CSA Postal History Fakes - Page 22

Confederate States of America
Postal History
Fakes, Phonies, Forgeries

Fake Through-the-Lines Cover

CSA #11 Norton, Miss Through-the-Lines to Illinois

Cover appears to be Through-the-Lines from Norton, Miss to Rockford, Ill via Louisville (KY) in 1863 or 1864 with the CSA #11 paying the CSA postage and the "Due 3" for Union postage to be collected on receipt from the addressee. But this is a very clumsy fake for the following reasons --

  1. There is not now nor has there ever been a town called Norton, Miss. There is, however, a Norton, Massachusettes located south of Boston. A blue Norton Ms 33mm postmark was in use 1850-1853. This cover is an original early 1850's cover with a period address and a genuine Norton Ms postmark to Illinois. The postmark has been altered by adding in pen an "I" and an "S" so that it now reads "Miss" instead of "Ms."
  2. The usage of this cover is not compatible with 1863 or 1864 (the years when this CSA stamp was in use) as Through-the-Lines mail via Louisville had ceased by then.
  3. The "Paid 10" mark on the stamp does not resemble any known CSA "Paid 10" mark that I am aware of. Besides, both the "Paid 10" mark and the "Due 3" mark are apparent rubber stamps which would indicate application well after the war. Rubber stamps were not used during the war.
  4. The manuscript "Louisville" along the left edge is in modern ink and not period ink. In fact on close examination the same pen was used to write "Louisville" as was used to add the two letters to the postmark.

Putting all this together, here is the apparent scenario -- A genuine early 1850's Norton, Ms cover probably containing a USA #11 in the right upper corner was used. The postmark was altered to resemble a Mississippi postmark. The stamp was removed and replaced with a very wide margin CSA #11 so that the imprint of the old stamp would be covered. The rubber stamps were then applied and the manuscript "Louisville" was added. The whole thing was done in a direct attempt to defraud the collector. This cover was recently discovered in an old book store in Maryland. I believe that this fake was done relatively recently. Study it carefully because it could easily fool even an experienced collector who did not know exactly what to look for.

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