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The Brandon Collection of Confederate States, Part 2 continued...

Covert Mail Routes and Blockade-Run Mail
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
556 c ImageCovert Mail from Union-Occupied New Orleans -- "Through Kindness of Judge Jones". Sender's manuscript notation at lower left of red and blue 8-Star Confederate Flag Patriotic cover (F8-13), Geo. Ellis of New Orleans imprint, smuggled out of New Orleans by Judge Roland Jones, addressed from Mrs. John Perkins Jr. to her husband in the Confederate Congress in Richmond Va., with 5c Blue, Local (7) vertical pair tied by "Richmond Va. Jun. 22" (ca. 1863) circular datestamp, drop rate overpaid -- Mrs. Perkins probably affixed the stamps in New Orleans, not knowing the Judge would hand-carry the cover all the way to Richmond

VERY FINE. EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF MAIL SMUGGLED FROM UNION-OCCUPIED NEW ORLEANS.

After New Orleans surrendered to Federal forces in April 1862 and with Maj. Gen. Butler's ever-tightening grip on the city, various routes and means were used to carry mail from New Orleans residents to correspondents in the Confederacy, although such communication was a criminal act. In May 1863, Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks, Butler's successor, ordered the deportation of all registered enemies of the United States residing in New Orleans (primarily those who refused to take the oath of allegiance). More than 700 families were forced to leave under miserable conditions. On May 31, 1863, the Louisiana Relief Committee was organized to provide food, shelter and medicine to the mass of refugees. Another of its functions was to maintain a covert mail route between New Orleans and Mobile. The cover offered here was probably carried out of New Orleans in mid-June 1863, during the mass deportation, but before the Louisiana Relief Committee route was formally established.

Ex Dr. Skinner (Image)

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E. $ 5,000-7,500

SOLD for $13,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
557 c Image5c Light Milky Blue, Stone 2 (4b). Three large margins, cut in at left, used with 5c Light Blue, De La Rue (6), full to large margins, tied by bold strike of "Mobile Ala. May 28, 1862" double-circle datestamp (month inverted) on folded letter covertly carried from Union-occupied New Orleans to Mobile and placed into mails for Pittsylvania C.H. Va., datelined "Bank of Louisiana, New Orleans 26 May 1862", receipt docketing on inside, 5c Lithograph toned and creased from vertical file fold, 5c De La Rue has barely noticeable insect nibbling

A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF MAIL SMUGGLED OUT OF NEW ORLEANS JUST ONE MONTH AFTER UNION FORCES CAPTURED THE CITY. ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE WITH THE MIXED-ISSUE FRANKING.

Examples of mail carried clandestinely to and from New Orleans after the occupation by Union forces in April 1862 are extremely rare. This cover pre-dates the formation of the Louisiana Relief Committee one year later. (Image)

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E. $ 2,000-3,000

SOLD for $1,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
558 c Image10c Blue, Die B (12). Bright shade, huge margins to just touching, bit irregular at upper left, tied by red "Alexandria La. Feb. 11" (1864) circular datestamp on blue folded letter datelined "Alexandria La. 11 Feby 1864" from George P. Evans to Col. S. F. Mosely in Jefferson Tex., the sender states "By the hands of Col. Gress of Dallas just from N.O. on parole I have recd a letter from Mr. Babcock dated 1st inst.", attached to this letter is a letter from Babcock to Mosely datelined "New Orleans Jany 8th 1864" which was smuggled out of the federal-occupied city to Alexandria La., concerns investing Confederate dollars in cotton, the Feb. 11 letter mentions trying to find a reliable way to send money, some mucilage stains where letters were joined together, minor splits along folds, still Fine, a scarce Trans-Mississippi letter carried by courier and placed into the mails at Alexandria, ex Dr. Skinner (Image)

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E. $ 750-1,000

SOLD for $750.00
Will close during Public Auction
559 c Image5c Blue, Local (7). Horizontal strip of three, ample to large margins all around, tied by two bold strikes of "Mobile Ala. Sep. 3" (1863) circular datestamp on brown cover to Mrs. M. E. Pratt at Prattville Ala., carried by the Louisiana Relief Committee from a prisoner-of-war at Rampart Street prison in New Orleans to Mobile, bold manuscript "Forwarded by the Louisiana Committee at Mobile" at upper left, backflap replaced, reduced at right, raising the possibility that an additional 5c stamp was originally attached to the strip, making the correct double 10c rate (however, there is no trace of a third strike of the Mobile datestamp)

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE LOUISIANA RELIEF COMMITTEE COVER FROM A CONFEDERATE PRISONER HELD AT RAMPART STREET PRISON IN OCCUPIED NEW ORLEANS TO PRATTVILLE, ALABAMA, VIA MOBILE. FROM THE PRATT PRISONER-OF-WAR CORRESPONDENCE.

The Louisiana Relief Committee was formed on May 31, 1863, by a group of expatriate New Orleans citizens in Mobile, Alabama, to alleviate the suffering of poor citizens who remained in U.S.-occupied New Orleans. With the tacit concurrence of Federal authorities in New Orleans, they arranged shipments of food and clothing to New Orleans and helped citizens leave New Orleans for the Confederate States. These "Louisiana Relief Committee at Mobile" trips between Mobile and New Orleans via Pascagoula ran along the Mississippi Sound and carried letters which were not sanctioned by the U.S. authorities. Jules C. Denis, C.S.A. provost marshal at Mobile, examined the southbound letters. The U.S. also used these trips to transmit flag-of-truce mail to and from prisoners in New Orleans.

Lieut. Merrill E. Pratt was captured at Port Hudson on July 7, 1863, and sent to Rampart Street prison before being transferred to Johnson's Island. This was mailed by him from prison in August-September 1863.

Illustrated in Shenfield (p. 97), where described as having a "J.C.D. P.M." Jules C. Denis Provost Marshal censor marking on back, but it is not there. Ex Antrim and Judd. (Image)

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E. $ 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $1,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
560 c ImageJ. B. DUTTON. Straightline handstamp, much clearer strike than usual, 3c Rose (65) tied by target cancel, "Phila. Pa. Sep. 24" (1864) circular datestamp on cover to James M. Walker, Point of Rocks, Maryland, waterstains, slightly reduced at left, otherwise Fine, fewer than 20 covers are reported with the "J. B. DUTTON" handstamp, which was applied to southbound mail carried by Dutton between Waterford and Point of Rocks during the period when U.S. forces blockaded the Potomac River to stop incursions by C.S.A. raiders (see Special Routes book, pp. 173-175, and C.S.A. Catalog, p. 508), ex Kohn (Image)

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E. $ 500-750

SOLD for $2,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
561 c ImageSouth Western Express Co. New Orleans Jan. Bold strike of circular datestamp with "Jan" month but no date (must be 1862), horizontal pair of 5c Olive Green, Stone A-B (1c), full margins to slightly in, stain at upper left, vertical crease from file fold, cancelled by the express agent with blue crayon strokes, paying 10c C.S.A. over-500 miles rate on folded cover from Liverpool, England, to Wilmington N.C. via St. Thomas, Havana and Tampico, addressed to "Messrs. T. C. & B. G. Worth, Wilmington, N.C." with sender's directive "West India Steamer", receipt docketing on flap "McLean Maris & Co. Nov. 30th", side panels removed

FINE APPEARANCE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF MAIL THAT CIRCUMVENTED THE UNION BLOCKADE AND WAS CARRIED BY THE SOUTH-WESTERN EXPRESS COMPANY OVER THE TRANS-RIO GRANDE ROUTE. THIS REMARKABLE COVER TRAVELED FROM ENGLAND TO CONFEDERATE NORTH CAROLINA VIA ST. THOMAS, HAVANA AND TAMPICO.

The formation of the South-Western Express Company occurred shortly before it was announced in the November 24, 1860, edition of the Houston Tri-Weeky Telegraph. This notice describes the firm as the successor to Jones' Express. With its main offices in New Orleans and Galveston, the South-Western Express Company provided freight, package and mail express service between Texas and Louisiana, with advertised connections to other places through Adams Express Company and the Southern Express Company. Various names are listed in the ads, including J. J. McKeever, the New Orleans-based agent for Adams Express and the Southern Express Company.

On November 11, 1861, the South-Western Express Company announced, "In consequence of the blockade, and the discontinuance of mail communication with foreign countries, [the firm had] taken the necessary measures for extending its lines to Tampico, for the purpose of conveying mail matter destined for all parts of the world. The first Special Messenger will leave New Orleans Tuesday the 26th inst., at 7 o'clock, A.M." This trans-Rio Grande route was the one already used by Antonio Costa's express. Both companies took advantage of Royal Mail Steam Packet ships to circumvent the Union blockade by bringing mail to and from Mexico. In evidence of the South-Western Express Company's service is this sole-recorded example of mail that was definitely carried by them, bearing the circular datestamp applied on arrival at New Orleans.

According to the docketing, this folded cover originated on November 30 from the Liverpool-based firm of MacLean, Maris & Company, shipping and commercial agents for the firm of T. C. and B. G. Worth in Wilmington. The route directive "West India Steamer" indicates that it was sent by Royal Mail Steam Packet line. The RMSP Seine departed from Southampton on December 2, 1861, and arrived in St. Thomas on December 17. On the same day it was carried on the RMSP Clyde, which arrived in Havana on December 22, Vera Cruz on December 26 and Tampico on December 29. Based on the route described in the South-Western Express Company notices, this would have been carried from Tampico to New Orleans. The overland trip should have taken about two weeks, arriving in mid-January.

Illustrated and discussed in Special Routes (pages 166-167) and Shenfield book (p. 61). Ex Shenfield, Meroni, Grant and Dr. Graves (Image)

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E. $ 7,500-10,000

SOLD for $15,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
562 c ImageSouth-Western Express Company. One-line imprint and "Victoria Tex. Oct. 7" circular datestamp with "Paid" handstamp on buff cover to "Mr. Glass, Attorney of law, Gonzales, Gonzales County", no rate indicated, slightly reduced at top and small piece of backflap missing, light diagonal fold at right

VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE "SOUTH-WESTERN EXPRESS COMPANY" IMPRINT. AN OUTSTANDING CONFEDERATE TEXAS COVER.

This cover is addressed to William S. Glass, who came to Texas around 1845 and became a resident of Victoria, where he remained the rest of his life. Glass, a lawyer, was appointed a receiver for the Confederate government during the Civil War, in charge of the disposal of confiscated property. This cover was probably used by the South-Western Express Company to forward a letter addressed to Glass at Victoria. We are unable to determine the year of mailing.

Ex Walcott, Antrim and Frank J. Engel (Image)

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E. $ 2,000-3,000

SOLD for $3,250.00
Will close during Public Auction
563 c ImageMatamoros to New Orleans via Brownsville and Berwick's Bay. Blue folded letter with "A. Uhde & Co. Matamoros" forwarder's greenish-blue oval handstamp applied at origin in Matamoros, addressed to Avendano Brothers in New Orleans with sender's directive "via Berwicks Bay", mostly clear strike of "Brownsville Txs. Jul. 15" (1861) circular datestamp and "PAID 10" straightline handstamp for C.S.A. rate, manuscript "c/pd 10", receipt docketing indicates July 8 origin date (Matamoros) and August 15 arrival (New Orleans) -- a one-month transit between Brownsville and New Orleans -- faint toning along vertical file folds, slight wear at upper right corner

VERY FINE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF TRANS-RIO GRANDE MAIL CARRIED FROM MEXICO TO CONFEDERATE NEW ORLEANS VIA TEXAS AND ACROSS BERWICK'S BAY. EXTREMELY UNUSUAL WITH THE MANUSCRIPT ROUTE DIRECTIVE.

This July 1861 cover is an early example of mail carried across the Rio Grande from Matamoros to Brownsville, which entered the C.S.A. postal system and was transported to New Orleans. The route indicated on the cover, "via Berwick's Bay", was the well-established "Texas and New Orleans Great Southwestern Passenger Route" across the Atchafalaya River via Berwick City and Brashear (later renamed Morgan City). This is the only trans-Rio Grande cover we have seen with this directive (a later cover from this correspondence has a "via Corpus" directive).

Ex Weatherly (Image)

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E. $ 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $1,600.00
Will close during Public Auction
564 c ImageForwarded by Henry Adderley & Co., Nassau N.P. Bahamas. Perfect strike of forwarder's blue oval handstamp on inbound blockade-run folded letter from Liverpool, England, to the South Western Rail Road Bank in Charleston S.C., datelined "The Royal Bank of Liverpool, 16th July 1862" with statement of account, lightly toned file fold, Very Fine, an unusual blockade-run use without any markings to indicate port of arrival (Charleston S.C.) or postage due, Adderley was the Nassau forwarder and an affiliate of Fraser Trenholm & Co., unlisted in Special Routes census, illustrated in Stamp Specialist Red Book (page 99), ex Myers (Image)

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E. $ 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $1,900.00
Will close during Public Auction
565 c ImageForwarded by Saunders & Son, Nassau. Red double-line oval handstamp clearly struck on inbound blockade-run folded letter from Liverpool, England, to Richmond Va., letter from John K. Gilliat & Co. datelined "Liverpool 13th Sept 1862" and addressed to William Gray in "Richmond Va. C.S.A.", sender's ship-name directive "pr. "Scotia"" at top left (interior "p Scotia & via Nassau"), fresh and Very Fine, unusual and rare blockade-run use with the Saunders & Son forwarder's handstamp, no markings applied at the port of arrival, ex Myers, unlisted in Special Routes census, with 1978 C.S.A. certificate (Image)

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E. $ 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $1,600.00
Will close during Public Auction
566 c ImageCharleston S.C. Oct. 20 186- (1862). Bold strike of circular datestamp and "STEAM-SHIP" oval handstamp on small blue inbound blockade-run cover to H. Tutwiler, Havana Ala., pencil "12" rate (10c plus 2c ship fee), manuscript "J. F. & Co." Fraser & Co. initials, docketed on back "J. Ling Oct. 26", one flap removed revealing a humorous note by sender "Do not wonder at my damaged letter. It has not been bombarded by the Emperor Lincoln's men. My parrot got hold of it, while I was looking in a different direction", edges worn and slightly age bleached, still Fine, carried from Bermuda on the Minbo, a scarce cover initialed by the firm of Fraser & Co. and a rare "bird-related" blockade-run use, Special Routes Census No. BI-Ch-12 (Image)

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E. $ 1,000-1,500

SOLD for $1,800.00
Will close during Public Auction

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