EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE USAGE SENT BY ADAMS EXPRESS FROM NEW YORK TO TENNESSEE, WHICH ARRIVED IN CHATTANOOGA ON THE DAY BEFORE THE SECESSION REFERENDUM.
Although the express companies that carried mails thru the lines after June 1, 1861, did not begin advertising this service until June 15 (American Letter Express) and June 22 (Adams and Whitesides), Adams had been carrying mail for months prior to June 1 and definitely transported mail across the lines soon after the May 27 suspension order took effect. Curiously, there is no documentation or advertisements of the express mails during this period from January to May 1861.
This is the only cover in our Levi records with the Adams Chattanooga office oval. The other Adams cover which passed thru Chattanooga has a New York office oval and entered the regular mails with a Chattanooga post office datestamp.
Ex Kimmel. With 1976 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE ADAMS EXPRESS COMPANY MEMPHIS OFFICE DATESTAMP ON A VERY EARLY EXPRESS COVER TO NEW ORLEANS.
Shortly after the Confederacy was formed on February 4, 1861, the private freight express companies began carrying mail (the earliest recorded express cover is dated Feb. 7). Soon after June 1, 1861, newspapers published the first advertisements for thru-the-lines express service after the Federal government suspended the mails to seceded states. However, we have never seen an ad or bulletin from the January-May 1861 period that advertises express service for letters. The existence of express covers carried outside the mails (for at least part of their journey) is the only evidence of this business. This is one of the earliest Civil War express covers, and it was carried by Adams from Memphis to New Orleans on February 18, 1861. Louisiana joined the Confederacy on Feb. 4, but Tennessee did not secede from the Union until June. We presume this cover originated in Memphis and was handed directly to the Adams office in that city.
Ex Knapp, Richey, Emerson, Shenfield and Antrim. With 1974 P.F. certificate