Sunday, March 13, 2011

CSA Cotton Will Defeat "Ape Lincoln" Cover (CS36)

Cotton will defeat "Ape Lincoln"

     This Confederate patriotic cover is one I have recently purchased and have just started reproducing (Item CS36 Feb.2011).  It's an interesting one.  It was printed early war by "J. Mullen, Publisher, Canal Street, New Orleans, C.S.A." (printer's tag line on reverse of cover).
     I often describe patriotic covers as "1860s bumper stickers" to spectators who come by our tent.  By that I mean for their time and culture these envelopes presented in a popular art form the political messages of their times, and people responded by buying and mailing these political statements.
     That this was printed in New Orleans to me is an interesting historical detail.  There are many covers I find that do not have the publisher on them, and I find myself wondering where and when they were printed.
     The reference to Packenham is lost on us today.  But to Southerners, especially those of the New Orleans area, it would have resonated "defeating the impossible".  Major-General Edward Packenham was in charge of the British forces invading Louisiana with the mission to seize the important city of  New Orleans.  The Battle of New Orleans (Jan.8, 1815) was the final major battle of the War of 1812.  Andrew Jackson commanded the American forces which against all expectations defeated the superior British Army.  During the attack, Major-General Packenham was killed as he attempted to rally the British troops. 
     The Battle of New Orleans was regarded in the American culture of that time as the greatest American land victory of the War of 1812.  The artist of this Confederate cover draws on that history to say "as in that day, so in our day what looks impossible will happen -- those defending our homeland will defeat tyrannical overwhelming forces".  You have to give the artist credit for succinctly developing a hopeful rallying message and having a good cutting sense of humor -- "Ape Lincoln".
     This would be an interesting cover for use by Confederate reenactors to portray Southern early war confidence.  If you are interested in buying this cover, in my order system it's number CS36.  I also have some early war Confederate Provisional stamps that would go good with it for a living history display.
     There is a Union cover, printed by Upham, that is counter-point to this Confederate cover using the same picture but with the mocking notation "Jeff. King of the Cotton plant-nation on his throne".  Upham reflects the Northern counterpoint that cotton will not be the savior the South thinks and will regret allowing Davis to rule them.  It's always interesting to see these dueling political covers.

1 comment:

  1. That is one awesome envelope with a cool history to it. Thank you Glen for making these letters and envelopes, because your the only one I know who does this stuff and its a fascinating part of the civil war that I think is totally awesome.