Items for Sale - Blockade-Run Mail
8665 8665

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.

11653 11653

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.

13246 13246

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.

14519 14519

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.

14982 14982

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.

14983 14983

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.

14984 14984

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.

14987 14987

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

15173 15173

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.

15195 15195

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.

16822 16822

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.    

17224 17224

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.

17228 17228

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.

7776 7776

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.

18019 18019

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.

18353 001 18353

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.

19227 cover 19227

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.

19318 19318

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.

19485 19485

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.

19637 19637

Outgoing blockade-run cover from Vicksburg, Miss., to England via Mobile, Havana CUBA and the Bahamas. Legal-size cover with original 2-page letter datelined "Vicksburg Miss., Confederate States of America, February 14th 1862," addressed to George Gill Muncy, Solicitor, Carlisle, England, carried on a blockade-runner from Mobile Ala. to Cuba, backstamped "Havana MY 7 1862 A," (COVER VERSO) then carried on the RMSP Trent to St. Thomas, arriving May 13; on the RMSP La Plata to Southampton, arriving June 1, London and Carlisle backstamps (June 2), manuscript "3/-" shillings due (packet rate plus non-payment fine), minor wrinkling, Very Fine. Faint postmarks on front of cover. The ENCLOSED LETTER (PAGE 1, PAGE 2) from Vicksburg is from A. M. Smedes to George Gill Mouncey (also seen as Mounsey and Mouncy) in which Smedes states he is sending the letter to Mr. Muir to be read and forwarded to Mr. Mouncey. In part, “Mr. Hunt, although a very wealthy man, could not pay anything on his note. It is important that the lands in several counties in this state should be protected from tax sales.” Very little blockade-run mail went through the port of Mobile Alabama, and all of it was carried to or from Havana. The Havana post office normally did not apply markings to mail bound for New York. This was carried by Royal Mail Steamship Company packet service to England and received the Havana postmark. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF OUTBOUND BLOCKADE-RUN MAIL POSTMARKED AT HAVANA. RARE BLOCKADE-RUN COVER FROM MOBILE, ALABAMA, TO HAVANA (CUBA), THE BAHAMAS AND LONDON. LL $5,500.

19640 19640

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.

19641 19641

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.

19846 19846

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.

19857 19857

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.

19866 19866

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.

20444 20444

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.

20646 20646

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.

11196 11196

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.


Incoming blockade-run cover with WILMINGTON N.C. DEC 17 5 PAID integral rate modified from prewar “3 PAID”. On cover to Richmond, Va with straightline handstamped SHIP and manuscript ‘12’. Sealed tear at top and top back flap mostly missing. Ex Van Dyk MacBride, Frank Hart, and Hughes. $950.


Incoming blockade-run cover bearing CSA 12, 10¢ dark blue bottom sheet margin with large to huge margins, tied by CHARLESTON S.C. AUG  3 186- circular datestamp on cover most likely originating in England, addressed to A. A. Bell Esq., Liberty Va. with ship-name endorsement "per Genl. Whiting" with matching "Triplicate" at lower left, accompanied by photocopy of letter to the mayor of Charleston from Major General Samuel Jones expressing concern about yellow fever that might have been carried on the General Whiting on this trip. Extremely Fine, RARE BLOCKADE-RUN COVER WITH SHIP'S NAME AND CONFEDERATE STAMP FOR INTERNAL POSTAGE. Special Routes census no. BI-Ch-60. Ex Karras. $2,500. 

The blockade-runner General Whiting carried this cover from Nassau, arriving in Charleston August 3, 1864. An earlier and nearly identical cover from the Walske collection sold in Siegel sale 988, lot 325 for $4,000 plus buyer premium. That cover was carried on the Lucy from Nassau to Wilmington N.C. and handled by a forwarder. This cover was almost certainly handled the same way.

New 03-05-24

David Ian Cordon Bermuda Blockade-Run Covers: David Cordon’s blockade-run (or related) Bermuda comprises ten scarce covers, including some particularly rare pieces of Bermuda postal history such as the only recorded Major Norman S. Walker (Confederate agent) forwarder handstamp and one of only two R.S. Musson & Co. oval forwarding handstamps. These are truly exceptional showpieces. This is a consigned group, thus no discounts. $30,000

These Bermuda postal history gems are offered as a one lot, a rare opportunity.

Click here to see a PDF with full descriptions, provenance, and images of back and front.