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The Steven C. Walske Collection of Special Mail Routes of the American Civil War continued...

Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: Adams Express continued...
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
65 c New Orleans to France, Jul. 12, 1861.> Blue folded cover with Rochereau & Co.s embossed corner card and docketing that confirm place and date of origin, addressed <to La Rochelle, France,> carried north by <Adams
Express> (no markings since it wasNew Orleans to France, Jul. 12, 1861. Blue folded cover with Rochereau & Co.'s embossed corner card and docketing that confirm place and date of origin, addressed to La Rochelle, France, carried north by Adam's Express (no markings since it was carried inside another envelope), three 5c Brown, Ty. II (30A) tied by red grids applied at New York, red "New York Paid 12 Jul. 23" credit datestamp, red "Etats-Unis Serv. Br. Pkt. Calais 8 Aout. 61" transit datestamp and red "P.D." in frame, Paris-Bordeaux and La Rochelle backstamps, carried on Cunarder Canada, departing Boston on July 24 and arriving at Queenstown on August 3

VERY FINE. A RARE COVER SENT FROM CONFEDERATE NEW ORLEANS TO FRANCE, USING ADAMS EXPRESS TO CROSS THE LINES.

Although Adams Express Company typically put mail into the post office at Louisville, there are examples of mail that was carried by Adams all the way to New York City, without any express markings. Such covers can only be identified as Confederate in origin by the contents, as with this letter from Rochereau & Co. to Hivert-Pellevoisin, a producer of Cognac and brandies. (Image)

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E. 1,500-2,000

SOLD for $2,100.00
Will close during Public Auction
66 c Adams Express Co. Baltimore, Md. Jul. 11, 1861.> Mostly clear strike of circular datestamp with Baltimore, Md. sharp and unobscured, two strikes of Paid straightline handstamp applied at Baltimore on 3c Red on
Buff Star Die entire (U27) southbounAdams Express Co. Baltimore, Md. Jul. 11, 1861. Mostly clear strike of circular datestamp with "Baltimore, Md." sharp and unobscured, two strikes of "Paid" straightline handstamp applied at Baltimore on 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) southbound to W. W. Fife in New Bern N.C., blue "Adams Express Co. Augusta, Ga. Jul. 18" oval datestamp, entered the C.S.A. mails with "Augusta Ga. Jul. 18" double-circle datestamp and "Paid 10" straightline handstamp for C.S.A. rate, quarter-inch and half-inch tears skillfully sealed, lightened stain spot

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF SEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE ADAMS BALTIMORE OFFICE DATESTAMP, OF WHICH THREE WERE DATESTAMPED AT THE ADAMS OFFICE IN AUGUSTA. A WONDERFUL COMBINATIN 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).

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-20 (illustrated on p. 43). (Image)

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E. 3,000-4,000

SOLD for $3,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
67 c The Adams Express Co. Boston Aug. 2.> Clearly struck circular datestamp and <Paid J.W.R.> double-circle with manuscript 25, the Paid marking applied at Boston to indicate prepayment of 25c express charge on 3c
Red on White Star Die entire (U26) sThe Adams Express Co. Boston Aug. 2. Clearly struck circular datestamp and "Paid J.W.R." double-circle with manuscript "25", the Paid marking applied at Boston to indicate prepayment of 25c express charge on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to Turpin & Yarbrough in Richmond Va., "Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. Aug. 6, 1861" circular datestamp, blue "Paid" (on front and back), matching "10" C.S.A. rate handstamp applied at Nashville but no Nashville circular datestamp, waterstains, reduced at left and small mended corner at bottom right

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

The Special Routes Census lists only three across-the-lines covers from Boston (Census Nos. S-AD-18, 54 and 66). The addressees, Turpin & Yarbrough, were partners in a tobacco company in Richmond and owned the warehouse that was used as the 2nd Alabama Hospital, located at the southwest corner of 25th and Franklin Streets. The following information and a photograph of the Yarbrough house is on the internet: "The house was built by William Yarbrough, who, with Miles Turpin, owned Turpin and Yarbrough Tobacco Co., housed in the nearby Pohlig building. The partners married sisters and built identical houses next door to one another. 'Nobody wanted to have the nicer house or the worse house,' says Waite, the director of the Museum of the Confederacy. Work was completed in the summer of 1861, the war had started in April. By the end of the 19th century, the basement had been converted to a doctor's office and examination rooms, and the mosaic tile floor in that room today dates to that period. In the 1940s and '50s, the main house and two-story servants' quarters held 13 apartments. That was before S. Douglas Fleet bought the property in 1967 and began to restore it."

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-54. Ex Brandebury, Knapp and Simon (Image)

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E. 3,000-4,000

SOLD for $2,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
68 c Adams Express Company, Great Eastern, Western & Southern Express Forwarders, New-York.> Large blue oval handstamp and black <Adams Express Company, Knoxville Tenn. Jun. 29> oval datestamp on 3c Red on White Star
Die entire (U26) southbound to DavidAdams Express Company, Great Eastern, Western & Southern Express Forwarders, New-York. Large blue oval handstamp and black "Adams Express Company, Knoxville Tenn. Jun. 29" oval datestamp on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to David Cleage in Athens Tenn., Manhattan Bank brown oval corner card, manuscript "35/1" express charge, sender's routing "Pr. Adams & Co.", slight natural creasing in face of envelope

EXTREMELY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COMBINATION OF ADAMS EXPRESS NEW YORK AND KNOXVILLE OFFICE MARKINGS FOR ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS SERVICE TO TENNESSEE DURING THAT STATE'S NINE DAYS AS AN INDEPENDENT STATE. THIS COVER, WITH BOTH MARKINGS ON THE FACE, IS THE ONE OF THE FINEST OF ITS KIND.

Only a few covers are recorded with this combination of Adams office markings, which were applied in transit entirely outside the U.S. and Confederate postal systems. Adams also had the option of placing letters into the Nashville post office for delivery by regular Confederate mails. This cover reached Tennessee during the brief Independent Statehood period, from June 24 to July 2, 1861.

The Adams Knoxville and New York ovals are 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 (these fakes also bear the David Cleage address, a known correspondence).

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-3 (illustrated on p. 39). Ex Lehman, Engel, Jarrett and Birkinbine (Image)

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E. 5,000-7,500

SOLD for $11,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
69 c Adams Express Company, Great Eastern, Western & Southern Express Forwarders, New-York.> Large blue oval handstamp clearly struck on folded letter <from Bremen, Germany, to Richmond Va.,> datelined <remen 12 June
1861>> from a European trading firAdams Express Company, Great Eastern, Western & Southern Express Forwarders, New-York. Large blue oval handstamp clearly struck on folded letter from Bremen, Germany, to Richmond Va., datelined "Bremen 12 June 1861" from a European trading firm to James Thomas Jr., a prominent Richmond tobacco merchant, carried on the Cunarder Europa, departing Liverpool on June 15 and arriving in Boston on June 26, bold "Forwarded by Oelrichs & Co. New-York" oval handstamp on back (the flap is partly missing and torn thru marking, but the entire handstamp is intact), carried by Adams across the lines, entered the C.S.A. mails as a drop-rate letter with bold "Richmond Va. Jul. 5, 1861" circular datestamp and "Paid 2" straightline handstamp

VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXPRESS COVER CARRIED ACROSS THE LINES AFTER JUNE 1, 1861, THAT WAS PLACED INTO THE CONFEDERATE MAILS AS A 2-CENT DROP RATE LETTER. IT IS ALSO ONE OF ONLY THREE ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVERS WITH CLEAR EVIDENCE OF EUROPEAN ORIGIN.

As early as April and May 1861, commercial firms in Europe began sending mail to their correspondents in the South by express. A few covers are recorded during the Precursor Private Express period that were handled in the same way as the cover offered here (placed into Richmond post office as drop letters). However, it appears that once the expresses started advertising service from June 15, the practice of dropping mail into the destination post office was curtailed.

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-5. Ex Peters (Image)

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E. 2,000-3,000

SOLD for $2,400.00
Will close during Public Auction
70 c Adams Express Company, Great Eastern, Western & Southern Express Forwarders, New-York.> Large blue oval handstamp on backflap of 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to Rev. A. J. Leavenworth in
Petersburg Va., blue <Adams Express Co. NaAdams Express Company, Great Eastern, Western & Southern Express Forwarders, New-York. Large blue oval handstamp on backflap of 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to Rev. A. J. Leavenworth in Petersburg Va., blue "Adams Express Co. Nashville Jul. 7" and black "Adams Express Company, Knoxville Tenn. Jul. 8" oval datestamps, manuscript "2/-" (two bits, or 25c) express charge, blue crayon "13", receipt docketing "Prof. J. H. Agnew 1861 July", bottom flap opened to show New York marking, small sealed tear at upper left

VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COMBINATION OF ADAMS EXPRESS OFFICE MARKINGS -- NEW YORK TO NASHVILLE TO KNOXVILLE -- FOR ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS SERVICE TO PETERSBURG, VIRGINIA.

Only a few covers are recorded with this combination of Adams office markings, which were applied in transit entirely outside the U.S. and Confederate postal systems. Adams also had the option of placing letters into the Nashville post office for delivery by regular Confederate mails.

The Adams Knoxville and New York ovals are 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 (these fakes bear the David Cleage address, a known correspondence).

The addressee, Reverend Abner Johnson Leavenworth, was at this time the principal and proprietor of the Leavenworth Academy and Collegiate Seminary for Young Ladies.

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-14. Ex Emerson, Brooks and Gallagher (Image)

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E. 5,000-7,500

SOLD for $3,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
71 c Adams Ex. Co. Philadelphia Pa. Aug. 3, 1861.> Red circular datestamp with year in manuscript boldly struck on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) to Dr. Charles Morfit in Norfolk Va., Adams Ex. Co. *
Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 6, 1861 circular datestAdams Ex. Co. Philadelphia Pa. Aug. 3, 1861. Red circular datestamp with year in manuscript boldly struck on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) to Dr. Charles Morfit in Norfolk Va., "Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 6, 1861" circular datestamp, blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 8, 1861" circular datestamp and matching "Paid" and "10" handstamp for C.S.A. rate, neat Aug. 14 receipt docketing, sealed tear at top and slight crease thru embossed stamp

FINE. A COLORFUL AND EXTREMELY RARE COMBINATION OF MARKINGS, INCLUDING THE ADAMS PHILADELPHIA OFFICE DATESTAMP, OF WHICH SEVEN EXAMPLES ARE RECORDED.

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-53 (illustrated on p. 55). Ex MacBride and Meroni. (Image)

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E. 2,000-3,000

SOLD for $1,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
72 c Nashville Tenn., 10c Green (61X6).> Two huge margins, framelines touched at top and right, deep shade, scissors-cut at top left, tied by blue Adams Express Co. Nashville Aug. 1 oval datestamp on 3c Red on White
Star Die entire (U26) to Rev. A. J. LNashville Tenn., 10c Green (61X6). Two huge margins, framelines touched at top and right, deep shade, scissors-cut at top left, tied by blue "Adams Express Co. Nashville Aug. 1" oval datestamp on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) to Rev. A. J. Leavenworth in Petersburg Va., "Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 30, 1861" circular datestamp cancels 3c embossed stamp, small red manuscript "2" express charge (two bits, or 25c), blue "10" handstamp applied at Petersburg to indicate postage due (presumably the letter was over the half-ounce weight limit), receipt docketing "Prof. Agnew & Sundry others", small part of backflap removed, light soiling and edgewear (slight improvement at top right corner)

VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED ADAMS EXPRESS COMPANY COVERS WITH THE NASHVILLE 10-CENT PROVISIONAL, OF WHICH ONLY TWO ARE MIXED FRANKINGS WITH UNITED STATES POSTAGE. AN OUTSTANDING COVER THAT COMBINES THE RAREST ELEMENTS OF PHILATELY AND POSTAL HISTORY.

Adams Express Company was required to ensure the prepayment of government postage (Federal and Confederate), although the letter was carried outside the regular mails. Very few covers are recorded with Confederate provisional stamps or markings used in conjunction with across-the-lines express service. This group includes the provisionals of Atlanta (handstamp), Houston (handstamp), Lynchburg (press-printed entire), Memphis (adhesive), Mobile (adhesive), Montgomery (handstamp), Nashville (adhesive and handstamp) and New Orleans (adhesive).

Only three across-the-lines express covers are recorded with the Nashville 10c adhesive provisional (Special Routes Census Nos. S-AD-44, 45 and 46), all dated at Nashville on August 1. Only two of the 10c covers are mixed frankings (the third is used alone). These two Nashville 10c mixed-franking covers carried by Adams, both North-to-South usages, are the only 10c adhesive Confederate provisionals known in combination with United States postage. As such, they are quite significant artifacts from this remarkable period of postal history.

Our records contain six genuine covers with the Nashville 10c Green provisional: 1) Tied by Aug. 1 (1861) Adams Express oval, to Hardy & Bros., Norfolk Va., 2) Tied by Sep. 15, 1861, Nashville datestamp, to Shelbyville Tenn., ex Caspary, 3) 5c & 10c used together, tied by Aug. 21, 1861, Nashville datestamp, to D. Cleage, Athens Tenn., ex Caspary, Boshwit, 4) Tied by Aug. 1 (1861) Adams Express oval, used on 3c Star Die entire to Rev. Leavenworth, Petersburg Va., ex Kilbourne (Siegel Sale 815, lot 104, realized $90,000 hammer), the cover offered here, 5) Tied by Aug. 1 (1861) Adams Express oval, used on 3c Star Die with additional 3c 1857, to Albert F. Ryan, Norfolk Va., ex Gallagher, and 6) Tied by "10" rate handstamp, Sep. 18, 1861, Nashville datestamp, on building corner card cover to Thos. H. Caldwell, Shelbyville Tenn., ex Needham, Kimmell, Haas, Rudy (Siegel Sale 874, lot 117, realized $25,000 hammer).

The addressee, Reverend Abner Johnson Leavenworth, was at this time the principal and proprietor of the Leavenworth Academy and Collegiate Seminary for Young Ladies.

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-46 (illustrated on p. 55). Illustrated in Shenfield book (p. 23). Ex Antrim (acquired by the Kilbournes in 1958), Kilbourne and Kramer. With 1999 P.F. certificate (Image)

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E. 75,000-100,000

SOLD for $60,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
73 c Memphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2).> Partly cut to shape at upper right, other sides clear to slightly in, tied by Memphis Ten. Jul. 15(?), 1861 circular datestamp on 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) southbound to
Marcian Seavey in care of Rev. CharlMemphis Tenn., 5c Red (56X2). Partly cut to shape at upper right, other sides clear to slightly in, tied by "Memphis Ten. Jul. 15(?), 1861" circular datestamp on 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) southbound to Marcian Seavey in care of Rev. Charles Collins in Greenwood Tenn., clear strikes of "The Adams Express Co. Boston Jul. 6" circular datestamp and "Paid J.W.R." double-circle with manuscript "25", the Paid marking applied at Boston to indicate prepayment of 25c express charge, vertical fold and slight wear at upper left corner

VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF ANY CONFEDERATE POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON AN ADAMS EXPRESS COVER FROM BOSTON, AND THE ONLY RECORDED MEMPHIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON AN ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVER.

Very few covers are recorded with Confederate provisional stamps or markings used in conjunction with across-the-lines express service. This group includes the provisionals of Atlanta (handstamp), Houston (handstamp), Lynchburg (press-printed entire), Memphis (adhesive), Mobile (adhesive), Montgomery (handstamp), Nashville (adhesive and handstamp) and New Orleans (adhesive). This is the only recorded Memphis across-the-lines express usage and the only provisional/express usage from the Adams Boston office. In fact, the Special Routes Census lists only three across-the-lines covers from Boston (Census Nos. S-AD-18, 54 and 66).

The addressee, Marcian Seavey, had recently lost his wife when this cover was mailed (nee Eliza Ruggles, died November 28, 1860). The Reverend Charles Collins, in whose care the letter was addressed, moved to Tennessee in 1860 after resigning as president of Dickinson College. He was proprietor and president of the State Female College near Memphis in Tennessee.

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-18 (illustrated on. p. 56). Ex Kilbourne (Image)

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E. 10,000-15,000

SOLD for $10,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
74 c Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 30, 1861.> Clear strike of circular datestamp on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to Mrs. Rebecca F. Worthington in care of Charles Worthington in Corpus
Christi, Texas, black Houston Tex. Aug.Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 30, 1861. Clear strike of circular datestamp on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to Mrs. Rebecca F. Worthington in care of Charles Worthington in Corpus Christi, Texas, black "Houston Tex. Aug. 20, 1861" circular datestamp and red "Houston Tex. Paid 5" provisional handstamp (40XU1) struck en route where Adams put the letter into the mails, with original letter enclosure dated July 24 from Rebecca Worthington's mother, who writes from "the pretty town of Pittsfield" but instructs her daughter to address letters to 37 Irving Place in New York City, the letter mentions the First Battle of Bull Run and expresses strong anti-war sentiment -- the addressee's husband, Charles Worthington, was a Unionist living in Texas during the war

VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVER WITH THE HOUSTON POSTMASTER' S PROVISIONAL HANDSTAMP.

Very few covers are recorded with Confederate provisional stamps or markings used in conjunction with across-the-lines express service. This group includes the provisionals of Atlanta (handstamp), Houston (handstamp), Lynchburg (press-printed entire), Memphis (adhesive), Mobile (adhesive), Montgomery (handstamp), Nashville (adhesive and handstamp) and New Orleans (adhesive). This is the only recorded express cover with the Houston provisional marking, which was obviously applied en route.

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-43 (illustrated on p. 54). Ex Brigham, "Camina" (Castillejos) and Guggenheim (Image)

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E. 5,000-7,500

SOLD for $4,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
75 c Adams Express Co. Augusta, Ga. Aug. 2.> Clear strike of blue oval datestamp on 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) southbound from E. S. Zevely in Pleasant Grove Md. to his daughter, Mrs. Sophia J. Butner, in
Salem N.C., Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville,Adams Express Co. Augusta, Ga. Aug. 2. Clear strike of blue oval datestamp on 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) southbound from E. S. Zevely in Pleasant Grove Md. to his daughter, Mrs. Sophia J. Butner, in Salem N.C., "Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Jul. 29, 1861" circular datestamp cancels 3c embossed stamp, manuscript "Paid 25 cts" and "Paid 2/S F" express fee notations, entered the C.S.A. mails with "Augusta Ga. Aug. 2" double-circle datestamp and "Paid 10" straightline handstamp for C.S.A. rate, Adams' blue-gray label on back with instructions for sending mail "to the Confederate States", opened for display, some overall toning, minor edgewear and small tears

VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING NORTH-TO-SOUTH EXPRESS COVER WITH THE ADAMS AUGUSTA OVAL DATESTAMP AND MAILING-INSTRUCTIONS LABEL.

The addressee, Sophia J. Butner, was the daughter of E. S. Zevely, brother of Third Assistant Postmaster General A. N. Zevely, postmaster of Pleasant Grove, Maryland, and manufacturer of postmarking devices. Zevely probably carried or mailed this envelope to the Adams office in Baltimore. The label on the back gives instructions to correspondents in the North for mailing letters by express to the Confederate States. This label was applied by Adams either before the envelope was sold or given to its customers in the North, in which case the instructions apply, or en route to the destination, in which case the instructions are for the wrong side (a corresponding Adams "Letters to the United States" label has never been recorded, according to Walske).

Special Routes Census No. S-AD-39 (misdated JUL 27, illustrated on p. 222). Ex Simon (Image)

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E. 4,000-5,000

SOLD for $4,250.00
Will close during Public Auction

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