White's Southern Express/Paid. Clearly struck double
oval handstamp ties 5c Blue, Stone 2 (4), ample margins except at lower left where uneven and slightly in, stamp also tied by "Paid/5" in manuscript (additional 5c to make up 10c rate) with "Lithonia Ga July 26" (1862) manuscript postmark on
light buff cover to Jackson B. Giles in Monroe (Walton County), Georgia, part of backflap removed, light soiling
VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE "WHITE'S SOUTHERN EXPRESS" OVAL HANDSTAMP.
The destination, Monroe (Walton County),
lies about 40 miles northeast of Lithonia (De Kalb County). Lithonia was situated on the Georgia Railroad, between Augusta and Atlanta, and had a population of about 250 residents at the beginning of the war.
Other than this cover, which was
discovered before 1925 and appears to be genuine, there is no evidence or record of the existence of a company called White's Southern Express. It was either a small one-man express enterprise or someone named White was handling mail for the Southern
Express Company on the Georgia Railroad route. The Act of April 1862, effective June 1, prohibited private express companies from carrying letters unless they were enclosed in stamped envelopes (not adhesive, but actual printed envelopes), but of
course the government never supplied envelopes. The apparent intent was to stop express companies from carrying mail, but they continued to do so despite the ban, as evidenced by surviving covers.
Edward S. Knapp note on back "Only Example Known
of this Ex. Co. (See 'Southern Philatelist' of Jun. 1925)". Illustrated and discussed in Special Routes (page 207). Ex Knapp and Kimmel (Image)
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E. $ 3,000-4,000
SOLD for $3,250.00
Will close during Public Auction