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Sale 801 — Confederate States

Sale Date — Tuesday, 9 June, 1998

Category — North to South Expresses

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
33
c
From the Adams Express Company/Louisville. Large double-line double-circle handstamp, a mostly clear strike on 3c Red Star Die entire to Petersburg Va., full strike of "Adams Express Company Knoxville, Tenn. Jun. 19" (1861) oval datestamp, ms. "2/-" (two bits, or 25c) express charge, sender's routing "Tucker & Co., Louisville Ky.", docketing on back with Jun. 12, 1861 origin date, part of backflap torn away, slight wear

VERY FINE. THE EARLIEST RECORDED NORTH-TO-SOUTH ADAMS EXPRESS COVER AFTER SUSPENSION OF GOVERNMENT MAILS. THE ONLY COMPLETE COVER WITH THE ADAMS LARGE DOUBLE-CIRCLE HANDSTAMP.

Postmaster General Blair's May 27 order stopping mail from the North to disloyal Southern states was effective after May 31, but it did not apply to Tennessee until June 8 (or soon after), when that state officially declared itself a Confederate State.

On June 15 the American Letter Express Co. advertised its thru-the-lines service. On June 22 the Adams Express Co. and M. D. Whiteside advertised their competing express services (see Figure B for Adams advertisement). Examples of express covers carried across the lines by these companies prior to June 15 and 22 are evidence that service pre-dated the advertised commencement dates.

This cover is such proof. It was mailed on June 12 and received at Knoxville on June 19, pre-dating the June 22 commencement date advertised by Adams. Obviously, Adams was moving letters between Louisville and Nashville earlier than announced in their North-South express ads.

Only two examples of the large double-circle handstamp are known to us: this cover and another cover front only. Its rarity and early use indicate that this marking was used briefly by the Louisville office before the typical dated circle was brought into use.

The Adams messenger carrying this mail presumably travelled by railroad along a route from Louisville to Nashville, then to Knoxville, Bristol, Salem and finally arriving at Petersburg. The 25c express charge included 10c C.S.A. postage, but this cover was carried entirely outside the Confederate mails.

Illustrated and described in Shenfield (p. 19, 24). Ex Finney

E. 7,500-10,000
4,000
34
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 6, 1861. Full clear strike of circular datestamp on 10c Green Star Die entire with red Wells, Fargo & Co. frank, to Mobile Ala. with blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 3, 1861" cds (date inverted), matching "Paid" and "10" C.S.A. rate, ms. "2" (two bits, or 25c) thru-the-lines express charge, bottom flap missing, couple small tears at bottom

ONE OF FOUR RECORDED WELLS, FARGO & CO. FRANKED ENTIRES USED TO THE CONFEDERATE STATES. AN OUTSTANDING COVER LINKING TRANSCONTINENTAL AND NORTH-SOUTH THRU-THE-LINES EXPRESSES.

There are no markings to confirm the route prior to reaching Louisville, but Wells, Fargo & Co. presumably carried this letter from San Francisco to New York City via Panama, then handed it to Adams Express Co. for transit to Louisville and Nashville, where it entered the Confederate mails.

Ex Meroni and Roser

E. 7,500-10,000
8,500
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35
c
Adams Express Company N.Y. Blue double-circle handstamp on 3c Red Star Die entire from New York City to Washington N.C., "Wilmington N.C. 3 Jul." (1861) cds with "Paid" and "10" C.S.A. rate hs, original letter enclosed, datelined New York May 22, 1861, re-dated in red "Retd to RMB&Co. 22 June" indicating this was returned as undeliverable and then re-mailed by Adams Express, letter re high prices for resin and references to blockade "Schr. Arlington not here yet" and "All goods here will be safe every way", long sealed tear across upper right corner, also some staining, could easily be restored, the only recorded express cover routed thru the port of Wilmington N.C., ex Emerson, Brooks, Knapp, Richey, Antrim and Hollowbush

E. 1,500-2,000
2,100
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36
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 30, 1861. Circular datestamp ties 3c Dull Red (26) on 3c Red Star Die entire to Canton Miss., "Grand Junction Ten. Aug. 5" cds and "Paid 5" C.S.A. rate, minor soiling and wear along edges, otherwise Fine, Grand Junction is a short distance east of Memphis (southwest of Nashville and north of Canton) - it is a most unusual postal entry point for express mail (one other in our records, sent from Louisville Jul. 25) - the back of this has directions for reaching Bremen, Germany, and suggests the possibility that this cover originated overseas

E. 750-1,000
700
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37
c
Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 30, 1861. Large part of clearly struck cds used with blue "Adams Express Co. Augusta Ga. Aug. 3" oval ds on 3c Red Star Die entire to Macon Ga., ms. "2/-" (two bits or 25c) express charge, "Paid 10" straightline hs for C.S.A. rate - interesting in that the distance between Augusta and Macon should only have required 5c - reduced at right with uneven edge extended slightly, bottom seam rejoined, flap addeds, Fine appearance, clear strike of Augusta oval, ex Knapp, with 1997 C.S.A. certificate

E. 300-400
375
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38
c
Adams Express Co. Baltimore Md. Aug. 9, 1861. Bold strike partly off edge of 3c Red Star Die entire to Petersburg Va., Adams Louisville cds (Aug. 12), blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 14, 1861" cds with matching "Paid" and "10" C.S.A. rate hs, ms. "Paid 2/-" and code, top edge torn away and repaired, a presentable example of this rare Baltimore office marking (we have record of four covers), ex Grant, Roser

E. 500-750
450
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39
c
Adams Express Co. Philadelphia, Pa. Aug. 12 (1861). Red circular datestamp on 3c Pink entire to Charleston S.C., blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 13, 1861" cds with matching "Paid" and "10", somewhat toned but restorable and very rare Adams office marking

E. 500-750
650
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40
c
Sale Number 801, Lot Number 40, North to South ExpressesAdams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 6, 1861, Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 6, 1861Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 6, 1861. Clearly struck cds on 3c Red Star Die entire to Norfolk Va., blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 8, 1861" cds, matching "Paid" and "10" C.S.A. rate hs., reduced at left, otherwise Very Fine, ex Roser

E. 750-1,000
575
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41
c
(Forwarded) by the Adams Express Co. from Bardstown, Ky. Black on yellow label on back of 3c Red Star Die entire to Madison Court House Va., ms. "2/-" (two bits, or 25c) express charge, pencil "10" C.S.A. rate with "Richmond Va. Jun. 24, 1861" cds and "Paid 10" in circle handstamp, ms. docketing, part of backflap and label torn away, small tear at upper right

VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE ADAMS BARDSTOWN LABEL ON A THRU-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVER.

Accompanied by original letter enclosure, datelined at Bardstown, June 18, 1861, which requests payment to be sent "by mail or by Adams express" with the words "by mail" crossed out. The letter further states (in part): "Kentucky is not at war with you, and we hope never to be, but she will resist agressions, come whence they may. She will not lend her aid to subjegation. She wants peace and the foot that attempts to trample on her will find a thorny path...Govr. wants a Strong Guard & but few thinks he wants to catch Jef Davis." An eloquent expression of Kentucky's early position of neutrality.

Ex Peters and Malpass

E. 5,000-7,500
4,000
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42
c
"Pr Am. Letter Express". Ms. express marking on 3c Red Star Die entire to Nashville Tenn., from the Knowles correspondence originating at Warren R.I., blue "Nashville Ten. Jun. 20, 1861" cds, matching "Paid" and "5" rate hs (2c drop rate did not apply), Very Fine, this is the interior envelope of an extremely early express usage, apparently pre-dating use of American Letter Express handstamps (see also lot 46), ex MacBride

E. 1,500-2,000
1,700
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43
c
Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville Ky. Jul. 22, 1861. Blue circular datestamp struck on 3c Red Star Die entire to an Assistant Surgeon with the 12th Regt. Miss. Vol. at Union City Tenn., forwarded to Winchester Va., blue "Nashville Ten. Jul. 24, 1861" cds with matching "Paid" and "5" rate handstamp, ms. "Due 10" forwarding charge, additional strike of company cds on back, Very Fine, choice express usage to a military address - Asst. Surgeon Groves, to whom this cover was delivered, was moved from Union City to Winchester Va. to treat casualties from engagements with Federal troops in the Shenandoah Valley during mid-July 1861 - illustrated in Shenfield (p. 25), ex Kimmel, with 1976 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
2,100
Back to Top
44
c
Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville Ky. 307 Green. Blue circular hs, partly clear strike on 3c Red Star Die entire to Lexington Va., blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 20, 1861" cds with matching "Paid" and "10" rate hs, additional strike of company hs on back, light fold at left, Fine, with printed announcement for service (instructions for mailing, rates etc.)

E. 500-750
650
Back to Top
45
c
Sale Number 801, Lot Number 45, North to South ExpressesAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville Ky, Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville KyAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville Ky. Blue dateless circle on 3c Red Star Die entire to Millwood Va., blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 10, 1861" cds with matching "Paid" and "10" rate hs, with original letter enclosure datelined St. Louis Mo. Aug. 8, begins "As Mr. Page goes to Kentucky today and will express this letter for me from Louisville, I have determined to send you a few lines of congratulation on account of the escape of so many at your household from death in the late awful battle at Manassas.", excellent content from a lady to her brother, closes "Here we don't dare call Jeff Davis's name above our breath." Fine

E. 400-500
625
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46
c
Nashville Ten. Jun. 20?, 1861. Partly clear blue cds with matching "Paid" and "5" C.S.A. rate hs on 3c Red Star Die entire to Nashville, Knowles correspondence, part of backflap missing, Very Fine, a thru-the-lines usage, rated 5c on arrival in Nashville (2c drop letter did not apply)

E. 400-500
200
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47
c
"I enclosed 35c to pay extra postage from here to Louisville & agent's fee or charge." Ms. endorsement on back of cover to Jackson Tenn., blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 8, 1861" cds with matching "Paid" and "10" C.S.A. rate, no express markings, dirty and torn open, but an extremely unusual sender's notation

E. 200-300
0
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