VERY FINE. A RARE AND COLORFUL FRANKING WITH THE 5-CENT RED BROWN ON A PHENOMENAL CARTOON PATRIOTIC COVER TO FRANCE. FROM THE ANGELL CORRESPONDENCE -- VERY FEW CARICATURE COVERS ARE KNOWN FROM THIS CORRESPONDENCE, AND VERY FEW ARE KNOWN WITH A 5-CENT STAMP.
The subject of this caricature is fascinating. The caption "Floyd Off for the South" refers to John Floyd, who was Secretary of War under President Buchanan (coincidentally, Floyd's middle name was Buchanan). Floyd was implicated in several scandals in 1860, including one where abstracted Indian bonds (U.S. bonds held on behalf of Indian tribes) were removed from safekeeping. He also moved over 115,000 rifles and muskets to Southern states, as well as heavy ordnance, so they would be equipped in the event of war. He resigned as Secretary of War on December 29, 1860, after President Buchanan refused to abandon Fort Sumter. In March 1861 he was acquitted of charges of malfeasance and fraud on a technicality -- an act of 1857 forbade prosecution when the party implicated has testified before a committee of Congress on the matter. He went on to serve as a brigadier general in the Confederate Army; he lost most of his assignments, including the Battle of Fort Donelson. He was eventually removed from command and died in August 1863.
The theme of this caricature is fantastic -- Floyd off for the South with bags of money he was accused of appropriating from the North. The Matthies sale contained only two other Angell covers that could be considered caricatures -- one is a secession balloon (to Austria), and one shows a rebel with a dog pursuing a slave (to Bavaria). The Matthies sale contains only seven Angell covers with a 5c stamp. Only four are the Red Brown shade (Scott 75), and this is the only one of the four used to France.
This cover was sent underpaid by 1c but was accepted as fully prepaid -- the U.S. post office accepted the loss, no doubt due to similar sympathies on the part of the postmaster.
Ex Matthies and Haas. With 1987 P.F. certificate