the preceding nights, erected batteries greatly advanced towards ours, they opened them upon us, as soon as the fog cleared off in the morning, in a superior style of terror. Bombs, congreves, balls, shot & grape knocked every thing over our heads & tore up everything beneath our feet. Yet, our men, unaccustomed as they were to any such exhibitions, manifested no symptoms of alarm. On the contrary, beleiving that the mighty parade was the prelude to an assault upon our works, they looked forward to it with the utmost anxiety, & I even say, eagerness. It is stange how soon men may become transformed!!" etc. He also mentions Jackson: "The house in which the general lodges had, yesterday, 15 or 20 balls (18 & 24 pounders) through it. I am afraid the next attempt will knock down our slender mud wall," etc.; with outer address sheet postmarked New Orleans, the latter has ballpoint pen note added by a cretinous collector, not affecting letter which is Fine, with very desirable military content, accompanied by a 2,700+ word tribute to Reid from a 1816 newspaper

E. 300-400
1,100
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109
c
"Cincinnati June 18th 1799." Dateline on 3pp folded letter from Jacob Burnet, Ohio Supreme Court judge and senator who nominated his friend William Henry Harrison for the presidency in 1839, to Elias Boudinot, Director of the Mint at Philadelphia, regarding real estate matters, outersheet with ms. "12-1/2" rate deleted and "25" written in, no postmark but interesting endorsement at corner, "Major Kingsbury", presumably Jacob Kinsbury, prominent Revolutionary War soldier who served in Wayne's Indian campaign, light toning and small tears, still Fine, rare early Northwest Territory cover

E. 400-500
210
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110
 
[The Creek War]. Folded letter to Andrew Jackson from Genl. Jno. Coffee, datelined "Tallushatche town 3rd Nov. 1813": "Owing to a large creek to pass my march was impeded, until about one hour after sun rise, this morning. We reached the town on our approach the enemy was beating their drums, they met my advance with great violence when a sharp conflict ensued, which terminated in the destruction of the enemy, how many in number I am not yet able to say. I have lost several men killed and a number wounded, shall proceed in an hour to the ten Islands," etc. He adds in a P.S.: "Since writing am told 135 killed have been found no doubt near 200 are killed." Outer sheet with docketing in the hand of Andrew Jackson: "Mjr John Head/franklin/action by/John Bradley/Deposit"; age stains, top panel missing (not affecting text or docketing), desirable content. After the massacre at Fort Mimms in August 1813, Jackson took the field, determined to break the power of the Creek Nation

E. 250-350
1,800
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111
 
[Indians]. 1836 document from Columbus Miss., being a "correct Abstract of Lands claimed by Choctaw Indians under the 14th Article of Choctaw treaty of 1836" etc. and signed by Wm. Dowsing. The long list consists of names carefully written out phonetically (""Ah she te tah," "Ish to mo ho ya," etc.), minor separations at folds, otherwise unusually fresh for this, Very Fine, interesting piece

E. 100-150
210
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112
c
[Indians]. Folded letter headed "Fort Butler N.C. July 18th, 1838" and postmarked "Athens Te. Jul. 20" and written to a Maj. Abe Miller in Rockford Ill., from his brother, who writes (in part): "The Cherokees are to remain until Fall, and there (I believe) to be emigrated by John Ross their principal Chief. The Army will not have any thing to do with the emigration. The Indians gave themselves up without assistance, excepting perhaps two or three old squaws, who were a little troublesome but by the assistance of a couple of gentleman soldiers who offered an arm each to the ladies they gave up." etc. Fine, very rare "Trail of Tears" reference. The legendary Cherokee chief John Ross and his followers were persuaded to move further west when a force headed by General Scott appeared in Georgia, after Ross protested to the president of the United States that land taken in treaties had been obtained fraudently. Miller's comment that the Army would have nothing to do with the emigration is false; the lighthearted image of "gentleman soldiers" offering an arm to "the ladies" was almost certainly a euphemism for some form of ungentle persuasion

E. 300-400
425
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113
 
[Indians]. Five items, includes three CDVs incl. one identified as "Ute War Chief - Piah," also five page letter from Blackfeet Agency, Mont. on Indian Service stationery describing the problems and suffering of Indians there, and 1821 document, "Estimate of funds required for the agency Department of the Cherokee and Qupaw Indians in the Arknasas Territory," one CDV faulty, otherwise Fine and interesting lot

E. 200-250
450
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114
c
[Florida Indian Wars]. Folded letter datelined "St. Augustine Sep. 20th 1836:" from soldier who writes (in part): "You ask a great many questions about the Indians &c. &c. - I have little to say with regard to the Indians except that it is highly probable that in a few months from this time the yellow rascals will be brought to terms. The Governor of the Territory who directs everything connected with the war is making great exertions to bring it to a speedy close. 800 friendly Creek Indians and 1200 Tennessee volunteers are to join the troops now in Florida. Operations will commence about the middle of November...You wish to know how far I am..from the scene of War. I answer directly in the midst of it - persons have been killed by the Indians...a man residing on the north side of Black Creek was murdered by a party of 7 or 8 indians. The indians shot his wife through the neck and arm scalped her or in fact skinned her head and then as she lay on the ground seemingly dead, the indians took a bundle of raw cotton which was near at hand covered the woman over with it, and then set fire to it., her clothes took fire but the woman lay perfectly still - dead as the indians supposed - in this situation they left her - as soon as the indians were out of sight she soon went to a stream bathed her head and found her way finally to Jacksonville about 20 miles off. I believe the woman is still living." etc., Outersheet with partial Georgetown Wash. postmark; few sealed tears, Fine, outstanding letter

E. 250-350
800
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115
c
Milton Latham. Free frank as U.S. Senator from California, on cover to Capt. George Wallace, Salt Lake City, U.T. Wallace was formly secretary to California's Governor Downey. The military presence in Utah is partly explained by periodic Indian problems, but the Lincoln administration also had serious doubts about the loyalty of Mormons to the Union. Latham himself was pro-Southern, but when it became clear that California was overwhelmingly loyal to the Union, he quickly amended his opinions; slightly reduced at R., still fresh and Very Fine, ex Grunin

E. 200-250
0
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116
 
[Miner's Letter]. 1 page letter from miner Wyatt Harris at Long Bar, Oct. 2, 1858. He writes (in part): "I haven't been living at one particular place until now...working in a Blacksmith Shop, besides mining in a bank claim on the Yuba River. I have spent most of this summer rambling about in search of the new `Eldorado of the north' I left California in June and got back in September from Fraser River. I was glad to get back to California, British America as far as I got acquinted with it, is a hard old Country Nothing but dense forrests and bleak rocks to be seen, and as for the gold on Fraser River is concerned I think it is a skace a trickle," etc., Fine

E. 75-100
75
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117°
 
[Oregon Territory]. ALS, 2pp, from Benjamin Stark to his mother. Datelined "Oregon Territory Portland Oct. 15th 1847," outer lettersheet with "New-York 5cts 6 May" (1848) cds indicating this was hand-carried and deposited upon arrival in New York. He writes (in part): "In two weeks time I shall leave this country and return immediately to the United States, most probably by the way of China. An English vessel left here a short time ago, and I wrote you a long letter by her, to go across the Isthmus; perhaps you will have recd that before this come to hand...I have been very successful in my business and hope I have laid the foundation of my fortune." etc., Fine, very early and rare letter which predates the creation of this territory by an Act of Congress, Aug. 14, 1848. One of the founders of Portland, Stark was a member of the territorial house of representatives, and during the Civil War was appointed a U.S. senator. Prior to his political career he engaged in trade with the Sandwich Islands, as alluded to in his letter

E. 750-1,000
750
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118
c
Sale 779, Lot 118, Military, Western and Indian RelatedOverland Mail, Via Los Angeles. Illustrated railroad propaganda envelope, hand-carried to San Francisco, accompanied by two covers from Burlington Vt. with 10c Green, Ty. V (35), ms. endorsements, "Overland Los Angeles" and "Overland via St. Louis", small faults, Fine, scarce

E. 150-200
135
Back to Top
119°
 
Sale 779, Lot 119, Military, Western and Indian RelatedWilliam H. Russell. DS ("Wm. H. Russell"), 2pp, 9 x 14 in., dated June 1860, this being a indemnifying bond, from Jackson County, Mo., all in ms., stating that three men are offering $4,000 in securities to cover a $2,000 sight draft issued by a Major Crossman at Camp Floyd, Utah Territory, that was lost in the U.S. mail. The document pledges that the financial obligation will be honored; signed on the second page by S.H. Woodson, Wm. H. Russell and Jacob Hall and witnessed by two others, clean and Fine, rare. A successful merchant and banker before forming several freighting partnerships, Russell - the "Napoleon of the West" - formed the Central Overland & Pikes Peak Express Co. in 1859. Only two months before this document was signed, he inaugurated the rapid mail service between California and the country east of the Rocky Mountains known as "The Pony Express." At a time when government mail service was slow, Russell offered a unique service: letters carried by a series of riders on horseback across the Central Route - 1,966 miles in as few as eight days. Our 1994 Rarity Sale included a Russell free frank with a Running Pony marking which realized $65,000, and while the marking obviously was a major factor in this price, Russell's signature is surprisingly difficult to obtain, particularly on a piece dated during the high watermark of his career

E. 3,000-5,000
0
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120
c
Sale 779, Lot 120, Military, Western and Indian RelatedSalt Lake City Utah Feb. Rimless datestamp, mostly clear strike on large Internal Revenue envelope with 1c Buff (112) tied by fancy segmented cork cancel, used locally, assessor's signature at R. in purple ink, Fine, very scarce on an intact cover - the large majority of these covers have been either reduced or cut down into "on piece" examples

E. 150-200
150
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121
c
Sale 779, Lot 121, Military, Western and Indian RelatedVancouver W.T. Sep. 20. Three strikes ties 3c Dull Red (26) strip of three and single on cover to a Cadet John Adair at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, apparently a 2c overpayment of the 10c rate, 1859 docketing on face, cover very skillfully repaired at right including tiny bit of rim of one cds, Very Fine appearance, rare

E. 300-400
325
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122
c
[War of 1812]. Well-written three-page letter from a Samuel Preston, dated Nov. 22, 1812 . Headed "Thoughts on the President's Message", he writes (in part): "What are we to think the policy of the Executive Department in not furnishing the Indians with the blankets as bound to do by a Treaty of Peace - and reducing them to the necessity of resorting to Canada for support. Will the American treatment of the Indians bear the Character of Sacred to Humanity - have not the Americans also engaged the Indians at Buffalo...That the misfortune at Detroit raised the American Spririt any further than to show the immediate necessity of defending the harmless Women & Children on the Frontiers. We have no proof and it is generally considered to have the contrary effect on the Public Mind...What may be the success of the large Army now marching under Genl. Harrison time must determine." etc. Outersheet with ms. "Mountpleasant November 22" and Paid 10", Fine and fascinating diatribe

E. 200-250
325
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123
 
Brigham Young. Signature on small piece, Fine

E. 200-250
270
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