Confederate Postmaster Provisional Postal History
By: Dan Ryterband

Apr 9 , 2013

Our April 9, 2013 meeting was well attended and much enjoyed.  Dan Ryterband discussed and passed around the table 45 Confederate States Postmaster Provisional covers, all in remarkably fresh condition. There were a few “handstamped paids” but almost all of the covers were franked with adhesive stamps.

Dan explained that these provisional stamps (usually 5c and 10c denominations, representing the basic Confederate rates) were mostly created and used during the early months of the Civil War, between the withdrawal of United States stamps and the first appearance of Confederate general-issue adhesives.  One of many spectacular covers was a horizontal strip of three of the 5c blue Mobile provisional (Scott 58X2) on a fresh yellow envelope with a matching blue advertising corner cachet, addressed to the Choctaw Indian Agency in Mississippi.

Dan also showed a cover from New Orleans on which the 10c over-500-mile rate was overpaid by three 2c blue New Orleans provisionals (62X1) and one 5c (62X4). From the legendary Seybold collection, this is the only cover known bearing both values of the New Orleans provisional stamps–and one of just two covers known showing two different Confederate Postmaster Provisional stamps.