VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXCEPTIONAL AND EXTREMELY RARE "TURNED" ADVERSITY COVER, COMBINING INCOMING BLOCKADE-RUN USE OF A HOTEL ADVERTISING ENVELOPE TO CHARLESTON AND THE 10-CENT PATERSON LITHOGRAPH FOR RE-MAILING WITHIN THE CONFEDERACY.
The Royal Victoria Hotel was the center of the social scene in Nassau during the Civil War years. Parties held there were attended by diplomats, Confederate and British officers, captains of blockade runners, and newspaper correspondents.
With 1984 P.F. certificate
FINE. A RARE INCOMING BLOCKADE-RUN COVER FROM LT. JOHN M. KELL, FIRST OFFICER OF THE FAMOUS COMMERCE RAIDER C.S.S. ALABAMA, TO HIS WIFE IN MACON GA. THE ALABAMA CLAIMED 65 PRIZES DURING THE CIVIL WAR BEFORE BEING SUNK BY THE U.S.S. KEARSAGE ON JUNE 19, 1864.
Lt. Kell and most of his shipmates, including Captain Raphael Semmes, survived the sinking of the Alabama. According to Wikipedia, "During her two-year career as a commerce raider, Alabama caused disorder and devastation across the globe for Union merchant shipping. The Confederate cruiser claimed 65 prizes valued at nearly $6,000,000... in 1862 alone 28 were claimed...Ironically, a decade before the beginning of the Civil War, Captain Semmes had observed: '(Commerce raiders) are little better than licensed pirates; and it behooves all civilized nations [...] to suppress the practice altogether.'" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSS_Alabama)
VERY FINE. RARE USE OF A CONFEDERATE STAMP ON BLOCKADE-RUN MAIL WITH NAME-OF-SHIP ENDORSEMENT.
The Will o' the Wisp arrived in Wilmington on September 5, 1864, after a run from Nassau. The "Dupl" notation at upper right suggests that this duplicate mailing was sent to Charleston via Wilmington (presumably the original was sent directly to Charleston).
Special Routes Census No. BI-WM-94. Ex. Myers. With 1988 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. A RARE USE OF A CONFEDERATE STAMP ON AN INCOMING BLOCKADE-RUN COVER FROM ENGLAND AND AN EXTREMELY UNUSUAL ENTRY POINT FOR BLOCKADE-RUN MAIL.
Irish-born John William Mallet was a chemistry professor at the University of Alabama. He enlisted as a private in a troop of C.S.A. Cavalry, but almost immediately was chosen as aide-de-camp on the staff of General Robert E. Rodes. He was transferred to the artillery in May 1862 and by 1865 became lieutenant-colonel and then superintendent of the C.S. Army ordnance laboratories.
Another cover addressed to Mallet in the same hand is shown on page 135 of the Special Routes book. It is the only recorded blockade-run cover with Savannah as the entry point (May 7, 1862). The cover offered here, with the same handwriting, has the "Ship Letter" and "Southern States" written notations and, therefore, must also have originated in England.
According to information received from Steven C. Walske, this cover "was carried on the blockade-runner Venus, which departed Bermuda on August 12 and arrived in Wilmington on August 16. Prior to that, it might have taken the RMSP steamer Africa, which left Liverpool on July 17 and arrived at St. Thomas on July 31. It then took the Cunarder Alpha, which left St. Thomas on August 2 and arrived in Bermuda on August 7. This route was preferred by Condederate government types, since the mail didn't go through New York."
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE INCOMING BLOCKADE COVER FROM LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, SENT THROUGH HAVANA AND GALVESTON, TEXAS. THE SPECIAL ROUTES CENSUS RECORDS ONLY SEVEN GALVESTON BLOCKADE COVERS.
The U.S.S. South Carolina initiated the blockade of Galveston on July 2, 1861. The first arrival of a steamship was on December 29, 1861, from Havana, Cuba. U.S. forces occupied Galveston Bay from September 30, 1863, to January 1, 1864, so no blockade running occurred during that period. Fewer than ten incoming blockade covers are known, all postmarked in Houston, Texas, between January 29, 1864, and March 1, 1865. The surrender of Galveston on June 2, 1865, ended all blockade running. All known incoming blockade-run letters were carried under cover and posted by a forwarder in Houston with 10c C.S.A. postage prepaid, unless the letter was addressed to Houston. A forwarder marking from Havana or Mexico, or a dateline or docket from outside of the C.S.A., are identifying characteristics, along with a Houston postmark. Since the mail was carried under cover, no “ship” markings were used and the 2c ship fee was not assessed. (Special Routes book p. 261). This cover was carried on the Zephine from Havana.
Special Routes Census No. BI-Gv-4. With 1985 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING AND IMPORTANT OUTBOUND BLOCKADE-RUN COVER WITH A CONFEDERATE FRANKING AND THE RARE BAHAMAS SHIP-LETTER MARKING, WHICH WAS USED ONLY FROM JULY TO DECEMBER 1864.
This cover was presumably carried on the Chicora (owned by the Chicora Importing and Exporting Co.), which left Wilmington on September 5. It is one of approximately a half-dozen recorded blockade-run covers that were unclaimed in Nassau and advertised for the recipient's attention. The rare Nassau "Ship Letter" marking was used only on mail addressed to Nassau. The Confederate States 10c postage paid the rate from Petersburg to Wilmington. The "4" marking represents the standard 4-pence ship-letter charge.
Special Routes Census No. BO-NAS-87. Ex Shenfield, Judd and Tobias. Illustrated in the Shenfield book (p. 60).
EXTREMELY FINE. A VERY RARE USE FROM MEXICO TO SAN ANTONIO VIA PIEDRAS NEGRAS AND EAGLE PASS. THE 5-CENT BLUE HOYER & LUDWIG IS EXCEEDINGLY RARE ON TRANS-RIO GRANDE MAIL INTO THE CONFEDERATE STATES.
The Eagle Pass post office was the drop point for mail from Mexico to the Confederate States that crossed the Rio Grande further up the river near Piedras Negras. The typical franking is a pair of the 5c Blue Typograph stamps. This cover bearing the 5c Blue Lithograph is extremely rare and one of the finest trans-Rio Grande covers we have encountered.