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. $550.
The Berenberg history can be traced back to the last years of the 15th century. The family originates from the Bergisches Land region. Thillmann Berenberg was born on the Groß-Berenberg estate in 1465. Records show that he traded in cloths. His son Jan first went to nearby Cologne and then moved on at the beginning of the 16th century to Lier, which is just outside the gates of Antwerp, where he became a citizen as "Thillmans zon de Coelenaere" as early as 1515. Antwerp offered ideal conditions for trading. Around 1550, it was the richest and busiest city in Europe; up to 500 ships lowered and raised their anchor every day. It was the time of great discoveries and thus of Europe´s economic reorientation towards the west - and at the same time it was an era of bloody religious wars. In 1585, the Dutch Protestants were given the choice either to convert to Catholicism or to leave the country, and like thousands of their brothers in faith, so the Protestant Berenbergs began to search for a new home. The Berenberg brothers founded their business in 1590. Much more history online.