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

Across-the-Lines Express Mail and First Day Postal System continued...
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
66 c ImageForwarded by Harnden's Express from Americus Geo. Black on orange glazed label affixed on back of buff cover to Thomas Wood at 87 Maiden Lane in New York City (possibly the well-known artist who made etchings of African-Americans in 1861), small filing pinhole ties label, bold "Americus Ga. Jul. 26" (1861) circular datestamp with matching "Paid" and "10" in oval C.S.A. rate handstamp, "Adams Express Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 30, 1861" circular datestamp, 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26) at upper right cancelled by blue "Louisville Ky. Jul. 30, 1861" double-circle datestamp -- this stamp was not considered valid, having originated in a Southern post office -- vertical pair of 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26) affixed by Adams Louisville office and tied by blue "Louisville Ky. Jul. 30, 1861" double-circle datestamp and grid cancel

AN IMPORTANT ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS USE, SHOWING THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE HARNDEN'S LABEL FROM ITS OFFICE AT AMERICUS, GEORGIA.

The cover has been torn in half down the center and through the 3c pair. In addition, much of the bottom stamp of the 3c pair was torn off, apparently to reveal the "10" rate handstamp. For the purpose of improving its appearance, document repair tape has been used to seal the tear, and the back of the cover bearing the Harndens label has been folded up for display. Considering that this extraordinary express cover is the only recorded example of its kind, collectors are advised to overlook the condition factors.

Adams Express Company retained the Harnden name at certain offices in Georgia, because of the Harnden firm's reputation there. The Harnden oval handstamps used at Macon and Savannah are very rare. This cover was evidently sent by Adams (Harnden) messenger from Americus, Georgia, to the office at Louisville. As required by regulations, Confederate postage was prepaid. The Adams office at Louisville correctly applied new stamps -- it is not clear why the letter was re-rated 6c rather than 3c -- and they put it into the regular Federal mails for New York City.

Special Routes Census No. N-AD-38. Ex Nunnelley and Walske (Image)

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E. $ 4,000-5,000

SOLD for $5,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
67 c ImageAdams Express Co. Baltimore, Md. Jul. 4, 1861. Clearly struck circular datestamp on 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) to Dr. Jonathan Fisher in Columbia S.C., blue "Adams Express Co. Augusta Ga. Jul. 11" oval datestamp, black "PAID 10" handstamp applied in Augusta, "Augusta Ga. Jul. 11" double-circle datestamp and "Paid" straightline for Confederate postage to Columbia, manuscript "Signatures enclosed"

EXTREMELY FINE. THE FINEST OF ONLY SEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE ADAMS BALTIMORE OFFICE DATESTAMP, OF WHICH THREE WERE DATESTAMPED AT THE ADAMS OFFICE IN AUGUSTA. A WONDERFUL COMBINATION OF MARKINGS.

Adams made extensive use of its own distribution network and relied less on the postal systems for delivery. Initially, Adams' southbound mails were collected at New York, Baltimore or Boston and bagged for delivery to the major distributing offices in the C.S.A. at Augusta, Memphis or Knoxville. Northbound mails were apparently handled similarly in the reverse direction. These bags were not opened in transit through Louisville or Nashville, so surviving letters carry no express markings from either city unless they originate from them. On July 4, 1861, the C.S.A. seized all of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad rolling stock in Tennessee, so the trains no longer crossed the lines. From this point forward, couriers carried the mail across the lines on horseback. This also entailed a change in how Adams handled its express mail, as Louisville increasingly became the major distributing office for both northbound and southbound mail. Accordingly, Adams' Louisville express markings begin to appear on all southbound mail starting around July 17 and on all northbound mail starting around July 4. Further, Nashville became the principal distributing office in the C.S.A. for southbound mail starting around August 1. The cover offered here is an early and rare example of routing through Augusta with the Augusta office's oval datestamp used in conjunction with the Baltimore origin marking. Only three such covers are recorded in the Special Routes book (Census Nos. S-AD-13, 16 and 20). Notations on Adams covers from Baltimore, such as the "Signatures enclosed" on this cover, are believed to indicate a form of censorship on mail from this city where there was strong pro-secession sentiment.

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-16. Ex Emerson and Hall . (Image)

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E. $ 3,000-4,000

SOLD for $5,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
68 c ImageThe Adams Express Co. Boston Jul. 11 (1861). Mostly clear strike of circular datestamp and "Paid J.W.R." double-circle with manuscript "25" rate, the Paid marking applied by J. W. Richardson, the Adams agent in Boston, to indicate prepayment of 25c express charge on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to George D. Harwood in Richmond Va., without any other markings (typically applied by Adams office or Nashville post office), top backflap replaced, light soiling and edgewear

FINE. ONE OF FOUR ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVERS WITH THE ADAMS BOSTON OFFICE DATESTAMP.

The Special Routes census lists three across-the-lines covers from Boston (Nos. S-AD-18, 54 and 66). This fourth cover from the Antrim collection was apparently acquired by Dr. Brandon through private treaty and was not recorded in the Special Routes census. It is unusual in that there are no markings applied at Louisville or Nashville. An earlier Adams Boston office cover, dated July 6 and addressed to Greenwood Tenn., entered the C.S.A. mails at Memphis. Later covers (August 2 and 9) entered the mails at Nashville. This cover, dated July 11, was apparently carried by Adams to Richmond and never entered the C.S.A. mails, which explains the absence of C.S.A. postage. The Adams ads in northern newspapers stated that letters had to be enclosed in 3c stamped envelopes, and the rate was 35c, which included Confederate postage.

Ex Antrim (according to Ashbrook notation on back). (Image)

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E. $ 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $1,600.00
Will close during Public Auction
69 c ImageAdams Express Co. Philadelphia, Pa. Aug. 12 (1861). Red circular datestamp with date inverted, mostly clear strike on 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) to Gustavus A. Myers in Richmond, blue "Nashville Aug. 13, 1861" circular datestamp, matching "Paid" and "10" Confederate rate handstamps, sealed tears in backflap

VERY FINE. ONE OF THE FINEST OF THE SEVEN RECORDED COVERS WITH THE ADAMS EXPRESS COMPANY'S PHILADELPHIA OFFICE MARKING.

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-70 (Image)

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E. $ 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $2,100.00
Will close during Public Auction
70 c ImageAdams Express Company, Great Eastern, Western & Southern Express Forwarders, New-York. Large blue oval handstamp on back of 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) southbound to Fayetteville N.C., clear strike of blue "Adams Express Co. Augusta Ga. Jul. 16" oval datestamp, manuscript "2/" rate (two bits, or 25c), partly clear "Augusta Ga. Jul. 16" double-circle datestamp and "PAID 10" straightline handstamp, a few very faint soiled spots

VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COMBINATION OF ADAMS EXPRESS NEW YORK AND AUGUSTA OFFICE MARKINGS FOR ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS SERVICE TO NORTH CAROLINA.

Only a few covers are recorded with this combination of Adams office markings. This cover was sent during the early period when Adams southbound mail was not postmarked at Louisville or Nashville. In this case, it was carried in the Adams network to Augusta and entered the C.S.A. mails there.

The Adams New York oval handstamp is extremely rare, and collectors should be aware that a number of clever fakes were handled by John A. Fox, which have only recently been properly identified. Genuine strikes are much rarer than the auction record would indicate.

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-19 (Image)

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E. $ 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $1,600.00
Will close during Public Auction
71 c ImageAmerican Letter Express Postage Due Label. Black on white label that reads: "Due the AMERICAN LETTER EXPRESS CO. [15] cents, (for postage advanced,) on this letter. Send the amount in money to the Company at Louisville, Ky.", affixed at upper left of blue cover to Tobias, Hendricks & Co. in New York City, 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26) tied by blue grid cancel and "Louisville Ky. Aug. 15, 1861" double-circle datestamp, displayed with flap open and a U.S. 1860 Half-Dime affixed, label partly lifted at corner to observe toned spot on back which ties it to the cover

EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE AMERICAN LETTER EXPRESS POSTAGE DUE LABEL. THIS IS THE ONLY ONE USED WITH A STAMP.

The American Letter Express Company advertised its across-the-lines mail service with a basic rate of 15c. Their instructions stated: "Enclosing 15 cents in money. This prepays all expenses to its destination. The rates here given are for letters not exceeding half ounce in weight... Do not use U.S. stamps or stamped envelopes, they are valueless when coming from the Confederate States."

Evidently some letters were received without the requisite prepayment, and these were delivered to the recipient postage due. Only two examples of the postage due label prepared by American Letter Express are recorded in the Special Routes book -- this cover and one addressed to France. They were both postmarked at Louisville on August 15 (the book mis-dates this cover as August 16). It is possible that the label was only used on one batch of mail forwarded from Nashville and was thereafter discontinued as impractical.

Special Routes Census No. N-AX-9. Ex Needham, Antrim and Weatherly (Image)

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E. $ 3,000-4,000

SOLD for $6,250.00
Will close during Public Auction
72 c ImageAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky. Jul. 7, 1861. Exceptionally bold dark blue strike of circular datestamp on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) to Joseph B. Knowles in Nashville Tenn., originated in Warren R.I., lightly struck blue "Paid" straightline handstamp applied at Nashville post office, mended backflap tear, Extremely Fine, one of the finest strikes of the American Letter Express Co. datestamp, an unusual North-to-South use to Nashville, this cover shows that the mail was postmarked at the Nashville post office even if delivered locally, Special Routes Census No. S-AX-7 (referencing a letter enclosure dated July 2 from Warren R.I., which is no longer with the cover), only five of the 31 listed covers are addressed to Nashville, of which three have American Letter Express Co. datestamps, ex Jud (Image)

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E. $ 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $2,100.00
Will close during Public Auction
73 c ImageAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky. 307 Green. Two mostly clear strikes of blue dateless handstamp with 307 Green address on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) to Joseph B. Knowles in Nashville Tenn., originated in Warren R.I., reduced at left, Very Fine, an unusual North-to-South use to Nashville, Special Routes Census No. S-AX-23 (referencing a letter enclosure dated August 8 from Warren R.I., which is no longer with the cover), only five of the 31 listed covers are addressed to Nashville, of which three have American Letter Express Co. datestamps -- the 307 Green handstamp is recorded on five southbound and three northbound covers (Image)

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E. $ 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $1,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
74 c ImageAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky. Jul. 12, 1861. Unusually clear strike of blue circular datestamp on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) to Lynchburg Va., Mock, Wicks & Co. (of Louisville) grocer's embossed corner card, blue "Nashville Ten. Jul. 14, 1861" circular datestamp, matching "Paid" and "10" handstamps, American Letter Express advertising adhesive label affixed to back, providing instructions and rates for "People of the Confederate States" to send letters north, faults and repairs with some paper addition at bottom left and lower right, still exhibitable and a very rare North-to-South express use, one of two recorded in Special Routes census with the "Letters Going North" advertising and instruction label, Special Routes Census No. S-AX-10, ex Rudy (Image)

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E. $ 1,000-1,500

SOLD for $850.00
Will close during Public Auction
75 c ImageAmerican Letter Express Co. Printed Notices. Two printed enclosures with instructions for mailing letters across the lines, one for letters going north, other south, accompanied by cover to University of Virginia, blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 9, 1861" circular datestamp, matching "Paid" and "5" handstamps, docketed "Am. Letter Express, Recd. Aug. 14, 1861, Ackt", Very Fine and outstanding exhibition items, the cover was evidently used by American Letter Express Co. to convey the notices to the addressee, making him aware of procedure for mailing letters across the lines, listed as an across-the-lines cover in Special Routes census (S-AX-19), but this probably originated in Nashville (Image)

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E. $ 1,000-1,500

SOLD for $1,400.00
Will close during Public Auction
76 c ImageBonsacks Va. Jun. 1 (1861) -- First Day of Confederate Postal System. Partly clear circular datestamp with some letters strengthened in non-contemporary pencil, manuscript "Paid 5" C.S.A. rate at upper left, lightly struck grid cancel ties 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26), also tied by manuscript "X" on "Adams Express Company, Southern Express" overall lithographed illustrated advertising cover to Lynchburg Va., Nesbitt imprint on back, some light soiling

VERY FINE. A REMARKABLE ADAMS EXPRESS COMPANY ILLUSTRATED ADVERTISING COVER USED ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE CONFEDERATE POSTAL SYSTEM WITH THE UNITED STATES STAMP NOT RECOGNIZED AS POSTAGE AND THE "PAID 5" APPLIED TO INDICATE PAYMENT OF THE NEW CONFEDERATE RATE.

Bonsacks, located in Roanoke County, Virginia, was one of the stops on the Virginia Central Railroad. Presumably there was an Adams Express office in the town. (Image)

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E. $ 2,000-3,000

SOLD for $3,250.00
Will close during Public Auction

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