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