US Stamps

Why did a dealer label this cover “Northern Protest”?: U.S. Stamp Notes

Mar 16, 2016, 11 AM
This 1858 cover was labeled “Northern Protest” by the dealer who sold it. If that is true, the connection is obscure. Can a Linn’s reader decode this?

By John M. Hotchner

The cover from Troy, N.Y., to Massachusetts has a nicely canceled 3¢ Washington (Scott 26) dated Sept. 10, 1858. The stamp is set into a fancy illustration of undetermined origin and meaning.

The words “Burridge” and “Cleve.” are at the bottom of the illustration. Presumably they relate to the producer of the printed envelope.

What is puzzling is that the dealer selling the cover labeled it “Northern Protest.” I assume this has something to do with the design, but I see little in it that speaks to me of protest, except possibly the bird at the top, probably an eagle.

Connect with Linn’s Stamp News: 

    Like us on Facebook 
    Follow us on Twitter
    Keep up with us on Instagram

Searching the Internet pushes me in the direction of a Northern backlash against the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision in early 1857, but this envelope was mailed almost 18 months later.

If any Linn’s reader can shed any light on this cover and the history it reflects, please contact me, John Hotchner at, or by mail at Box 1135, Falls Church, VA 22041.