Items for Sale - Blockade-Run Mail


Incoming blockade-run use from Nassau to Milledgeville Ga. via Wilmington. Pristine cover addressed to Gov. Joseph E. Brown in Milledgeville Ga., manuscript "Ship Letter" endorsement but no postal markings, indicating hand-carriage from port of Wilmington, receipt docketing "Receipt for freight on Steamer Charlotte, Nov. 1864", with original enclosure (few small tape stains) datelined "Nassau N.P. 2 Dec. 1864" from J. C. Bailie, who worked for Adderley & Co. in Nassau, reporting on shipment of goods on steamer Charlotte. Carried on blockade-runner Blenheim, departed Nassau Dec. 2, 1864, arrived Wilmington Dec. 6. The Blenheim was active Oct. 1864 to Jan. 1865, 4 for 5 in successful trips; captured by the U.S.S. Tristram Shandy at Wilmington on Jan. 25, 1865. Ex Walske. $2,000.

$ 2,000


Incoming blockade-run use on folded letter re tobacco business from John K. Gilbert, London, England dated Aug 25, 1864 to William Gray, Esq, Richmond, Va.; postmarked with oval STEAM-SHIP,CHARLESTON / S.C. // OCT / 10 cds and manuscript "12" rate, Very Fine and scarce. Ex John Hill. $2,000.

$ 2,000


Incoming Blockade-run cover canceled CHARLESTON / S.C. // OCT /10 with matching oval STEAM-SHIP handstamp and pencil “12” on cover to Mann S. Valentine Jr. Esq., Richmond, Virginia.  Ex Morris Everett. $1,900.

$ 1,900


Outgoing blockade cover [Portland, Maine Exchange Office] and January 1, 1863, LETTER from Mott-Bostick correspondence; letter dated from Greenville, SC and sent by blockade runner from Charleston (as mentioned in text) directly to a forwarding agent or correspondent where cover entered British mails with stamp (now cut out) and Liverpool February 26, 1863 postmark; entered U.S. mails with Portland, Me Am Pkt Paid 24 exchange datestamp. The 24¢ rate included delivery to Hamilton, NY. The blockade-runner Leopard departed Charleston on January 14, 1863 to Nassau and likely carried this letter. Cover noted “No. 10” up right side. The Mott-Bostick correspondence is well-known to serious students. This letter is from Maria Bostick, wife of a Confederate soldier, and her mother, Mrs. Smith Mott in Hamilton, NY. This 4-page letter says, in part, “Hannah Ford’s husband…has frequent opportunities of sending  letters by steamers running the blockade. He offers to let me know and use the privilege of sending letters…” Most letters from this correspondence went by Flag of Truce across the lines. This and one other are known to have been run through the Federal blockade at Charleston to England with a possible routing via Nassau, Bahamas. This correspondence is the subject of the Jan-Feb 1974 Confederate Philatelist in Dr. Edward Greenwald’s article “Civilian Flag of Truce Mail - The Mott-Bostick Correspondence” which describes the correspondence as well as explanatory flag of truce tables.  $400.

$ 400


Incoming Blockade cover from France, clear strike red forwarding agent's oval "G.A. Hopley, Charleston, SO. CA." – rare incoming marking – on small clean narrow envelope addressed to "Monsieur Petigru à Charleston" to which has been added "S / C" in another hand; docketed "Rec'd 6 July 1861." Owing to the date, it is an early blockade cover from France. The blockade was announced on April 27, 1861. 2000 PSE Certificate. Hopley & Co. of Charleston were factor and commission merchants (shippers) located at the Atlantic Wharf per Charleston City Directory of the time. George A. Hopley was also Charleston’s British Consul. Unusual without incoming ship marking. Apparently, the Hopley handstamp serves for this. Ex Walske. $2,000.

$ 2,000


Outgoing Blockade: 1861 [May 21] Charleston S.C. to Longport, Staffordshire England cover with original letter (file fold splits reinforced with archival tape) saying "This will introduce, Thos. M. Horsey Esq…[who]visits England to endeavor to make arrangements for a supply of good…under the new tariff of the Confederate States. [signed’ Geo. S. Cameron." Cameron was a banker. This letter was hand-carried, most likely on Bremen Bark Gause departing Charleston May 24th to Amsterdam, likely not stopped because she was flying a foreign flag and left within the 15-day grace period for foreign ships to clear blockaded ports, Very Fine. SCARCE USE DURING THE "PAPER BLOCKADE" PERIOD. A week after Fort Sumter was fired upon President Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of southern ports. This was a "Paper Blockade" as the U.S. Navy had few assets to enforce it. The first U.S. ship did not arrive off Charleston until May 11, and it could not cover the four harbor entrances. Over time, their numbers increased and passage became more difficult. $600.

$ 600


Outgoing Blockade: 1863 Charleston S.C. to New York N.Y. via Nassau, cover from the Wells correspondence to New York, carried by Fannie from Wilmington to Nassau, clear strike of red "NASSAU PAID A JA 6 64" cds and red crayon "4" rating for British packet service to Thomas L. Wells, Esq, 94 West Eleventh St, New York, bold black encircled [due] 5 handstamp; professionally restored to Very Fine appearance. The letter that was contained in this envelope, which no longer accompanies, was from Private Edward L. Wells, a private in the Charleston Light Dragoons, Co. J., 4th S.C. Cavalry (he published a history of the unit in the 1880s). Walske No. BO-Nas-55 / CSA Catalog BOB-01 with CV $2,500. Ex Karrer. $850.

$ 850


Outgoing Blockade from Charleston S.C. to Stephen W. Cary. No 61 South St, New York, pristine blue adversity cover made from a printed Confederate court document CONCERNING PRIZE COURT AND LETTERS OF MARQUE AND PRIZE GOODS, this was likely carried on an outbound blockade runner and given to an agent bound for New York at Bermuda or Nassau, entered mails bearing a top sheet margin US 65, 3¢ rose, tied by NEW-YORK / MAR / 25 [probably 1864] dcds duplexed with circle of wedges, Very Fine. Known correspondence originating in Charleston S.C. Local free home mail delivery began in 1863. The U.S. did not recognize the Confederacy and a formal state of war and thereby created a contentious situation where privateers with letters of marque were not recognized and those men captured treated as pirates subject to immediate execution. Ex Atlanta Collection (Kaufmann Auctions) $1,500.

$ 1,500


Incoming Blockade Letter from Edinburgh, Scotland to Charleston S.C., (no cover) apparently sent privately via the Bahamas, with original note from local forwarder E.G. Douglas who arranged to send the letter out of the mails via unknown blockade runner into Charleston. The letter is on printed letterhead “Cannonmills House, Edinburgh” dated July 22, 1864. The note reads "A Friend of yours in London has enclosed this letter to me requesting me to forward it to you by what I consider a likely route. So I take the liberty of putting in this scrap requesting you if it should reach you, to inform my sister Mrs. John Mackenzie that her friends are well and have written to her frequently. Mr. Muir who left here for Charleston a few weeks ago was kind enough to call to see us and got a message for her. Hoping this will reach you, I am E. G. Douglas." Letter reads, in part, “I am sick at heart with the details of the war. Why they speak as if a few thousand lives were of little moment and take little of the anxious hearts everywhere…” $450.

Listed in both the Miscellaneous and Blockade sections. LL

$ 450


Outgoing blockade cover from Savannah Ga. to Rome [(Italy] via Charleston and Nassau. Nov. 3, 1862 origin date on cover to Mrs. John Lorenzo Locke in Rome, in care of Baring Brothers (bankers) in London, "FORWARDED BY SAWYER & MENENDEZ, NASSAU N.P." forwarder's blue oval handstamp on back, Sawyer & Menendez note "Answered this and sent to Baring. Menendez" on back, sent under cover to England, entered mails with "Lombard Street Paid JA 13 62" circular datestamp, red "1/" rate (11p to Italy plus 1p late fee), red "PD" oval, Calais (Jan. 14) transit datestamp, receiving backstamp, small edge tears and internal fold reinforced with archival tape. Ex Walske. Exploded to display all colorful markings. $2,900.

Carried by blockade-runner Leopard, dep. Charleston Nov. 10, 1862, arr. Nassau Nov. 14; then Cunarder British Queen, dep. Nassau Dec. 23, arr. New York Dec. 27; then Cunarder Scotia, dep. New York Dec. 31, arr. Queenstown Jan. 10, 1863. The Leopard was owned by Fraser Trenholm & Co.; active June 1862 to Apr. 1863, 8 for 9 in successful trips; she was renamed the Stonewall Jackson, ran aground and burned entering Charleston harbor on Apr. 12, 1863

$ 2,900


Outgoing blockade cover from Savannah Ga. to Rome, Italy on pristine cover to Madame John Lorenzo Locke care of Baring Brothers (bankers) London, England. It is marked (letter) No. 57 in the correspondence dated by docketing March 19, 1863 and received in Rome May 11, 1863. There are no postal markings as it did not entered the mails. Docketing indicates three letters were received together. It was carried privately by blockade runner to London where it was put into the hands of forwarding agent for delivery to Rome. Had the blockade runner been captured, the letter would have been confiscated and landed in Prize Court. Top back flap missing and tiniest edge faults. Well-known correspondence. $1,400.

$ 1,400


Incoming blockade: [Charleston SC] “6” due handstamp, bold strike on small commercially made laid paper cover to “Cornelius L. Burckmyer Esq, Charleston, South Carolina, Confederate States of America” – originally contained Burckmyer letter #22 (no longer present) dated in France 16 Sept 1863 from modern notations on verso. $2,000.

The Burckmyer correspondence was first offered as an original find through Kaufmann Auctions and heavily written up in The Confederate Philatelist. It is a correspondence between two exceptionally well educated, literature and descriptive people who write much about the nature of corresponding by flag of truce in perfectly readable hand, thus a boon to postal historians. The Burckmyers lived in France when war broke out and Cornelius returned to Charleston while Charlotte (nee Boyce) and daughter Mamie (nicknamed Cooty) remained in France.

$ 2,000


Outgoing blockade, Charleston to New York via Nassau. Pencil receipt docketing "Sep. 9th, 1862" (origin date at Charleston) on yellow cover to “Mrs. C[aroline] Carson, Care of E. Detmold, Trinity Buildings, New York.” Entered British Mails with red NASSAU/ PAID / OC / 23 / 62 cds, red crayon "4" pence rate paid in cash, NEW-YORK SHIP LETTER / 5 / 1862 / NOV/ 1 integral-rate cds; note on back "Most happy to have the opportunity of forwarding you a letter fresh from the hands of Your Excellent father -- C.E.D. Nov. 1 / 62" (C. E. Detmold), couple content folds at top and right. Featured in an article by Morris Everett in The Confederate Philatelist, July-August 1989 as well as an article by J.V. Nielsen, Jr. in The American Philatelist, August 1967 – a well-known correspondence. Copies of both articles included. Carried on blockade-runner Scotia, departed Charleston Sep. 26, 1862, arrived Nassau Sep. 30; missed the Sep. 29 sailing to New York and the forwarder held it until Oct. 23; then Cunarder British Queen, departed Nassau Oct. 27, arrived New York on November 1. Ex Nielsen, Everett and Walske. $1,900.

Jane Caroline Petigru Carson (1820-1885) detailed bio on linked page.

$ 1,900


Outgoing Blockade-Run Cover to England Via Nassau,1863 cover from Charleston to Liverpool from the well-known Burckmyer correspondence ("No. 13"); manuscript "Too Late" & red Nassau / Au 24/ '63 / Paid cds at bottom left and red crayon "1/10" due marking, backstamped with Liverpool arrival marking, Walske / Trepel book states, "two 6d Bahamas stamps removed", despite a repair in the area of where stamps might have been placed, it is difficult to see any evidence of stamps replaced, some aging and usual wear; blockade cover with the rare "Too Late" endorsement. $525.    

$ 525


Outgoing blockade-run use from Charleston to Paris via Nassau carried by blockade runner Leopard on Jan. 14, 1863, arrived Nassau Jan. 19 where struck with blue "Forwarded by Henry Adderley & Co., Nassau N.P. Bahamas" handstamp at bottom left, red Nassau Paid JA 19, 1863 cds, red oval PD handstamp and manuscript 1/3 rate, carried on Cunarder British Queen on Jan. 21 to New York, then by Cunarder China on Jan. 28 to Queenstown, London transits, Paris Feb. 14 receiving datestamp, expertly cleaned and repaired, Very Fine appearance, Fraser Trenholm & Co. used Henry Adderley & Co. as their Nassau agent, ex Antrim and Walske, with 2002 CSA certificate. $2,200.

$ 2,000


Incoming blockade-run use from London to Richmond via Nassau. Folded letter datelined London Dec. 9, 1863 (copy) from John Gilliat & Co. regarding tobacco but closes with some good war content regarding Bragg and Meade, as well. Addressed to William Gray, Esq., Richmond Va., carried by Cunarder China from Liverpool on Jan. 30, 1864, arriving New York Feb. 11, then by Cunard branch line to Nassau where placed aboard the blockade runner Annie on Mar. 1, arriving Wilmington Mar. 4, manuscript X examined mark by provost marshal at Wilmington, Wilmington / N.C. // Mar / 5 [1863] cds and manuscript "42" rate for QUADRUPLE THE 10¢ RATE to Richmond plus 2¢ ship fee, Very Fine. SCARCE CENSORED INCOMING BLOCKADE-RUN COVER WITH A HIGH RATE FOR WEIGHT, with 1981 CSA certificate, Ex Walske. $3,000.

$ 3,000


Incoming blockade-run use from Paris to Charleston via Bermuda and Wilmington N.C. Small cover with THREE ORIGINAL LETTERS datelined at Paris, France, in February-March 1864, addressed to Captain Burckmyer at Charleston, nos. 34-36 with the usual cross-written content on thin paper (some reinforced file splits), excellent articulate content with details about Confederate soldiers they know, wedding at Confederate Embassy in Paris, etc. Carried privately from France so no postal markings, transited Bermuda and then to Wilmington, N.C., and Charleston, S.C.; Burckmyer correspondence is well known. Ex Walske. $500.

The Burckmyer blockade correspondence was first offered as an original find through Kaufmann Auctions in 1981 and heavily written up in the Confederate Philatelist. Much more information on linked page.

$ 500


Incoming blockade-run use from Charleston to New York via French Man-of-War. Cover endorsed to Lt. Didier of the French man-of-war Milan, from New York to Charleston, containing a letter between Charleston Unionist James Louis Pettigru and his daughter Caroline, handcarried by Lt. Didier. On occasion, a foreign ship was allowed through the blockade. Letter no longer accompanies but the letters are published, in Life, Letters and Speeches of James Louis Pettigru. Minor toned spots, the Milan came through the blockade to Charleston in December 1862 to deliver the French consul and left in mid-January 1863 for New York, a report from the USS Powhatan off Charleston discusses the entry of the Milan. Ex Walske with his description on verso. $325.

$ 325


Outgoing blockade-run use from New York to Charleston via French Man-of-War. Cover endorsed to [Lt.] G. Didier of the French man-of-war Milan, from New York to Charleston, containing a letter between Charleston Unionist James Louis Pettigru and his daughter Caroline, handcarried by Lt. Didier. On occasion, a foreign ship was allowed through the blockade. Letter no longer accompanies but the letters are published, in Life, Letters and Speeches of James Louis Pettigru. This one contained excellent content (page 463) including "in a civil war no man's honor can be reproached for refusing to draw his sword," also, "As to your mama...She is a good deal scandalized by your partiality to the North; so different from her feelings which are thoroughly Southern." Part of back flap missing and large sealed tear on face. The Milan came through the blockade to Charleston in December 1862 to deliver the French consul and left in mid-January 1863 for New York, a report from the USS Powhatan off Charleston discusses the entry of the Milan. Ex Walske with his description on verso. $200.

$ 200


Outgoing Blockade Cover to New York, originating in Charleston, S.C. where "5" in circle rate handstamp was applied & sent through the Bahamas with "Bahamas JY 3, 1864" backstamp, signed under flap, "Approved by order, H.W. Feilden", a piece of the cover is missing at the upper right (repaired) where a stamp was removed, otherwise Fine, with 2004 CSA certificate #04495. RARE. $850.

$ 850


CSA 11, 10¢ blue (4 margins) tied lightly struck WILMINGTON / N.C. // MAY / 29 / [1864] cds on cover to Hill & Norfleet (commission and forwarding merchants), Richmond, Va., in care of Howell & Harris in Wilmington N.C., (crossed out); with pencil "Exd" Provost Marshal censor marking applied at Wilmington, part of back flap removed, light soiling, Very Fine. RARE INBOUND BLOCKADE-RUN COVER FROM BERMUDA. Carried on blockade-runner Lynx, dep. St. Georges May 24, 1864, arr. Wilmington May 28. The Lynx was owned by Fraser Trenholm & Co.; active May 1864 to Sep. 1864, 9 for 10 in successful trips. This cover was hand-carried or carried in another packet from Bermuda. On arrival, the letter was examined by the provost marshal and marked "Exd". Howell & Harris stamped it and mailed it May 29, 1864. Ex Walske. With 2010 PF certificate. $3,500.

$ 3,500


OUTGOING BLOCKADE-RUN cover from Savannah Ga. to Rome, Italy, via Nassau, Bahamas from the well-known Locke correspondence, originating in Savannah on July 24, 1863 (docketed), addressed to Mrs. J[ohn] L[orenzo Locke, Rome, Italy, care of Baring Bros. in London, carried from Charleston on the blockade-runner Margaret & Jessie, departing August 1, 1863, arriving Nassau Aug. 4, held by forwarder until next sailing for New York, backstamped "Bahamas AU 22 1863 B", carried from Nassau to New York, then by Cunarder China (Aug. 26) to Queenstown (Sep. 4), manuscript "Postage 1/-" plus "Fine 1/- Colonial claim", total "2/2" due, docketing across top indicating Sorrento as final destination, small edge wrinkles and tears, Very Fine, Walske census No. BO-Nas-36. Ex Walske with his notes on verso. $1,800.

$ 1,800


Outgoing blockade: Savannah, Ga., to Rome, Italy. Locke correspondence originating in Savannah, as noted by contemporary docketing at top referring to the letter (no longer with cover), “No 62 Dated July 4th 1863 – Aug 26th 1863 Sorrento.” The envelope was under separate cover from Savannah via Charleston to Nassau and on to Barring Brothers in England. Barring Brothers removed the outer cover and entered the subject envelope into the British mails via France to Rome. Colorful transit markings front and back. Top back flap has sealed opening tear. Outbound blockade covers only make up about 30% of all blockade uses. 2007 CSA certificate.  $3,500.


$ 3.500


PRIZE COURT COVER presented as EVIDENCE OF A LEGAL SEIZURE OF A BLOCKADE-RUNNER. PENDLETON / S.C. // JUL / 22 [1861] with matching handstamped PAID 5, red manuscript court docket of “HHE” (Henry H. Elliot, the commissioner who initialed it as evidence in the case - CSA catalog PC-01, CCV $3,500). This was one of the early prize court cases of the Civil War. Addressed to the “Emilio Puig, Esq., Care of Spanish Consul, Charleston S.C.” It is one of the covers discovered in a false-bottom trunk. On 20 June 1863, a decree of restitution was ordered as the court ruled that the seizure had been without cause, Ex Birkinbine and Walske with his penciled notes on verso, Extremely Fine, 2012 PF certificate. $3,750.

Emilio Puig was a resident of Charleston who is believed to have been engaged in running Cuban commodities into the South through the Union blockade. More detailed history on the linked page.

Listed in both Miscellaneous-2 and Blockade sections

$ 3,750


OUTGOING BLOCKADE cover from the well-known Locke correspondence from Savannah, Georgia, to Rome, Italy. The cover originated in Savannah as noted by contemporary docketing at the top referring to the original letter “No. 38, Recd Nov 24th letter dated Oct 26th Oct 3 1862 Rec’d T….t…s about Dec 8th 1862” (lots of correction/crossing out). The envelope was sent under separate cover from Savannah via Charleston to Nassau and on to Barring Brothers in England. Barring Brothers removed the outer cover and entered the subject envelope into the British mails via France to Rome. Small opening edge and flap tears that are more than made up for by the wonderful colorful transit markings front and back. Outbound blockade covers only make up about 30% of all blockade uses, 2007 CSA certificate. $2,200.

$ 2,200


Outgoing blockade-run use:  Charleston S.C. to New York via Havana, Cuba and Nassau, Bahamas. Narrow cover to Mrs. Sarah J. Davega (?), No. 419 Fourth Str, New York, United States. Entered Bahamas mails with red "Nassau Paid NO 7 61" circular datestamp, crayon "4" pence rate, manuscript "(2)" (meaning unknown), New York "5" in circle due handstamp, absolutely fascinating 3-page original letter enclosed which admonishes all Southerners residing in the United States to return to the South immediately or risk having their property taken in sequestration. “…all Southerners residing in the United States should have commenced their journey homewards since the 30th August last unless able to prove that either sickness or something of an extraordinary nature prevented them from so doing and in that event they should use every possible effort to get home or out of the present United States as soon as they can…such persons who may go to Canada & should let their friends in Charleston known can do so by writing to Havana and enclosing a letter for Charleston which letter can be sent from Havana by frequent opportunities…Friday Night Oct 11 1861…Having just learnt that a gentleman is going to Havana tonight in a small schooner in haste I have written this to let you know how things stand.” Signed Jacob Ottolenghi. He mentioned any number of people who “should leave and come into the Southern Confederacy or go to Canada.” Cover with edge repairs at sides, Very Fine appearance, with 1984 P.F. certificate states “Stampless cover from Charleston SC Oct 11 1861 via Havana and Nassau Nov 1 to New York”. It is listed in Special Mail Routes of the American Civil War by Steven Walske and Scott Trepel as BO-Nas-1. The year date in the Nassau postmark appears to be 1864. Either it is wrong or the correspondence is mixed as it does appear in the same hand and ink.  $2,500.

$ 2,500


Incoming blockade cover originating in Hamburg, Germany to New Orleans. Folded letter (page 1) (address side, open) headed Hamburg 24 Juli 1861 concerning cotton (bit of internal paper loss); written completely in English on business letterhead with blind embossed company name of Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. / Hamburg (bankers who are still in business today, since 1590). Colorful transit markings of Hamburg Paid and Aachen PAID 50 Cts. in August 1861 as well as red “N. York Br. Pkt. / 60 PAID / Sep / 5” to Messrs H. W. Schwartz & Son, New Orleans, Care of Messrs Walter & Corbutt, New York. Manuscript “Steamer from Liverpool” across the top. The only British sailing compatible with those dates was the Cunard packet Arabia which sailed from Liverpool on 24 Aug 1861 and arrived in Boston 5 Sep 1861. The cover could have been taken immediately by train from Boston to New York. There are no notations or markings to indicate that their letter ever made it to New Orleans as it arrived in New York after all through the lines overland express mail service had been suspended. Since the cover survives, it was likely delivered to New York forwarding agents and then sent on to New Orleans under separate cover to Havana and then by blockade runner to New Orleans. These routings to New Orleans are known to have taken place with other covers. It also may have traveled via Mexico but there is no way to positively identify it. Very interesting use worthy of even further research. Ex Bogg, Walske and Staples. LL $550.

The Berenberg history is presented on the linked page.

$ 550


Outbound blockade-run cover Per 'Wild Pigeon’ sender's ship-name endorsement on cover to Mrs. Caroline Carson, [in care of] E. E. Detmold Esq., 40 Trinity Building, New York. Rate "5" in circle handstamp, pencil docketing "Feb. 1st 1863" gives origin date, slight toning and minor edge faults. EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF A SHIP-NAME ENDORSEMENT ON OUTBOUND BLOCKADE-RUNNING MAIL. This cover had to have arrived after April 1, 1863, based on the use of the "5" in circle due marking for British Packet mail. Ship-name endorsements on outgoing mail are very rare. The Wild Pigeon is not recorded anywhere as a blockade-running steamer. There was a schooner Wild Pigeon that was rammed and sunk on a blockade-running trip between Havana and Florida on March 21, 1864, by the USS Hendrick Hudson (formerly the famed Confederate blockade-runner Florida). Illustrated in the Confederate Philatelist (Jul-Aug. 1989, No. 250). Ex Everett, J.V. Nielsen, Myerson and Walske. $2,000.

Carson and Petigru biographies on linked page.

$ 2,000


Bahamas Ship Letter, two-line handstamp on cover likely sent from the Southern states via Charleston, S.C., addressed Jno. B. Nixon Esq., Royal Victoria Hotel, Nassau, New Providence, Bermuda Island, with blue crayon "4" rate and clear "Bahamas, My 12, 1862" origin CDS on verso, Very Fine and choice, ex-Dr. Urwick. THE EARLIEST USE OF THE "BAHAMAS SHIP LETTER" ON AN OUTBOUND BLOCKADE COVER TO NASSAU, BERMUDA. According to S. Walske & S. Trepel in Special Mail Routes of the American Civil War, the "Bahamas Ship Letter" two-line handstamp (type NA1) is known used from February to October of 1863 with FEWER THAN FIVE EXAMPLES KNOWN. The early February 1863 use is known to have transited Charleston, S.C., as this cover mostly likely did. This use of the Bahamas ship letter handstamp predates the February 1863 by more than 8 months. $4,750.

Royal Victoria Hotel information on linked page.

$ 4,750


CSA 12-AD, 10¢ blue tied by bold CHARLESTON / S.C. // JUL / 30 [1864] double-circle datestamp and "STEAM-SHIP" oval handstamp on INCOMING BLOCKADE-RUN BLACK-BORDERED MOURNING COVER to Arthur Huger, Esq., 1st Lieut. Marion Light Artillery, Camp John's Island, Charleston, South Carolina, "Due" and blue manuscript "12" rate including 2¢ ship fee. CSA 12 pays for FORWARDING TO ROBERT HABERSHAM & SON, SAVANNAH GA., Savannah forwarder docketing on back, cleaned and some minor cosmetic improvements. Docketing up right side shows sender was Sallie Scott. Extremely fine appearance. An outstanding incoming blockade-run cover with great provenance of Ex Emerson, Antrim, Haas, Shenfield, Hill, and Walske. Listed in both Blockade and Mourning Covers $5,500.  

$ 5,500


Outgoing blockade-run cover from Charleston, S.C., to Liverpool, England, via Wilmington and Nassau, Bahamas. Small commercially-made cover on laid paper addressed to Mrs. C. L. Burckmyer, Care of Fraser Trenholm & Co., Liverpool, England, "B. Duncan ADC" censor marking on back (COVER VERSO) applied by Col. B. Duncan at Wilmington (Provost Marshal until Sep. 12, 1863); entered British mails with red "Nassau Paid OC 24 63" CDS, prepaid 1sh with red crayon "11" credit and blue crayon "1" (1p retained by Bahamas P.O.), Liverpool Nov. 14 receiving backstamp. Extremely fine and rare censored outbound blockade-run cover to England. The letter that was contained in this envelope (number 17, which no longer accompanies) is datelined "Charleston 23 Sep. 1863" from Cornelius L. Burckmyer. Carried on blockade-runner General Beauregard, dep. Wilmington Sep. 30, 1863, arr. Nassau Oct. 4; held by agent until next New York steamer departure; carried on Cunarder Corsica, dep. Nassau Oct. 26, arr. New York Oct. 31; then Cunarder Scotia, dep. New York Nov. 4, arr. Queenstown Nov. 13; forwarded to France by Fraser Trenholm & Co. outside of mails and received at Tours Nov. 18 (according to correspondence history). The General Beauregard was purchased in Oct. 1862 by Fraser Trenholm & Co.; active Feb. to Dec. 1863, 16 for 17 in successful trips; Captain Louis Coxetter was a famed Confederate privateer and blockade-runner; chased ashore and destroyed by U.S.S. Howquah at Wilmington on Dec. 11, 1863. Special Order 156 requiring censorship of blockade-run mail took effect Aug. 11, 1863, at Charleston and Sep. 1, 1863, at Wilmington. Illustrated in Special Routes book (p. 121, census no. BO-Nas-45). Ex Birkinbine and Walske. $2,000.

The Burckmyer blockade correspondence was first offered as an original find through Kaufmann Auctions in 1981 and heavily written up in the Confederate Philatelist. The incredibly detailed letters are between two exceptionally well-educated and expressive people who often write about the nature of corresponding by flag of truce in perfectly readable hand, thus a boon to postal historians. In early 1863, Cornelius L. Burckmyer, his wife--Charlotte Rebecca Burckmyer--their daughter Mamie, and Mamie’s nurse, Ann Maguire, were in France. Burckmyer decided to return to the Confederacy to do whatever he could to support the cause. He left his family in France to return to their home in Charleston. Burckmyer owned stock in blockade runners and seemed to know which port was the most likely to be successful in getting mail through. Many of his letters told of his trials with blockade runners. Without the content of these letters, we would not know today where these letters passed through the blockade. In 1929, a book was published by the family which includes all the text of the letters. The letters shed much light on the blockade runners.

$ 2,000


Outgoing blockade-run cover from Wilmington, N.C., to Heidelberg, Germany via Nassau, Bahamas. Addressed to Henry Watson Esqr., Heidelberg, Germany, NASSAU / PAID / SP 14 / 63 CDS, transit datestamps applied at London (Oct. 19), Calais (Oct. 19), Paris (Oct. 20) and Heidelberg (Oct. 21), red "PD" handstamp, red crayon "1/4" British postage, blue crayon "1" (1p retained by Bahamas P.O.); detailed receipt docketing on back (COVER VERSO) stating "via Nassau, London, Calais, Paris & Strasburg. Rec'd at Heidelberg Oct. 21, 1863," slightly reduced at right. Very Fine. This was carried on the blockade-runner Margaret & Jessie from Wilmington on September 10, 1863, arriving Nassau September 14; by Cunard Branch line from Nassau to New York City; and on the Cunarder China, departing October 7, arriving Liverpool October 16. Special Routes census no. BO-Nas-38. Extremely Fine. $2,500.

$ 2,500


Incoming blockade-run cover from Liverpool with WILMINGTON / N.C. // 5 PAID / APR / 18 pre-war CDS with modified integral rate (not applicable) on folded letter datelined "Liverpool, 13 Feb. 1864," from James M. Calder to Mrs. M. A. Snowden, Charleston S.C., redirected to Columbia S.C., marked in manuscript rare "Ships Letter" and manuscript "12¢" due, with pencil "Due." INTERESTING LETTER from a supplier of goods through the blockade, which mentions a shipment of cloth for Relief Association, "per 'Zouave,'" Very Fine, likely carried on the blockade-runner Will of the Wisp from Nassau, arriving Wilmington April 14, 1864, Special Routes census no. BI-Wm-74. $2,500.

$ 2,500


Incoming blockade-run cover franked with CSA 11, 10¢ blue (huge to large margins all around) tied by WILMINGTON / N.C. // 5 PAID / Oct / 22 CDS (modified pre-war "3 Paid" integral rate which is not applicable) on cover to R. Bella Torre, Johnson's P.O., 115. S.C.R.R. Barnwell Dist(rict) South Carolina; bold strike of Wilmington SHIP handstamp, manuscript "12" due marking changed to "02" for 2¢ ship's fee in recognition of prepayment with 10¢ Confederate stamp, slight ink erosion and small piece out of "0" in manuscript marking. Carried from Nassau on the blockade-runner Pet, arriving at Wilmington on October 21, 1863. Special Routes census no. BI-Wm-32. Ex Myers with 1975 CSA certificate. There was a Johnson PO in the Barnwell District listed at that time, but the town no longer exists. FEW BLOCKADE-RUN COVERS ARE KNOWN WITH A CSA STAMP PREPAYING THE INTERNAL RATE. $4,750.

$ 4,750


19846 Incoming blockade-run mail on small cover carried by the British blockade-runner Banshee, handstamped "SHIP" with a manuscript "12" (cents due), addressed to "Major Daniel E. Huger, Hendersonville, N. Carolina, C.S. America", postmarked with a partial May 29 Wilmington, N.C., CDS and endorsed "favoured by Capt. Stiles;" top flap missing, repaired tear at the top, Fine. Capt. Stiles is a misidentification of Banshee's Capt. Steele, pinpointing the year to 1863. $1,800.

Information on Banshee and 
Daniel Elliott Huger on the linked page.

$ 1,800


Outgoing blockade-run use from Wilmington, N.C., to Henry Watson, Care of Mr. Thos. E. Hart, Heidelberg, Germany, transit datestamps applied at Liverpool (Nov. 8), London (Nov. 9), Calais (Nov. 9), Paris (Nov. 10) and Heidelberg (Nov. 11), rates including blue pen "33" collect in Germany, Nov. 11, 1864, receipt docketing on back with notation about contents, Very Fine. While there is no Nassau marking on this cover, similar Watson correspondence covers were sent via the Bahamas; this was undoubtedly the same. Special Routes census no. BO-Oth-22. Wonderfully showy selection of transit markings front and back. Back of cover. $1,800.

$ 1,800


Incoming blockade-run cover with WILMINGTON / N.C. // 5 PAID / NOV / 22 CDS (modified pre-war "3 Paid" integral rate which is not applicable) on outer folded lettersheet to with straightline handstamped SHIP and manuscript “12.” Contents docketing up the left side and letter “No. 154” from what was likely business correspondence addressed to James Wright, Columbus, Georgia, dated “Oct 23/63.” 1981 PF certificate 100923. Cover fashioned from laid paper watermarked “LIVERPOOL 1858;” lettersheet has been folded down slightly to show to better advantage, small sealed tears at top. $1,000.

$ 1,000


Outgoing blockade-run use from Charleston, S.C. to Liverpool England via Nassau Bahamas. Addressed to Mrs. C[ornelius] L. Burckmyer, in care of Fraser Trenholm & Co. in Liverpool, England; wonderful 4-page original letter No. 44 datelined "Charleston S.C. January 16, 1865" (letter pages 1 and 4) (letter pages 2-3) reverse with scarce "Nassau-New-Providence Feb. 4, 1865" rimless datestamp;unpaid with 2sh due, comprising 1sh packet postage to England and 1sh penalty fee, blue crayon "1/5 + 7 = 2/-" accounting (1p plus half of penalty retained by Bahamas P.O.), Liverpool receiving 4 MAR datestamp, clean use, Very Fine, Special Routes Census No. BO-Nas-97. Ex Littlejohn and Neil. LL $2,750. 

The incredible Burckmyer correspondence is described in detail on the linked page.

$ 2,750


Incoming blockade-run cover canceled CHARLESTON S.C. ? / 10 with matching oval STEAM-SHIP handstamp and pencil “12(¢)” on cover from Berlin Germany to Miss S. B. Valentine Care of M. S. Valentine Esq. Richmond, Virginia America. Top back flap missing; two CSA certificates dated 1987 and 2002. According to the prior owner, this was sent by way of Nassau, Bahamas, through Charleston by blockade runner Chicora. Ex Agre and Felton. $1,100.

Mann Satterwhite Valentine II earned a fortune through a product called Valentine’s Meat Juice. Much more detailed info on thumbnail-linked page.

$ 1,100


New 2-25-23

Outgoing blockade-run mail from Mobile Ala to Liverpool England via Havana, Cuba, with various colorful transit 1862 markings on October 31, 1861, folded business letter from J.C. Murrell (Joseph C. Murrell was a cotton broker in Mobile, Alabama) to Messr. Huth & Co., dealers in Liverpool. Manuscript “Steamer” at upper left. The letter was delayed almost a full year in transit, probably in Cuba for whatever unknown reason. Instead of going directly to Liverpool, it was routed through Southampton and London. Handstamped 6d for British postage due. Letter instructions are to route mail back to Mobile through Havana. Walske census BO-Hav-4, said to be one of only 4 known routed to England, 2000 PSE Certificate 41203. Ex Ralph Swap. Exceptionally nice and scarce blockade cover. $4,500.

$ 4,500


New 2-25-23

Incoming blockade-run cover smuggled out of Washington, DC, from the well-known Rives correspondence, 1863, addressed to Mrs. W. C. Rives, Cobham, Albemarle County, Virginia with straightline SHIP and ms. “12” and WILMINGTON N.C. MAY 15 (1863) circular datestamp - the classic incoming use. 2000 PSE certificate 40776 which bizarrely states genuine use from Virginia to Washington D.C. – backwards. Penciled note on verso from Steven Walske that this traveled on the Banshee. Ex Ralph Swap. $1,600.

$ 1,600


New 2-25-23

Incoming blockade-run cover with WILMINGTON N.C. MAR 17 (1863) altered rate 3 to 5 PAID circular datestamp on narrow commercially-made envelope with large manuscript Due 12, addressed to Miss Harriott Middleton, Flat Rock, Buncombe County, North Carolina. 1988 CSA certificate 01771, Ex Ralph Swap. $1,700.

Harriott Simmons Middleton: The Middleton correspondence is well known to Confederate students and the family papers are in the SC Historical Society. Harriott (1828-1905) was the daughter of Henry A. Middleton, a wealthy planting family.

$ 1,700


New 2-25-23

Outgoing blockade-run use from Savannah Ga. to Rome (Italy) via Charleston and Nassau. Mar. 19, 1863, origin date on cover to Mrs. John Lorenzo Locke in Rome, in care of Baring Brothers (bankers), entered British Mails with red "Nassau Paid MR 27 63" circular datestamp, 12p double 6p packet rate paid in cash, red crayon "10" credit (2p retained by Bahamas P.O.), red London (May 4) transit datestamp, May 11, 1863 receipt docketing, minor edgewear, Very Fine. Carried by blockade-runner Gertrude, dep. Charleston Mar. 23, 1863, arr. Nassau Mar 27 (last voyage before its capture); in Nassau forwarder prepaid double 6p packet rate to G.B. (just before increase to 1sh on Apr. 1, 1863); forwarded under cover to Rome with no further markings; carried on Cunarder British Queen, dep. Nassau Apr. 12, arr. New York Apr. 16 (last sailing on this route); then Cunarder Africa, dep. New York Apr. 22, arr. Queenstown May 3; the Gertrude was active Feb. 1863 to Apr. 1864, 2 for 3 in successful trips; captured by U.S.S. Vanderbilt, flagship of the Flying Squadron, on Apr. 16, 1863, near the Bahamas, but well away from the Confederate coastline. Ex Steven Walske (his penciled routing on verso) and Ralph Swap. Colorful outgoing blockade-run use. $2,000.

$ 2,000


New 2-25-23

Outbound blockade-run cover: Summerville S.C. to Liverpool via Wilmington and Nassau addressed to Mrs. C. L. Burckmyer, Care of Messrs Fraser Trenholm & Co., Liverpool, England, entered British Mails with "Bahamas AP 16, 1864" circular backstamp, unpaid with 2sh due, comprising 1sh packet postage to England and 1sh penalty fee, blue crayon "1/5 + 7 = 2/" accounting (1p plus half of penalty retained by Bahamas P.O.), Liverpool receiving datestamp (May 28, 1864), minor edgewear and backflap tears, still Very Fine, ex Myers, with 2004 PF Certificate #0418680. The famous Burckmyer correspondence extensively written up in the Confederate Philatelist. $2,500.

$ 2,500

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