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Sale 801 — Confederate States

Sale Date — Tuesday, 9 June, 1998

Category — South to North Expresses

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
54
c
Adams Express Co. Nashville Aug. 8. Blue oval datestamp on folded letter datelined Lynchburg Va. Aug. 5, 1861, to New York City, black "PAID/10" C.S.A. rate handstamp applied at Lynchburg, blue crayon "2/-" express charge (two bits, or 25c), re-stated in ms. "Paid 2/c", first 3c Dull Red (26) tied by "Adams Ex. Co. Louisville, Ky." cds, invalid at Louisville and covered by second 3c stamp, cancelled by blue grid with matching "Louisville Ky. Aug. 10, 1861" double-circle ds, letter re business affairs but also contains reference to recent battles and Adams Express, minor wear and splits along folds

VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE THRU-THE-LINES EXPRESS USAGE FROM LYNCHBURG.

One other cover from Lynchburg sent north by Adams Express is known to us (see lot 72). The "Paid 10" handstamp indicates prepayment of Confederate postage from Lynchburg to Nashville. From there Adams carried the letter to Louisville, where it was franked with valid postage and sent in the Federal mails to New York City. The 3c stamp affixed at Lynchburg was not accepted for postage. Please refer to lot 72 for comments on the post office's role in handling letters for Adams Express.

Ex Grunin

E. 3,000-4,000
4,500
55
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 16, 1861. Partly clear circular datestamp ties vertical pair of 3c Dull Red (26), scissors cut into design at right, on blue folded letter to New York City, "Richmond Va. Jul. 12, 1861" cds and "PAID/20"%$ C.S.A. double-rate handstamp, first pair rejected and second pair of 3c Dull Red (26), upper left corner torn off, tied by blue "Louisville Ky. Jul. 20, 1861" double-circle ds, struck again at right, ms. "50c" express charge in red pencil at bottom and ink at top

RARE DOUBLE-RATE EXPRESS USAGE. THE EARLIEST RECORDED - AND EVIDENTLY THE FIRST EXPRESS - FROM RICHMOND.

The letter, datelined at Richmond, July 6, 1861, contains a significant commentary on express service from Richmond: "By private is our only chance now of writing to any of our friends north of the Potomac...We do not know at present how or when we shall get these lines off. The Express Company here is forbid the privilege of taking letters." Second page dated July 10; the writer continues "Not having been able to find a carrier for the annexed lines of the 6th inst. we open it for the purpose of acknowledging the receipt of yours...", content otherwise refers to blockade, difficulties with commerce, and draft enclosed.

On July 12 the sender posted this letter at Richmond, and it was delivered by Confederate mail to Nashville (double 10c rate) where Adams took charge of conveyance across the lines to Louisville. First two 3c stamps were rejected, replacement stamps were affixed at Louisville, and the letter was put into Federal mails for New York City. Please refer to lot 72 for comments on the post office's role in handling letters for Adams Express.

This letter documents a ban on letter express service in Richmond prior to July 12, 1861. Our records of express covers from Richmond show no other examples mailed prior to or on this date (one posted on July 13 is recorded). Based on the contemporary first-hand account in this letter, we feel justified in describing this as the first letter express out of Richmond.

E. 2,000-3,000
2,800
Back to Top
56
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 14, 1861. Circular datestamp ties 3c Dull Red (26) on folded letter from the Rives correspondence to New York City, blue "Charlottesville Va. Jul. 31, 1861" double-circle datestamp, matching "Paid" and "10" hs, 3c cancelled by Adams treated as invalid postage, second 3c tied by blue "Louisville Ky. Aug. 15, 1861" double-circle ds and grid

FINE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF CENSORSHIP OF CIVILIAN MAIL BETWEEN SOUTHERN AND NORTHERN CORRESPONDENTS.

This interesting pro-Confederate letter opens with comments on reported unreliability of American Letter Express and difficulty sending letters. The writer also describes watching the Battle of First Manassas. The last portion of the letter has been censored (some ink bleed-thru) - the writer's reaction to censorship is expressed in the following letter (see lot 57).

The opening of mail, for censorship and espionage purposes, was a sore point with the civilian population. This reference to Adams Express opening and censoring mail is a significant contemporary account.

E. 1,500-2,000
4,000
Back to Top
57
c
American Letter Express. Another folded letter from the Rives correspondence datelined Charlottesville Va. Aug. 10, 1861, to New York City, carried thru-the-lines to Louisville, this being the interior letter, 3c Rose (65) tied by blue "Louisville Ky. Aug. 22" double-circle ds and grid, the writer refers to the letter in the previous lot: "I do not like the espionage of Adams Express - its dunderheaded agt. here undertook to erase certain portions of my last letter to you as contra band. You will therefore please answer me under cover to `American Letter Express Company' Louisville Ky. enclosing 15c for postage which you will find herewith." minor wear and edge tears, still Very Fine, extremely rare use of 3c 1861 thru-the-lines express usage, which was outlawed on August 26, ex Knapp, MacBride, Roser

E. 500-750
1,250
Back to Top
58
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 7, 1861. Circular datestamp ties faulty 3c Dull Red (26), also tied by "Paid 10" in circle, matching "Richmond Va. Aug. 4, 1861" cds on buff cover to Vernon Vt., a second 3c Dull Red (26) tied by blue grid with matching "Louisville Ky. Aug. 7, 1861" double-circle ds, slightly reduced at left, repaired at upper left corner, Fine appearance and attractive; this usage is identical to the cover illustrated in Antrim on p. 112, the Antrim cover still containing the original Jul. 24 letter from a prisoner at Liggon's Tobacco Warehouse and being the earliest prisoner-of-war cover known to him, Antrim notes on the back of this cover confirm prisoner-of-war usage, ex Wiltsee, Antrim and Everett

E. 1,000-1,500
750
Back to Top
59
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 26, 1861. Two strikes of circular datestamp on blue linen-lined cover to Philadelphia, pencil "1.00/4" quadruple rate, pencil "12" for U.S. postage, 12c Black, Plate 3 (36b), trivial perf flaws, blue grid cancel and matching "Louisville Ky. Jul. 27, 1861" double-circle datestamp, refolded around edges to enhance appearance, wrinkles slightly affecting stamp

ONE OF TWO RECORDED QUADRUPLE-RATE EXPRESS USAGES WITH THE 12-CENT 1859 ISSUE. A RARE AND UNUSUAL COVER.

Ex Walcott, Grunin

E. 4,000-5,000
5,750
Back to Top
60
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 7, 1861. Circular datestamp on folded printed circular and letter datelined New Orleans Aug. 3, 1861, to New York City, 3c Dull Red (26), s.e. at left, tied by blue grid with matching "Louisville, Ky. Aug. 7, 1861" double-circle ds, folds and minor wear, opened for display with red ink used to highlight origin, Fine thru-the-lines usage

E. 750-1,000
475
Back to Top
61
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 10, 1861. Bold cds with "10" inverted, 3c Dull Red (26) cancelled by blue grid, matching "Louisville Ky. Jul. 11, 1861" double-circle ds on thru-the-lines cover to New York City, ms. "40/1" express charge (40c), faint toning, Fine, rare without any indication of Confederate origin or postage paid, ex Roser

E. 500-750
900
Back to Top
62
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 24, 1861. Clearly struck circular datestamp on 3c Red Star Die entire to St. Louis, no other postal markings or express charges, carried outside the mails from Louisville to St. Louis and possibly originating in a seceded state, Very Fine, ex Roser

E. 400-500
200
Back to Top
63
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 10, 1861. Mostly bold circular datestamp (date inverted) on back of cover to Billerica Mass., endorsed "Care Adams Express" and "DH thro to Boston" - the initials "DH" is said to represent "Dead Head", indicating free passage by train (there are no express charges noted on this cover) - pair of 3c Dull Red (26) tied by blue "Louisville Ky. Jul. 11, 1861" double-circle ds, stamps have faults incl. repaired nick at bottom, otherwise Fine cover

E. 500-750
350
Back to Top
64
c
"Examined M M Seay Agt S.C.A." Ms. censor's marking on back of cover from unknown origin ("Paid" in circle hs) to New York City, "Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 2, 1861" cds, 3c Dull Red (26) tied by grid with matching blue "Louisville Ky. Aug. 3, 1861" double-circle ds, approx. -1/2 in. trimmed from cover at right, cuts into stamp (restored), opened for display, the only recorded example of this censor marking, with Adams label (instructions, rate etc.) removed from cover

E. 500-750
700
Back to Top
65
c
Adams Express Company from New Orleans. 3c Dull Red (26) pair, perfs trimmed at top, tied by blue "Louisville Ky. Aug. 17" cds and grid on folded letter (in German) datelined New Orleans Aug. 9, 1861, to New York City, additional enclosure, no express markings, this being an interior letter posted by Adams at Louisville, Very Fine, ex Antrim, Telep

E. 500-750
0
Back to Top
66
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Partly clear strikes of cds on three different thru-the-lines express covers, two from South to North (Star Die entires with 3c 1857 stamps tied at Louisville), one North to South (3c Nesbitt entire and Nashville "Paid 10"), one S-N cover badly torn and repaired but has Adams label on back, otherwise Fine with minor faults

E. 500-750
375
Back to Top
67
c
Galveston Tex. Jun. 29, 1862. Double-circle datestamp with "Paid" and "10" C.S.A. rate handstamps on buff cover to Boston Mass., sender's route instructions "Via Natchadoches & Louisville", Natchidoches La. was near Fort Jessup Ark. and from there the letter could have been carried across Tennessee, except for the Union occupation of Nashville at this time - probably carried covertly by express to Boston via Louisville - pencil docketing "Draft" indicates arrival, stain where stamp was lifted at upper right (an uncancelled 3c 1857 hinged in place, which may or may not originate), Very Fine and unusual 1862 cover from Texas to North

E. 1,000-1,500
700
Back to Top
68
c
Richmond Va. Aug. 6, 1861. Partly visible cds with some of "Paid 10" hs still intact on damaged and repaired thru-the-lines cover to Frederick Md., 3c Dull Red (26), blue grid, matching "Louisville Ky. Aug. 11" double-circle ds, entire upper right corner missing and patched in incl. small piece of stamp - a casualty of war but nonetheless rare - with one of the kindest P.F. certificates we have ever encountered ("top right corner of stamp added", which is like saying the railing on the Titanic is bent)

E. 100-150
50
Back to Top
69
c
Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville Ky. 307 Green. Blue circular hs struck on back of cover to Somerset Ky., 3c Dull Red (26) tied by blue grid, matching "Louisville Ky. Aug. 2, 1861" double-circle ds, docketing indicates Nashville origin, reduction at left extended, otherwise Fine, ex Antrim, with 1973 P.F. certificate

E. 400-500
220
Back to Top
70
c
Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville Ky. Blue dateless circle on back of buff cover to Little River Me., 3c Dull Red (26) tied by blue grid, matching "Louisville Ky. Aug. 5, 1861" double-circle ds, reduced at right, otherwise Fine xpress usage

E. 200-300
550
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