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Sale 57: The Hugh V. Feldman Collection

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Lots 4053-4062 Lots 4063-4065

Lot 4053    

(Alabama River - Non-Contract) Packet Farmer, perfect strike of beautiful ornate oval handstamp on blue folded letter datelined "Mobile Dec 31st 1851" to Montgomery Ala., entered mails with "Montgomery Ala. Jan 5" cds and matching "Steamboat" and "5" rating handstamps, Very Fine; with 1993 P.S.E. and 2001 P.F. certificates. Milgram No. 448.
Estimate    $2,000 - 3,000.


Apart from the period July 1854 to June 1858, only non-contract steamboats carried mails between Mobile and Montgomery. Between October 1867 and June 1871, a route between Mobile and Selma was operated.

Realized: $5,000

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Lot 4054    

(Alabama River - Non-Contract) Steamer Joab Lawrence, blue cds on 3¢ pink (U59) entire to Lower Peach Tree, Ala. that was on the Alabama River, endorsed "with goods" and at lower left "Per Lawrence", Very Fine and choice.
Milgram No. 709    Estimate $200 - 300.

Realized: $180

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Lot 4055    

(Alabama River - Non-Contract) Packet Mary Clifton, red oval handstamp on folded letter dated "Feb. 25 1852" from plantation owner to his agent in Mobile Ala., black Mobile "Steam 5" oval rating handstamp, Very Fine.
Milgram No. 856    Estimate $200 - 300.

"Mary Clinton" of 206 tons was built at New Albany Ind. in 1849 for the Alabama River trade out of Mobile. She was snagged and lost at Tait Shoals on February 26th 1855.

Realized: $180

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Lot 4056    

(Alabama River - Non-Contract) Steam (Selma, Ala.), clear strike of small straightline on buff cover to Selma bearing 1852, 3¢ dull red, position 8R2L, three large margins, tied by matching grid cancel; reduced slightly at left, Very Fine, ex-Wagshal.
Estimate    $200 - 300.

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Lot 4057    

(Alabama River Route 7003) Cahaba, Alabama Pictorial Steamboat Marking, datelined folded letter carried via Old Point Comfort and Richmond to Potomac Creek to be put onto Route 1901 for Washington, double strike of red "Steam" straightline handstamp and manuscript "18¾" rating; taped cover tears at bottom, light toning, otherwise F.-V.F.; with clear 2002 P.F. certificate.
Estimate    $750 - 1,000.


Contrary to regulations, the Cahaba postmaster used a pictorial handstamp of a steamboat in lieu of the mandated "Steam" or "Steamboat". Three varieties are known, of which this is the earliest type.

Realized: $1,000

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Lot 4058    

(Alabama River Route 7003) Mobile & Montgomery Tuesday Evening Packet St. Nicholas, choice strike of this fancy illustrated packet handstamp in blue showing a cotton bale, on cover bearing 3¢ dull red, type I (25), tied by "Selma Ala. '3 Paid' Apr 22" cds and "Steamboat" straightline handstamp; reduced slightly at right, some light perf toning, slight perf defect not mentioned on certificate, Very Fine, ex-Grunin; with 1993 P.S.E. and 2004 P.F. certificates. Scott No. 25.
Milgram No. 1318    Estimate $5,000 - 7,500.


It was not until July 1854 that a Star Route was contracted to carry mails between Mobile and Montgomery. Up to that date letters were only carried by non-contract steamboats on the Alabama River. The July 1854 contract was made with J.J. Cox (later Cox Brainard) to carry the Great Southern Mails whose volume exceeded the capacity of the stage coach on the route. $35,000 a year was paid for four years only for a daily service.

This Alabama river steamboat marking is one of the most beautiful designs produced.

Realized: $10,500

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Lot 4059    

(Alabama River Confederate Usage) Packet Le Grande, red circular handstamp on U.S. 3¢ star die buff entire addressed to Newberry Court House S.C., original enclosed letter datelined "Sebastopol, Ala. Feby 21st 1861" that is located 23 miles NW of Demopolis on the Tombigbee River, entered mails with two strikes of "Montgomery Ala. Paid Feb 23" cds and "Steamboat" straightline; cover staining, F.-V.F.
Milgram No. 783    Estimate $300 - 400.

At the date of Alabama's secession from the Union on 11th January 1861 no mail contracts were running to Montgomery by steamboat. However, letters were carried by vessels operating on the Alabama River and put into the Post Office at Montgomery.

The "Le Grande" of 235 tons was built at New Albany, Indiana in 1856 arriving at Mobile Nov 5th 1856 with Capt. George W. Cloudes as Master. Enrolled in the Confederate registry in January 1861.

Realized: $1,050

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Lot 4060    

(Alabama - Tombigbee River) Regular Tuesday Packet Rescue, blue oval handstamp on cover bearing 3¢ dull red (26) tied by sharp "Mobile Ala Jul 16 1860" cds and addressed to Washington La., matching black "Steamboat" straightline handstamp, Very Fine, ex-Paul Rohloff; with 2004 P.F. certificate.
Milgram No. 1182    Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.


No star routes were contracted on the Tombigbee and Black Warrior Rivers in the period 1824 to 1875. However, the river was a major route for commerce with a number of letters recorded as being carried on it. This cover was carried to Mobile on the "Rescue" arriving July 16th.

The "Rescue" of 207 tons was built at Mobile in 1859 for Capt. H.R. Johnston. She was snagged and lost at Tompkin's Bluff Ala. in December 1860. We record the following examples of this handstamp:
1. Jul. 8, 1860, Mobile Ala. to Washington La. with #26 (nibbed perfs) tied by "Steamboat" straightline. ex Klein-Somdal.
2. Jul. 10, 1860, Mobile Ala. to New Orleans La. with #26 tied by cds and "Steamboat" straightline. ex-Eggen.
3. Jul. 10, 1860, Mobile Ala. to Washington La. with #26 tied by cds. ex-Rohloff, the cover offered here.

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Lot 4061    

(Alabama - Tombigbee River) From Steamer Tiger, oval handstamp on 3¢ red Nesbitt buff entire addressed to New Orleans La., endorsed "Valuable", entered mails with "Mobile Ala. Dec 5 1859" cds and matching "Steamboat" straightline both canceling indicia; light stain upper right and flap tear, Very Fine.
Milgram No. 1371    Estimate $750 - 1,000.

Realized: $800

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Lot 4062    

(Tombigbee River) Regular Saturday Packet Alice Vivian, choice sharp strike of blue oval handstamp on all-over shaded ad cover to Spring Hill, original enclosure datelined "Mobile Decr. 22nd 1860"; small edge nick, F.-V.F.; with 1976 P.F. certificate.
Milgram No. 29    Estimate $400 - 600.

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Lots 4053-4062 Lots 4063-4065

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