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Sale 1238 — Civil War Special Mail Routes

Sale Date — Wednesday, 23 June, 2021

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*A buyer’s premium of 18% of the winning bid will be added as part of the total purchase price on all lots in this sale. Buyers are responsible for applicable sales tax, customs duty and any other prescribed charges. By placing a bid you agree to the terms and conditions of sale.

Category — Express Mail for U.S. Forces Protecting Washington, D.C.

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
201
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 201, Express Mail for U.S. Forces Protecting Washington, D.C.3c Rose (65), 3c Rose (65)3c Rose (65). Tied by bold crossroads cancel on multicolored "John Hoey, Adams Express Company, New York" advertising cover to Victor N.Y., wonderful detailed design of express wagon loaded with packages, three-horse team and teamster carrying whip, in red, green, yellow and brown, Nesbitt & Co. imprint on back, stamp with small part of corner torn off from separation, small inconsequential cover tear at top

VERY FINE AND SPECTACULAR MULTICOLORED ADVERTISING COVER FROM THE NEW YORK OFFICE OF ADAMS EXPRESS, WITH THE NAME OF SUPERINTENDENT JOHN HOEY, WHO RAN THE "FREE FOR THE 7TH REGIMENT" EXPRESS AT THE START OF THE CIVIL WAR.

John Hoey was a 40-year employee of Adams Express Company, and he served as the firm's president from 1888 until he was forced out in 1891 over charges of corporate misconduct. In 1861 Hoey was the superintendent of the Adams office in New York City.

The colorful advertising cover offered here depicts an express wagon loaded with packages, a three-horse team and a teamster carrying a whip. In large letters set against the light gray background the envelope reads "John Hoey, Adams Express Company, New-York." Hoey applied the Adams Express "Free for the Regiment" markings in April-May 1861 on mail carried free of charge between New York and regiments guarding Washington D.C. after Lincoln's call for volunteers to suppress the Southern rebellion. Hoey operated the free express in coordination with Colonel Locke W. Winchester, a veteran of the express business and the quartermaster of the 7th NYSM regiment.

For a detailed history of the Adams Express service to and from Washington D.C. during this time see Scott Trepel's article "Mail to and from the United States Forces Protecting the Capital in April-June 1861" (Chronicle 244, pp. 323-339). This cover is illustrated in that article and on the front cover of Chronicle 244.

Bid on this lot

E. 2,000-3,000
Future Sale
202
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 202, Express Mail for U.S. Forces Protecting Washington, D.C.FREE./For the 7th Regiment/ADAMS EXPRESS CO./Per HOEY, FREE./For the 7th Regiment/ADAMS EXPRESS CO./Per HOEYFREE./For the 7th Regiment/ADAMS EXPRESS CO./Per HOEY. Four-line handstamp (with period after "Hoey"), a perfect bold strike in turquoise blue on blue folded letter datelined "Brooklyn, Apr. 26, 1861", to Capt. Henry Sand, Engineer Corps, 7th Regt. N.Y.S.M. at Washington D.C., from his mother, who writes an eloquent 3pp letter (see below for contents)

EXTREMELY FINE STRIKE AND THE EARLIEST RECORDED SOUTHBOUND USE OF THIS RARE EARLY EXPRESS MARKING, WHICH WAS USED ON MAIL CARRIED FREE OF CHARGE BETWEEN NEW YORK AND REGIMENTS GUARDING THE CAPITAL UNDER LINCOLN'S AUTHORITY DURING THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR.

The Adams Express "Free for the 7th Regiment" and "Free for the Regiment" markings were used briefly in April-May 1861 on mail carried free of charge between New York and regiments guarding the capital after Lincoln's call for volunteers to suppress the Southern rebellion. Only six examples of the "For the 7th Regiment" version are recorded (with and without period after "Hoey"). This example, which is the earliest recorded southbound cover, is one of the choicest strikes.

This letter from Mrs. Sand to her son contains fascinating content. She describes her frustration with the spread of untrue rumors and complains that "Since you left there has been no direct communication to Washington & the people here are furious & have had a meeting on the subject & say they will submit to no temporising on the subject -- that the way must be opened through Baltimore to Washington & if the President do not order it -- they will assemble an army on their own responsibility & march through." Mrs. Sand also writes about Zouaves: "There are companies of Zouaves -- many of them desperate fellows -- who are used to fighting -- who glory in the idea of punishing the Plug Uglies -- they are much better antagonists for such wretches -- than the gallant 7th." After some family news, there is mention of European regiments in New York City and a significant comment "Capt. Wilson's Zouaves they say are composed of prize fighters, thieves & all kinds of ruffians. They say one of them remarked that when they left, there would only [be] three rogues left in the city & one of them was Fernando Wood." -- Wood was the New York City mayor who advocated the secession of New York City from the Union.

For a detailed history of the Adams Express service to and from Washington D.C. during this time see Scott Trepel's article "Mail to and from the United States Forces Protecting the Capital in April-June 1861" (Chronicle 244, pp. 323-339, this cover illustrated on p. 331). Ex Walske

Bid on this lot

E. 2,000-3,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
203
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 203, Express Mail for U.S. Forces Protecting Washington, D.C.FREE./For the Regiment/ADAMS EXPRESS CO./Per HOEY, FREE./For the Regiment/ADAMS EXPRESS CO./Per HOEYFREE./For the Regiment/ADAMS EXPRESS CO./Per HOEY. Four-line handstamp clearly struck in greenish blue on blue folded letter datelined "Brooklyn, May 2, 1861", addressed to Capt. Henry A. Sand, Engineer Corps, 7th Regt. N.Y.S.M., in care of Col. Winchester, quartermaster at Washington D.C., from Sand's mother, who states "Adams Express advertises to take parcels & letters for the Seventh -- free of charge.", a lengthy and fascinating letter discussing local views on the war

VERY FINE STRIKE OF THE RARE "FREE FOR THE REGIMENT" ADAMS EXPRESS MARKING WITHOUT "7TH" -- WHICH WAS USED ON MAIL CARRIED FREE OF CHARGE BETWEEN NEW YORK AND REGIMENTS GUARDING THE CAPITAL UNDER LINCOLN'S AUTHORITY DURING THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR.

The Adams Express "Free for the 7th Regiment" and "Free for the Regiment" markings were used briefly in April-May 1861 on mail carried free of charge between New York and regiments guarding the capital after Lincoln's call for volunteers to suppress the Southern rebellion. Only eight examples of the "For the Regiment" (without "7") version are recorded. The two markings were struck from the same device. The earlier strikes (April 1861) contain the "7th" and the later strikes (May 1861) omit the "7th" -- likely to account for services to other regiments arriving in the capital.

For a detailed history of the Adams Express service to and from Washington D.C. during this time see Scott Trepel's article "Mail to and from the United States Forces Protecting the Capital in April-June 1861" (Chronicle 244, pp. 323-339, this cover illustrated on p. 332). Ex Walske

Bid on this lot

E. 1,500-2,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
204
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 204, Express Mail for U.S. Forces Protecting Washington, D.C.Adams Express Company N-Y, Adams Express Company N-YAdams Express Company N-Y. Blue double-circle handstamp on blue folded letter datelined "New York 27th May 1861", to Capt. Henry A. Sand, a member of the 7th Regiment N.Y.S. Volunteers in Washington D.C., interesting contents including "There was great excitement here on Saturday afternoon by a report from Washington that there was a dreadful battle going on at Alexandria... the whole story was a hoax.", letter also mentions death of Col. Ellsworth, "Yesterday, Col. Ellsworth's funeral took place. His body was placed in the Governor's room, City Hall, where it was open to all who might wish to see it.", other fascinating content, Very Fine, this well-known correspondence provides almost all of the rare Adams Hoey Express covers to troops guarding Washington D.C. during the beginning of the war, this letter contains a rare reference to the martyred Colonel Ellsworth, accompanied by an additional lengthy letter from Sand to his brother datelined "on board Str. New York off Aquia Creek Va. Tuesday Aug. 5, 1862" with detailed war content and descriptions of the New York Fire Zouaves (see linked PDF transcription) -- Sand would be mortally wounded at the Battle of Antietam only six weeks after writing this letter

Bid on this lot

E. 1,000-1,500
Future Sale
Back to Top
205
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 205, Express Mail for U.S. Forces Protecting Washington, D.C.FREE./For the 7th Regiment/ADAMS EXPRESS CO./Per HOEY, FREE./For the 7th Regiment/ADAMS EXPRESS CO./Per HOEYFREE./For the 7th Regiment/ADAMS EXPRESS CO./Per HOEY. Four-line handstamp (without period after "Hoey") perfectly struck on cover from the 7th Regiment in Washington D.C. to New York City, addressed in pencil, manuscript "April 22nd, 1861" date, 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26) tied along left perfs by grid cancel applied in New York City post office, where dropped off by Adams -- cleaned around stamp to lighten gum stains

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF ONLY THREE RECORDED NORTHBOUND "FOR THE 7TH REGIMENT" OR "FOR THE REGIMENT" COVERS CARRIED BY ADAMS IN APRIL-MAY 1861. ALSO THE ONLY EXAMPLE OF THIS MARKING WITH A UNITED STATES 3-CENT 1857 STAMP.

Eleven of the 14 recorded covers with the "Free for the 7th Regiment" or "Free for the Regiment" handstamp are southbound covers to Washington D.C. Only three Adams 7th Regiment covers are northbound. The manuscript April 22 date on this cover probably refers to the day the letter was written (the letter is no longer with the cover). The cover most likely originated from a 7th Regiment soldier on board the Boston or encamped at Annapolis on the way to Washington D.C. The soldiers arrived in Annapolis Harbor in the morning of April 22, but did not disembark until that evening. The envelope is also addressed in pencil; pencil was typically used on trains or vessels to avoid spilling ink. Once the cover reached the Adams office in New York, the "Free for the 7th Regiment" marking (without period after "Hoey") was applied, and the letter was delivered to the post office. In 1861 the street address, 410 Broadway, was the location of the Apollo Hotel and various businesses. The addressee, John P. Lawrence, was probably a guest at the hotel, which would explain why the sender did not address it for general delivery at the post office. While U.S. postage was required on all express covers, whether or not they entered the post office, most of the Adams "For the (7th) Regiment" covers have no postage. This is the only recorded example of an Adams "For the (7th) Regiment" cover with a 3c 1857 stamp.

For a detailed history of the Adams Express service to and from Washington D.C. during this time see Scott Trepel's article "Mail to and from the United States Forces Protecting the Capital in April-June 1861" (Chronicle 244, pp. 323-339, this cover illustrated on p. 333). Ex Finney, Simon and Walske.

Bid on this lot

E. 3,000-4,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
206
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 206, Express Mail for U.S. Forces Protecting Washington, D.C.Adams Express Company N-Y, Adams Express Company N-YAdams Express Company N-Y. Perfectly clear strike of blue double-circle handstamp (Type II with "Company" spelled out) on red and blue Col. Ellsworth Memorial Patriotic cover to Exeter N.H., Wells imprint, sent by "Freeman Conner, June 10, 1861" (in manuscript at right) and free franked by Congressman C. H. Van Wyck, red "New York Jun - 1861 Free" circular datestamp without day, backflap removed

EXTREMELY FINE AND HIGHLY EXHIBITABLE. A SCARCE ELLSWORTH PATRIOTIC DESIGN AND PROBABLY THE ONLY EXTANT EXAMPLE CARRIED BY ADAMS EXPRESS DURING THE "FOR THE REGIMENT" PERIOD AT THE START OF THE CIVIL WAR.

This northbound cover is free franked by U.S. Congressman Charles H. Van Wyck. Contrary to the common pronunciation, Van Wick, the name is correctly pronounced Van Wike. The congressional practice of franking envelopes for the troops was widespread at the beginning of the war. This is an early Civil War patriotic envelope memorializing Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth of the 11th NYV -- the famous "Fire Zouaves." On May 24, 1861, Colonel Ellsworth was fatally shot while attempting to remove a Confederate flag flying over an Alexandria, Virginia, hotel. Ellsworth had clerked for Abraham Lincoln in Illinois, campaigned for him and accompanied him to Washington. While not the first casualty, Ellsworth became the first celebrated martyr for the Union cause. The death of President Lincoln's beloved assistant shocked the nation and inspired the rallying cry "Remember Ellsworth!"

Ex Dr. Robertson. Illustrated in Chronicle 244 (p. 335)

Bid on this lot

E. 2,000-3,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
207
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 207, Express Mail for U.S. Forces Protecting Washington, D.C.Forwarded from Leader Office, 11 Frankfort St., New-York, Forwarded from Leader Office, 11 Frankfort St., New-YorkForwarded from Leader Office, 11 Frankfort St., New-York. Oval handstamp on back of red and blue "Remember Ellsworth!" Patriotic cover to "Capt. Andrew Puntell, Co. K. Ellsworth's Zouaves, Washington D.C.", slightly reduced at left, Very Fine and extremely rare, the only recorded example of mail handled by the New York Leader newspaper, which was closely affiliated with members of the 11th New York Volunteer Regiment, the first of the so-called "Fire Zouaves", raised from the city's fire fighting companies and led by Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth, it seems likely that The Leader used Adams Express to forward mail and newspapers to and from the Fire Zouaves, ex Hahn, illustrated in Chronicle 244 (p. 338)

Bid on this lot

Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 207, Express Mail for U.S. Forces Protecting Washington, D.C.Forwarded from Leader Office, 11 Frankfort St., New-York, Forwarded from Leader Office, 11 Frankfort St., New-York
Image 2
E. 1,000-1,500
Future Sale
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