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Sale 801 — Confederate States

Sale Date — Tuesday, 9 June, 1998

Category — Southern Letter Unpaid

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
22
c
Farnham Va. June 13th 1861. Ms. pmk. and "Paid 5cts" C.S.A. rate with "10" re-rating on 3c Red Nesbitt entire to Louisville, ms. cancel on 3c, blue grid cancel and matching "DUE" straightline with ms. "3" U.S. rate applied at Louisville, pressed-out vertical fold at center

VERY FINE. EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF CONFEDERATE USAGE INTO LOUISVILLE AFTER TERMINATION OF POSTAL RELATIONS. SOUTHERN USE OF UNITED STATES POSTAGE NOT RECOGNIZED.

Postmaster General Blair's May 27 order to stop all mail from the North to disloyal Southern states was less explicit in dealing with mail from the South to loyal states. With the suspension of government mail exchange between Louisville and Nashville on or about June 8, the express companies assumed the primary role in carrying letters across the lines (until such service was outlawed on August 26). This letter was sent on June 13 from the Confederate post office at Farnham, Virginia, and it somehow reached Louisville, probably on or about June 15. The 3c embossed stamp was considered contraband by the Federals, so the letter was treated as unpaid and marked "Due 3". On or just after June 25 the Louisville post office began using the "Southern Letter Unpaid" handstamp.

The accompanying 1988 C.S.A. certificate states "Genuine through-the-lines envelope. Cannot be qualified as a Southern Letter Unpaid." The absence of those three words, "Southern Letter Unpaid", is merely a matter of semantics, for this most certainly is an example of the U.S. post office refusing to recognize postage on a letter originating from a seceded state

E. 2,000-3,000
3,250
23
c
SOUTHN. LETTER UNPAID. Blue two-line handstamp and matching "DUE 3" straightline on cover to Pleasant Valley Mills Ky., "Edgefield C.H. S.C. Jun. 8" (1861) double-line cds with "5" and "Paid" C.S.A. rate handstamps, without Louisville datestamp, brownish even toning on front of cover, slightly reduced at right

FINE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF "SOUTHERN LETTER UNPAID" MARKING ON A COVER ADDRESSED TO KENTUCKY.

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. In early and mid-June, however, a large quantity of mail from the South reached Louisville for delivery to correspondents in the North. However, Federal government postage stamps affixed in the South were regarded as contraband and were refused as prepayment.

On June 24 Dr. J. J. Speed, the postmaster at Louisville was advised to forward letters from the South to the loyal states after removing postage. With approximately 5,000 such letters accumulating at Louisville by this date, Postmaster Speed employed a more practical means of invalidating postage by creating the "Southern Letter Unpaid" handstamp.

Immediately after receiving instructions from Washington to forward mail, the Louisville post office began marking letters. Some of these have circular datestamps (Jun. 27, 28 and 29 being the most common dates), while others have no Louisville datestamp, such as the example offered here. Given the June 8 origin date, this mail probably arrived at Louisville soon after termination of regular mail from Nashville. It was probably among the first to be forwarded after June 24.

E. 7,500-10,000
8,000
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24
c
SOUTHN. LETTER UNPAID. Bold blue two-line handstamp with matching "DUE 3" straightline and "Louisville Ky. Jun. 27" (1861) double-circle datestamp on yellow cover to Pitman Ill., small black "PAID" straightline and sender's intended routing "Via Memphis Tenn." (mail from Memphis was stopped prior to June 6, 1861), right edge reduced but still clear of markings, this has been expertly restored and the cover has been lightly cleaned

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN UNUSUAL "SOUTHERN LETTER UNPAID" COVER, POSTED FROM A CONFEDERATE POST OFFICE WITHOUT ANY INDICATION OF THE ORIGIN OR PREPAID RATE - SIMPLY SENT "PAID".

According to Scott Gallagher's exhibit write-up, the "Paid" on this cover was applied at Tawboro N.C. (deduced from other covers in the correspondence). The lack of a town datestamp or C.S.A. rate and the sender's attempt to direct this mail via Memphis suggests a deliberate effort to circumvent the Federal suspension of postal relations with the South.

With 1988 P.F. certificate

E. 7,500-10,000
5,000
Back to Top
25
 
SOUTHN. LETTER UNPAID. Part-strike on 3c Dull Red (26), affixed to small piece with remainder of marking drawn in to show full handstamp design, perfs trimmed at top and right, small crease at top right, appears Fine, with 1994 Green certificate rtificate

E. 300-400
130
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