A FINE APPEARING AND EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF TRANSATLANTIC MAIL CARRIED FROM LONDON TO NEW ORLEANS VIA TAMPICO AND BROWNSVILLE DURING THE PERIOD WHEN COSTA'S EXPRESS WAS IN OPERATION.
On October 15, 1861, Antonio Costa announced a post office-endorsed foreign-mail private express service out of New Orleans. In his circular, he stated, "The undersigned, now suffering in common with others, the inconvenience of blockade and non-intercourse with foreign countries; has, by the advice and approval of J. L. Riddell, Post Master at New Orleans, taken all needful measures to establish at his own expense, a monthly mail between New Orleans and the Mexican port of Tampico, to connect with the regular British Mail steamers touching at that port." J. L. Riddell also added a postscript stating that, "Letters intended for this Mail, may be enclosed along with the money required per tariff above, and the outer envelope addressed to Costa's Foreign Mail, care of Postmaster, New Orleans." The tariff indicated was $1.00 to Europe, including C.S.A. postage.
Ex Everett and Freeman. With 1994 C.S.A. certificate
FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF A SHIP-NAME ENDORSEMENT ON OUTBOUND BLOCKADE-RUNNING MAIL.
This cover had to have arrived after Apr. 1, 1863, based on the use of the "5" in circle due marking for British Packet mail. Ship-name endorsements on outgoing mail are very rare. The Wild Pigeon is not recorded anywhere as a blockade-running steamer. There was a schooner Wild Pigeon that was rammed and sunk on a blockade-running trip between Havana and Florida on Mar. 21, 1864, by the USS Hendrick Hudson (formerly the famed Confederate blockade-runner Florida).
Illustrated in Confederate Philatelist (Jul-Aug. 1989, No. 250). Ex Everett, Myerson and Walske.