Items for Sale - Postmasters' Provisionals on Cover, Section Two


Mobile, Ala. 2¢ black #58X1, irregularly separated at top corners, tied MOBILE / ALA // OCT / 1 / 1861 double circle datestamp on legal cover addressed locally to Major Thos. A. Hamilton, Asst. Adjt. Genl. 9th Brigade A.M. (Alabama Militia), Mobile with directive “Militia Service” at lower left. Contents docketing along left end “Report of 9th Regt Recd. Oct 1, 1861.” Typical file folds well away from adhesive. Crown census only records 23 covers with the 2¢ Mobile provisional, Ex Matz. SCV $6,000. $1,500. Much more information on linked page.

$ 1,500


Nashville, Tenn. 5¢ carmine #61X2, plated by previous owner as position 1 with sheet margin at top, scissor cuts in left margin, tied by bold strike of blue PAID and matching NASHVILLE / Ten. // AUG / 25 / 1861 cds on cover to T. S. Sutterloh, Esq, Fayetteville, North Carolina; missing lower back flap, signed Dietz, Ex Agre and Powell. 1992 CSA certificate, SCV $3,500. $2,500.

$ 2,500


Nashville, Tenn. 5¢ brick red #61X1, plated by previous owner as position 3 from the top row, tied by blue Sep 10 [1861] town postmark with day slug inverted, on cover to Wm. E. Baird Esq, Cornersville, Tenn. Reduced a bit at right and cover repairs top right and center right. 2005 CSA Certificate 04628. SCV $3,500. $1,500.  

Per the 1860-61 Tennessee State Gazetteer and Business Directory, William E. Baird was a “Dealer in Dry Goods, Yankee Notions, Queensware, Hardware and Castings, Family Drugs, Boots, Shoes, Etc.” Per the 1855 List of Post Offices in the United States, he was also the postmaster for Cornersville. The 1861 edition does not show the name of the postmaster.

$ 1,500


Nashville, Tenn. 5¢ violet brown (61X5) horizontal pair tied by usual blue town postmark with matching PAID straightline on cover to Honl Bedford Brown, Locust Hill, Caswell County, NC; cover with expert repairs, Ex Seybold and Powell. SCV $6,000. $2,300.

Honorable Bedford Brown (1795-1870) was a US Congressman.When President Lincoln request troops from NC to serve in the Union Army, Brown, along with most of his colleagues, supported secession. Much more information on linked page.

$ 2,300


New Orleans, La. 2¢ blue #62X1 with very large margins including part of adjoining stamps at top and left, tied by 31 Aug town postmark on cover to M. D. Cooper Esq, Columbia, Tenn, light vertical file fold well away from stamp. Very Fine. A choice four-margin example on a circular-rate cover, signed Dietz, Ex Powell. SCV $5,000. $4,500.

Matthew Delamere Cooper of Columbia, Maury County, Tennessee was a wealthy planter and highly successful businessman with a large commission house in New Orleans. Much more information on linked page.

$ 4,500


Petersburg, Va. 5¢ red #65X1, position 10, tied by blue PETERSBURG / VA. // 5CTS. / NOV / 30 [1861] integral-rate cds on Peebles, Plummer & Co. grocer and commission merchant's blue cameo corner card cover to Wm. Wyatt, Poplar Mount P.O. Va., stamp with pre-use crease at bottom, SCV $2,500 without premium for the corner card. Ex Powell. A beauty! $2,500.

Listed in both Postmasters’ Provisionals and Advertising Cover sections

$ 2,500


Charleston, S.C. 5¢ blue #16X1 tied neat Sept 25, 1861, cds on cover to Henry Summer. Esq, Newberry, S.C. Cover tear across bottom left corner ending in erosion at bottom. SCV $2,500. $950.

Henry Summer was an attorney in Newberry, born into a family of slave-holding planters. Five generations of the Summer family papers (1753-1937) are available in the University of South Carolina.

$ 950


TULLAHOMA / Ten. 10¢ black #111XU1 handstamped provisional, the EARLIEST OF ONLY TWO RECORDED in the Crown Surveys. Addressed to Duncan A. McDonald, Esq. Eucheeanna, Mushy Bend, Walton County, Florida. Eucheeanna was the first Scottish settlement in territorial Florida,  named in honor of the Euchee Indians. Light vertical file folds. Rare provisional. Ex Bogg and Haub. SCV $6,000. $4,500.

$ 4,500


Atlanta, Ga., 1861, 5¢ black (6XU2, CV $1,000), well struck provisional handstamp addressed to Messr. John Shelby & Co., Memphis, Tenn. ATLANTA / Ga. // DEC / 16 / 1861 cds at upper right, Very Fine. $600.

$ 600


MARIETTA / GA 5¢ black provisional entire #53XU1 used with Marietta Oct 22 [1861] cds on cover to Thomas Nesbitt, Berzelia P.O. with contents docketing from Mrs. M.D. Nesbitt Oct 21, 1861. Interesting scheduling notes / names on back flaps in same hand. Plantation Collection, 2017 CSA certificate, SCV $500. CCV $750. $500.

$ 500


Dalton, Ga., 10¢ black #20XU2, clear strike of provisional handstamp, Jan. 10 [1862 cds on entire to Mrs. Mary Ann E. Harden, Athens, Georgia., Very Fine, ex Judd, 1987 and 2017 CSA certificates. SCV $1,250. $850.

Mary Ann Elizabeth (Randolph) Harden (1794-1874) was the second wife of Edward Harden (1784-1849), planter and politician; a prominent slave-owning rice plantation owner.

$ 850


MARIETTA / Geo. 5¢ black (Scott 54X71 /CSA catalog MARGA-E02) used with Oct / 7 double circle postmark on handstamped provisional entire, addressed to Miss S. Claudia Heard, Sand Fort, Russell County, Alabama. Professionally sealed flap tears extending over top edge into rate marking. Very Fine appearance. 2017 CSA Certificate. CCV $750. $350.

$ 350


Talbotton, Ga., 10¢ black #94XU2, bold strike of provisional marking with Talbotton May 9 double-circle town postmark with date in manuscript on entire to Capt. Geo. L. F. Birdsong, Thomaston, Ga., minor foxing, 21 recorded in Crown surveys, 2017 CSA certificate, SCV $1,000. $500.

George Lawrence Forsyth Birdsong served as a captain in Company C, 1st Georgia Battalion Reserve Cavalry as well as 12th Robinson’s Regiment Georgia Cavalry. Much more information on linked page.

$ 500


Jonesboro, Tenn., 5¢ dark blue provisional entire (Scott 45XU2) EARLIEST RECORDED USE / NEW DISCOVERY. Bears no postmark but is considered postally used, as noted in the CSA catalog. Addressed to Mrs. Ellen R. Middleton, Lexington, Virginia, with pencil docketing “Aug 17th, 1861.” Lot includes photocopy of original letter, which no longer accompanies, from John W. Middleton who was in Company H, 27th Virginia Infantry, On the organization of the Stonewall Brigade, it was assigned with nine other Companies to the 5th Virginia Infantry Regiment. Slightly reduced at left, impression somewhat muddy but unmistakable. Military records list Middleton’s residence as Jonesboro, E. Tenn.; others in the Middleton family lived in Lexington, Va. Much more information on linked page.

Incredibly interesting backstory on this cover which appears in the March 2018 edition of the American Stamp Dealer and Collector. ONLY TEN JONESBORO 5¢ BLUE PROVISIONALS RECORDED IN CROWN, the prior earliest recorded was October 1861. SCV $5,000.  $3,500.

$ 3,500


Columbia, S.C., 5¢ blue postmaster’s provisional entire #18XU4 (CSA Catalog COL-SC-E03C) with lovely oval post office control seal at upper right on the front of the fresh blue-lined commercially-made small envelope to Mrs. Mary A. Ewart, Hendersonville, N.C. COLUMBIA / S.C. // 5 cts / SEP / 8 [1861] circular datestamp. The CSA Catalog notes the earliest recorded date of use as September 4, 1861, thus this is an early use. SCV $7,500, CCV $2,000. CONTROL MARKINGS ON THE FRONT ARE MUCH MORE DESIRABLE than those on the back. A beauty! $2,500.

Mary A. McMahon Ewart of Columbia was married to James Beckett Ewart of Kershaw on 14 November 1848. He died in 1860 and she remarried to widower, Col. Valentine Ripley of the 33rd Virginia Infantry.

$ 2,500


Nashville, Tenn., 5¢ violet brown #61X5 (in at right and bottom), tied by blue NASHVILLE / Ten. // SEP / 22 / 1861 cds on "Morgan & Co., Importers and Dealers in Foreign and Domestic Dry Goods" illustrated building corner card cover to Thomas H. Caldwell, Shelbyville Tenn.; large and detailed depiction of the building at 49 Public Square with horses and wagons on street. Stamp has tiny sealed pre-use tear at lower right and cover with small stain at bottom that could easily be cleaned by a professional. Only four advertising covers are recorded bearing singles of Nashville provisionals, as well as two with pairs. Ex Boshwit, DK Collections, and Schopp; 2012 CSA certificate. SCV for stamp on ordinary cover is $4,250. SPECTACULAR RARITY. $4,750.

Hon. Thomas H. Caldwell was a lawyer by profession. He was attorney general and reporter for the State of Tennessee. More info on linked page. Listed in both Provisionals-2, and Advertising

$ 4,750


New Orleans La., 5¢ red brown on bluish #62X4 pair, huge margins to clear at top of left stamp, tied by NEW ORLEANS / LA. // 13 / NOV [1861] cds on illustrated overall lithographed advertising cover to Capt. Victor Maurin, Donaldson Artillery, Richmond Va. "Via Augusta", with A. J. Powell "Plantation Broker" design in gray; reduced at left otherwise Very Fine. Advertising covers with reference to plantations or cotton are quite desirable, Ex D.K. Collection and Ex Staples. $3,500.

Bios of A.J. Powell and Victor Maurin are on the linked page.
Listed in both Provisionals-2, and Advertising

$ 3,500


Petersburg Va., 5¢ red #65X1, position 1 with "PETERSBURC" spelling error, early state with "e" of "Office" still present, top sheet margin, rich color, tied by blue Dec 8 town CDS on fresh cover to Thomas Webb Esq., Cashr (cashier), Hillsboro N.C., accompanying certificate irrelevantly notes a small paper fold in the stamp at right, still Extremely Fine, although unlisted in Scott, this "C" for "G" spelling variety is very scarce and desirable, ex Judd and Dr. Green, 2000 PF certificate. SCV $2,250 as regular issue. $2,000.

Thomas Webb biography on linked page.

$ 2,000


Spartanburg S.C., 5c Black #78X1 tied by PAID straightline with SPARTANBURG / S.C. double-circle datestamp and manuscript "June 22" [1861] date on cover to Rev. A. Nettles, Summerville S.C. Extremely fine. One of the finest of the approximately twenty recorded covers. Ex Ferrary, Hind, Hall and Gross. SCV $20,000. $13,000. Spartanburg S.C. takes its name from the "Spartan Rifles," a group of militia soldiers during the Revolutionary War. The name was adopted by Confederate soldiers from Spartanburg during the Civil War. John A. Lee was a prominent merchant who served as postmaster of Spartanburg from 1850 through the end of the war. Residents of Spartanburg remembered him as the "Wartime Postmaster." (John B. O. Landrum, History of Spartanburg County). Postmaster Lee created his provisional stamps by applying the "5" numeral rate marking inside the "Spartanburg S.C." double-circle datestamp on a sheet of paper, which were then either cut to shape or cut square.

Reverend Abraham Nettles (1808-1889) was a Methodist preacher born in Summerville and lived there all his life. He was married with four children. He died of typhoid fever.

$ 13,000


Charleston, S.C., 5¢ blue #16X1 (sealed tear at LL) tied by Sep 28 / 1861 double-circle town datestamp on cover with embossed corner card of Hayden & Whilden, 250 King Street, Charleston, SC., to Thomas H. Connors, Friendship P.O., S.C., restored section at top and back flap replaced, Dietz signature on back, Ex Northcutt. SCV $2,250. $600. Listed in both Provisional-2 and CSA 3 Sections

Hayden & Whilden was a mercantile firm. Company history on linked page.

$ 600


Galveston Tex., 10c black entire #98XU2, unusually clear strike of provisional handstamp on adversity cover made from a ship's bill of lading to Mrs. L.S. Neblett, Anderson, Grimes Co(unty), Texas, tiny edge nicks and tears, Very Fine strike, desirable adversity use of this scarce provisional, with 1993 CSA certificate 02504, SCV $2,000. $1,800.

$ 1,800


Mobile, Ala., 2¢ black #58X1 tied by bold MOBILE / ALA. // AUG / 13 / 1861 double-circle datestamp on cover to Gaius Whitfield, Demopolis Ala., few scattered toned spots, small mended corner nick at bottom right and slightly reduced at right, narrow part of left edge refolded, Fine and scarce, ex Brooks and Anderson, signed Dietz, with 2002 CSA certificate 04239, SCV $6,000. $2,500.

Unclear whether this was Gaines Gaius Whitfield, Sr. (1804-1879) or his son, Gaines Gaius Whitfield, Jr. (1837-1909) who were slave-owning planters and members of one of Alabama’s most prominent families.

$ 2,500


Montgomery, Ala., 10c¢ blue entire #59XU4 cover to Col. Howell Cobb, Yorktown Va., while a colonel of the 16th Georgia Infantry, used with MONTGOMERY / ALA. // OCT / 24 /1861 CDS, reduced slightly reduced at top, Very Fine, ONLY 5 RECORDED IN CROWN SURVEY, SCV $1,250. $975.

Howell Cobb (1815-1868) was a founder of the Confederacy who served as president of the Confederate Provisional Congress (1861-62), as well as a major general of the Confederate army. His personal history is well-known and illustrious. 

$ 975


New Orleans La., 5¢ Ocher #62X3b horizontal pair, light shade, large to huge margins except just clipped top right corner, internal vertical tear in margin between stamps, tied NEW ORLEANS / La. // 11 / AUG (1861) CDS on buff cover to Mrs. F. A. Kennedy, Vaiden Miss.; slightly refolded and corners at top and bottom right with small repairs, missing back flap, Very Fine appearance. Fewer than ten of the New Orleans Ocher shade are recorded on cover,  2000 CSA certificate 03625 mentioning the cover repairs but not the tear in the pair, SCV $3,500. $1,900.

$ 1,900


Statesville N.C., 5¢ black entire #79XU1 with bold PAID 5 provisional handstamp, STATESVILLE / N.C. // OCT / 2? CDS with additional "Deep Well N.C. Oct. 21" manuscript postmark on cover to Mssrs. Morrsion, Gaither & Co., Eagle Mills, S.C., fresh and Very Fine. Scarce provisional with ONLY 19 RECORDED IN THE CROWN SURVEY, Very unusual with the cover originating in another town and posted in Statesville -- Deep Well (post office ceased to exist in 1866), Statesville, and Eagle Mills are all located in close proximity to each other in Iredell County N.C. Eagle Mills Cotton Factory was established in 1850. The firm name or Morrison, Gaither & Co. It was burned by Stoneman’s soldiers. SCV $1,500. $1,200.

$ 1,200


Nashville Tenn., 5¢ violet brown #61X5 tied by blue NASHVILLE / TEN. // SEP/ 16 / 1861 cds on cover to Wm. W. Henry Esq., Charlotte, Ct. House, Virginia, original enclosure dated the same stating that “Messrs. Ewing & Cooper will attend to your business with care and attention if your letter arrives in time.” Signed J.P. Clark. Slightly reduced at top, Very Fine+, signed in pencil by Stanley B. Ashbrook on verso Ex Emerson and Worthington, 1986 CSA certificate 01111A. SCV $4,250. $2,750.

William Wirt Henry was the grandson of Patrick Henry. Much more information on linked page.

$ 2,750


Canton Miss., 5¢ black entire #14XU1, bold strike of “PAID / 5 / P” Star in Circle provisional handstamp and clear strike of Canton / Miss.//  Jan / 9 / 1862 cds on cover to Carroll Hoy & Co., New Orleans; Extremely Fine. SCV $4,000. $4,000.

$ 4,000


Uniontown, Ala., 5¢ green on gray blue #86X3, position 3, even margins mostly clear of ornaments all around, excellent impression on deeply blued paper, tied by Uniontown, Ala. circular datestamp on blue laid-paper cover to Mrs. R. A. Cobbs, care of Rev. J. M. Mitchell, Montgomery, Ala. ONLY 13 ON-COVER EXAMPLES OF THE UNIONTOWN POSTMASTER’S 5-CENT PROVISIONAL ON GRAY BLUE PAPER ARE RECORDED in CROWN CENSUS. Ex Caspary, Hart, Telep, Dr. Maffeo and Sharrer. 1990 P.F. certificate. SCV $15,000. $12,000.

The Cobbs correspondence was found by R. S. Nelson of Birmingham, Alabama. Per reports at the time of the discovery, Mrs. Cobbs had been ill in a Montgomery hospital, and her husband wrote to her from Uniontown “daily, and sometimes twice a day, for some three weeks.” (Crown, p. 344).

$ 12,000


Atlanta, Geo. 5¢ black handstamped provisional entire 6XU5 gray overall ad cover of William Kay, Agent, Wholesale & Retail Bookseller & Stationer, Atlanta, Ga. with long 4-page LETTER headed Atlanta, August 18th, 1861 from W. Whitaker to “My Dear Farther,” addressed to James Whitaker, Valley Town, NC; 1988 CSA certificate 1786. Describes troops arriving near every day from Richmond, mentions the Battle of Manassas on 21st of July and that he had two sons in that battle, William & George“William was killed in the charge on the Sherman Battery, was shot through the boddy (sic) and died instantly. It is a hard trial for us.” It goes on at some length with sad battle descriptions in which several sons fought. Mentions the president’s message concerning aliens residing in the Confederate States and all males over the age of 14 years, etc. It is rumored that the blockade has been partially removed at some points and disregarded at other points. The blockade has done the North more harm than it has the South. We have plenty provisions for home consumption. The crops are fine thus far. Provisions are plenty in Atlanta but high prices rule.”  (letter page 1letter page 2letter page 3Only a handful of these provisionals are known on advertising covers. $1,000. Listed in both Provisionals-2 and Advertising sections

$ 1,000


Columbus, Ga. 5¢ blue 19XU1 handstamped postmaster’s provisional which were only intended for local use. As this letter was traveling outside of Columbus, a Confederate stamp was affixed and canceled with a town postmark. The letter was addressed to Amos Sawyer, Esq., Berlin, Mass via Norfolk & Flag of Truce. At the exchange point, the Confederate stamp was removed, as required (but often ignored) and it made its way through the U.S. mail with a US 65, 3¢ rose, postmarked OLD POINT COMFORT / VA // JAN / 28. Verso has an offset of the Columbus provisional handstamp, sealed tear at bottom. This cover is a perfect demonstration of how the postal system was supposed to work. $800.

Amos Sawyer, Jr. was the proprietor of the Berlin stage line - much more info on linked page.

$ 800


Baton Rouge La., 5¢ green & carmine, 11X2 tied by light strike of BATON ROUGE / LA // DEC / 16 / 1861 circular datestamp on cover to New Orleans with part of address cut out and piece put in its place, fresh, scarce, Scott value $5,000. $1,800.

$ 1,800


Mobile, Ala., 5¢ blue (58X2) with full margins to just in at top left, rich color, creased by light file fold, tied by MOBILE / ALA. // SEP / 2? /1861 double-circle datestamp on cover to Miss Virginia Carleton, Bashi, Clarke Co(unty) Ala.; slightly reduced at right, edge wear and replaced bottom right corner, ex Przybyl, SCV $1,750. $525.

$ 525


Nashville, Tenn., 5¢ carmine (61X2) deep rich color affixed over U.S. 3c Pink entire (U35) and tied by blue NASHVILLE / Ten. // SEP / 16 / 1861 circular datestamp with matching PAID handstamp; addressed to K.M. Murchison, Care G.W. Williams & Co., Fayetteville, N.C., Unusual use of the provisional over a U.S. entire, ex Boshwit and Felton, SCV $3,500 on a normal cover. $1,750.

Kenneth McKenzie Murchison served in Co. E, NC 8th Infantry, Co. C, NC 54th Infantry, and Co. F, NC 15th Infantry. More detailed information on thumbnail-linked page.

$ 1,750


New 2-19-23

Charleston S.C., 5¢ Blue 16X1 with huge margins showing outer frame lines all around, rich color, tied by CHARLESTON S.C. DEC 19 1861 dcds on cover to Mrs. Susan Dukes, Rowe's Pump S.C. with EMBOSSED ADVERTISING CORNER CARD FOR REEDER & DESAUSSURE, FACTORS AND COMMISSION MERCHANTS at upper left, Very Fine. Only 14 corner card covers with the Charleston provisional are recorded in the Calhoun census. This cover is postmarked one week after the Great Fire of 1861 decimated 15% of the city; with 1986 CSA certificate. Illustrated in the Calhoun Charleston book on p. 79. Listed in both Provisonal Covers, Section 2 and Advertising Covers. $2,800.

$ 2,800


New 2-19-23

Nashville, Tenn. 5¢ grayish brown (61X5 variety) horizontal strip of five, plated on verso as positions 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, dark intermediate shade between Violet Brown and Gray, tied by blue NASHVILLE TEN. OCT  23 1861 cds on rebacked front only to Capt. Danl. Coleman, Danville Va., strip lifted and repaired with parts of design drawn in. THE LARGEST RECORDED USED MULTIPLE OF ANY NASHVILLE PROVISIONAL. Ex Hobbs, Wiseman, Gallagher, Rudy and Powell. $4,000.

$ 4,000


New 2-19-23

New Orleans, La. 62X4, 4 margins with wide side margins, tied NEW ORLEANS LA 15 SEP circular datestamp on rebacked cover front address to Francis Routh Esq Trinity PO Catahoula La with note at top “Opened through mistake by F Routh Jr.” Ex Ralph Swap. 200.

$ 200


New 2-19-23

Petersburg, Va. 5¢ red 65X1 tied blue PETERSBURG 5 cts. DEC 61 town postmark on blue embossed Peebles, Plummer & C. Commission Merchants & Grocers corner card to P.L. Derby, Crimea PO Va., Ex Moody, Emerson and Ralph Swap. Listed on both Provisional Covers, Section 2, and Advertising Covers. $2,000.

$ 2,000

To Top