Confederate States

One of the most interesting philatelic areas is Confederate States. When the Southern States seceded from the Union in 1861 over the issue of whether they would be allowed to continue to own human beings as slaves, the eleven seceding states (Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas,and Missouri) quickly set up a postal system and issued their own stamps. The philately of the Confederate States has always been popular as there are so many things that a collector can do with this area. There are the stamps of the union that were used in the south after secession but before Confederation and the issuance of their own stamps. There are the stamps themselves, which range in price from the most common stamps at a few dollars a piece to above $1000 for a nice example of a 10c Frameline. The Postmasters Provisionals are fascinating and rare. But what has most captivated philatelists is the wonderful postal history. Numerous battles were fought on Southern turf, and covers can trace troop movements and Prisoners of War. Paper became extremely scarce in the South as the war progressed and envelopes were reused and non envelope paper, such as wall paper, was made into envelopes. These are called adversity covers and are avidly collected. The literature is exhaustive and Confederate States can be collected on a large budget or on a small one. What is even better is that it is completable, at least for the major Scott numbers. Most collectors never can complete the country they collect. But if you collect Confederate States you can complete the entire country for under $2500.

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