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STAMPS

STAMPS. Neither the republic nor the state of Texas issued postage stamps, but during the Civil War local stamps known as Confederate postmasters' provisions were issued by individual municipalities in Texas. These were not authorized by the Confederacy, but because the Confederate government was not able to supply its own stamps until October 15, 1861, cities throughout the South, including Galveston, provided their own adhesives for the prepayment of postage. Also, when the western part of the Confederacy was cut off by Union control of the Mississippi River, several cities issued their own stamps upon the exhaustion of their stock of general Confederate issues. The Gonzales, Texas, stamps are of particular interest since the advertising labels of the firm of Law and Colman, booksellers and druggists, were pressed into service as stamps when Law became postmaster in 1863. Not only Galveston and Gonzales, but Beaumont, Hallettsville, Helena, Independence, and Victoria issued their own stamps, all in five and ten cent denominations. The exact dates of their use are uncertain. All of these city stamps became extremely rare, and by 1948 they were selling for over $1,000 each. Their scarcity, their unofficial nature, and the reluctance of the issuing postmasters to discuss them have precluded a full knowledge of their history. Several other cities, including Austin, also provided devices to indicate the prepayment of postage, but these were not in postage-stamp form.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

August Dietz, The Postal Service of the Confederate States of America (Richmond, Virginia: Dietz, 1929).

Warren French

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Warren French, "STAMPS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/egs02), accessed July 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.