Sep 26, 2019 - Sale 2517

Sale 2517 - Lot 55

Estimate: $ 300 - $ 400
(CIVIL WAR--CONFEDERATE--DIPLOMACY.) Murrell, Joseph E. Letter offering to continue as Russian vice-consul in Mobile after secession. Letter Signed to Johan de Nottbeck, the Russian Consul in New York. 2 pages, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, plus integral address leaf bearing 3-cent United States postage stamp and double inked Mobile cancellation stamps; minor wear at intersection of folds, repaired tear to address leaf. Mobile, AL, 2 May 1861

Additional Details

The merchant Joseph E. Murrell (1808-1890) had been serving as Russia's vice-consul in Mobile, AL since at least 1851. With Alabama's secession, he felt moved to clarify his situation to the Russian Consul-General in New York: "I shall be happy at all times to protect Russian interests in this quarter, and to serve you in any way in my power, but . . . I cannot consider that I am holding my exequatur from the government at Washington, which government I no longer recognize." At this early stage of the war, his letter still bore a United States stamp and was apparently delivered in New York without difficulty. Oddly enough, Consul-General de Nottbeck had died in a horseback accident in Central Park, NY on 18 April.