A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Confederate States of America

A well worn copy of 1863-64 Scott 11 10c blue "Jefferson Davis" 
Quick History
South Carolina seceded December 20,1860, with the other southern states soon following. The Confederate States of America formed as a provisional government on February 4,1861. The postmasters continued to pay to the order of the U.S. government until the Confederate States assumed control of postal affairs. The Federal Government suspended operation in the Confederate States on May 31, 1861. The postmasters of the Southern States provided provisional issues from June 1 until October 16, when the general issues of the Confederacy began.

Note on the Civil War and the Postal system:  With the War sometimes dividing family and friends, a working postal system for communication was highly important. Letter writing increased significantly across the entire divided nation, especially between the soldiers and their families. The Confederacy had a very able postal system throughout the conflict. Mail was sent across lines under a "Flag of Truce". Mail from the North to the South went through City Point,Virginia where it was inspected before being sent further. Mail from the South to the North was opened and inspected at Fortress Monroe along the Virginia coast before entering the U.S. mail stream.

Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, on two lines of one page, has six stamp spaces for 1861-62 and 1863. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue, for the General Issues, has fourteen major stamp descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue is 43% .

Many U.S. collectors specialize in the Civil war postage era.  Big Blue naturally only provides space for some of the general issues. But even then, filling the first 1861-62 illustrated stamp space for "Jefferson Davis" requires either the expensive Scott 4 ($120+), or the even more Scott 1 ($170+).

The Southern Postmaster Provisionals, issued between June 1, 1861 and October 16, 1861, are covered in nine pages of the Classic catalogue. Alas, the least expensive is the Memphis,Tennessee 2c blue ($100+), with most of the other Provisionals costing thousands.

Of the General Issues in Big Blue, many ( Scott 1,4,7,8,11,12,13) have minor numbers for shade colors, usually for somewhat more money. The General Issues not in Big Blue, of course, are more expensive; the least- for $60+ no gum-, the "never put in use" 1862 Scott 14 1c orange "John C. Calhoun".

Big Blue Checklist
1861-62 Imperf
Scott 1 ($170+) or 4 ($120+)
Scott 6 ($10+) or 7 ($10+)
Note: Scott 1 is 1861 A1 design 5c green "Jefferson Davis"; Scott 4 is 1862 A1 5c blue.
Note: Scott 6 is 1862 A4 design 5c light blue "Jefferson Davis" ; Scott 7 is 1862 A4 5c blue.

1863 Imperf
Scott 8 ($70+) 1863 A5 design 2c brown red "Andrew Jackson"
Scott 11 ($10+) 1863-64 A7 10c blue "Jefferson Davis"
Scott 12 ($10+) 1863-64 A8 10c blue "Jefferson Davis"
Scott 13 ($40+) 1863 A9 20c green "George Washington"

Kinds of Blue
The '97,'69,'47, and '41 are identical in content.

Confederate States General Issues - A Closer Look
One Confederate Dollar = 100 Confederate Cents

General Issues
1861 Scott 1b 5c dark green "Jefferson Davis"
Although the Confederate States stamps are part of the United States Scott entry, they are really a separate specialty. The specialty is driven by the many 1861 3c postmasters' provisionals issued by southern postmasters. These postmasters' provisionals are expensive ($hundreds- $Tens of Thousands).

The general issues (1861-64) consist of 14 major Scott numbers, with many more minor numbers (color shades).

Scott 1 consists of a lithographed 5c "Jefferson Davis" green (shades).

CV is $175, with CV $250 for the dark green shade. Unfortunately, this particular stamp has a significant flaw (hole).

(1862 Scott 6 or 7 5c blue "Jefferson Davis", Typographed)
Actually, a New York Counterfeit!
When I obtained this stamp, it didn't seem "right" to me. Was it a Scott 6 (London printing) or a Scott 7 (Richmond printing)? Trish Kaufmann's excellent Confederate Stamp Primer Online quickly resolved the question. It was neither Scott 6 or 7, but rather the ubiquitous New York Counterfeit, thanks to Walter Scott (Yes, THAT Scott!)!

Characteristics of the counterfeit include an "odd cloudy greenish-blue aqua color", and a shortened crossbar on the "F" and "E" of "FIVE", compared to the genuine.

CV for the genuine is ~$20.

1863 Scott 8 2c brown red "Andrew Jackson"
Engraved, "Red Jack"
Sometimes known as the "Red Jack" (compared to the well known "Black Jack"),  1,6000,000 stamps were issued, with John Halpin the engraver.

CV is $75 (unused).

1863-64 Scott 11 10c blue "Jefferson Davis"
Engraved, Type I
Scott's note of how to tell the difference between Scott 11 & Scott 12 is often hard to see: namely that Scott 12 has an additional line outside the ornaments at the four corners.

It was not until the Confederate Stamp primer Online provided an easy way to differenciate that I was able to separate out the two stamps. The back of the hair line goes well past the ear.

CV is ~$20.

1863-64 Scott 12 10c blue "Jefferson Davis"
Engraved, Type II
With Scott 12, the back of the hair line stops at the ear.

CV is $20+.

1863 Scott 13 20c green
"George Washington", Engraved
2,300,000 stamps were issued.

CV is $40+ (unused).

Big Blue Bottom Line
The bottom line for these issues- and their tangible significance- is that they represent much more than the stamps themselves.

Note: Map with the subscript appears to be in the Public domain. A Print without subscript is available at www.history-map.com.

Note: The "Closer Look" section was added in 2020.

If you enjoyed this post, or have some information to share, or have some constructive criticism, please share your thoughts and reactions in the "comment" section.  Thanks!

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.

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