June 22, 2018 10:00 AM EDT Cincinnati


Jefferson Davis, Autograph Envelope to his Wife from Fortress Monroe

Cover (3 x 5.75 in.) addressed in Jefferson Davis' hand: "For Mrs. Varina Davis, Augusta, Georgia." lower left corner with additional note by Davis: "To Hon. J. Speed / U.S. Atty. Genl / Washington D.C." In pencil at top: "Was erased when recd. by J.S."

What Davis was allowed to send while incarcerated at Fortress Monroe (see Lot 96) was examined by Attorney General James Speed. In a note sent to General Nelson Miles, then commander at Fortress Monroe, E.D. Townsend, AAG, wrote: "Any letters which Mr. Davis desires to send his wife must relate only family matters and be first submitted to the Attorney General's inspection...." (Aug. 18, 1865, ORs Vol. 8, Series 3) Although no postmark is on this cover, it is opened along the left end. Although Davis complained bitterly about this indignity, by the end of 1866 Varina and Winnie had moved into the fort with him and writing would not have been very common.


Just a few spots of foxing, otherwise very good.

Estimate: $1,000 - $2,000


Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

Let Cowan's Handle Your Shipping!

Cowan's Auctions is one of the only houses to offer full service, in-house shipping. 
Our experts pack and ship over 5,000 purchases each year.  
Shipping costs are included on every invoice to make getting your items as fast and easy as possible. 
For more information, click HERE or contact shipping@cowans.com.