Arago: Handstamped Paids

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Handstamped Paids

Confederate cover handstamped Paid 5

Description:

The envelope, addressed to Athens, Georgia, bears a blue, handstamped Paid 5 with indistinct matching Columbia, South Carolina, circular date stamp.

The date stamp contains only a month and day date, though not fully legible, that appears to be "Nov. 26." The rates for postage increased to ten cents (regardless of distance) on July 1, 1862, hence this letter was mailed in 1861.

Even though Confederate postage stamps had been introduced in October 1861, the demand outstripped the printer's ability to supply them. As a result, postage stamps were not available in all post offices at first. In such an event, postmasters resorted to other, temporary substitutes. A handstamp, which was applied to the letter upon receipt of payment, was one such method.

Date:
1861
Medium:
paper; ink (blue)/ handwritten, handstamped
Museum ID:
2003.2004.17
Place:
South Carolina

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