Civil War era steamship counterstamp

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by BRandM, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    025.jpg 026.jpg
    I just picked up this rare steamship counterstamp on eBay a week or so ago and thought some of you would be interested in seeing it. These stamps have been known for years, but it was always thought to be a rare female issued stamp for obvious reasons. I decided to research it back in 2008 and found it was actually issued by the owners of a stern-wheel steamship christened the "Jennie Hubbs". She was built at the shipyard of David Gibson & Co. of Cincinnati in 1863 and was used to carry general freight and foodstuffs up and down the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers during the Civil War and for several years after. She was siezed soon after launch by Union forces suspected of trading with the Confederacy, but was released for lack of evidence. In Nov., 1866 she sank at the falls of the Ohio River near Clarksville, IN, but was raised and rebuilt at New Albany. Shortly after, she sank again on the Mississippi River below Cairo,IL. Again she was refurbished and put back in service but was renamed "Empire". Her short life finally ended when she was caught in a riverbank cave-in near Natchez, MS in December, 1868 and scrapped. She lost a cargo of sugar and molasses bound for Cincinnati.

    There are six examples of the counterstamp documented, including mine. All examples are on coins dated between 1862 and 1867 which fits perfectly with her history. This is a decent example of this historic counterstamp. Comments are welcomed and as always, thanks for looking.

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  3. coinman0456

    coinman0456 Coin Collector

    Great research and a fantastic find. Thanks for sharing.
  4. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Great thread. Fun stuff.
  5. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Thanks for your comments guys.

  6. thecointrader

    thecointrader Lurking Since 2006

    This coin needs to be mounted in a shadow box with a photo of the ship and an explanation of the history of the ship.

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  7. USMoneylover

    USMoneylover Active Member

    Bruce, That's a great story to go with that C/S. It's pretty interesting that it sank 3 different your research did it mention what caused her to go down? I bet on the third go around when they changed the name they were hoping for a different fate! :D
  8. Dennis68

    Dennis68 Member

    Cool token,and great history. Thanks for sharing it.
  9. CheetahCats

    CheetahCats Colonial & Early American

    Awesome post! :)
  10. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    It wasn't unusual for these ships to sink because of sand bars, submerged logs, overloading, poor maintenance, etc. Hunter. I felt the same way, they probably thought a name change would improve their luck. I don't know what caused her to sink the first two times, but the riverbank cave-in put her down for the last time.

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  11. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Not a bad idea cointrader. I wouldn't mount the coin in the shadowbox though, just a nice clear enlarged picture with it's history.

  12. krispy

    krispy krispy

    Absolutely fantastic work Bruce. I always enjoy reading your threads and the history you bring to this forum. Thank you. :thumb:
  13. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Thank you Chris, it's always good to hear from you.

  14. ExoMan

    ExoMan Active Member

    Jennie Hubbs  obv.JPG Jennie Hubbs rv.jpg
    Great thread and well worth resurrecting, so I'll ad my two cents ...
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  15. SuperDave

    SuperDave Free the Cartwheels!

    Most definitely worth bumping for this. :)

    Is your example in the known census, or a new addition?
  16. ExoMan

    ExoMan Active Member

    This is a new addition. Brunk listed two other two cent pieces, dated 1864 and 1867. I anticipate that this date will be added to his next edition.

    Bruce did a fine job of researching the Jennie Hubbs!

    I suspect that this issue may have been used as boarding passes for passengers who went ashore and returned. Jennie was primarily a cargo vessel, but she was fitted with passenger quarters that were even suitable for ladies. I also suspect that these counterstamped coins were issued in Jennie's final year, 1867. Another possibility is that they were struck as mementos for those who manned her.

    I stumbled upon a newspaper article in the Louisville Daily Journal, dated September 9, 1863. It provides some additional history on Jennie ...

    A Memphis exchange says of the beautiful little Jennie Hubbs that she was built in Cincinnati under the immediate supervision of Capt. Devenney, who has had every detail arranged as his experience suggested; she therefore offers many contrasts to the usual arrangement of sternwheel boats, having the convenience of sidewheelers. Her guards are as wide as sidewheelers of her size, her saloon and staterooms are as spacious, and the ladies' cabin is admirably arranged and handsomely furnished. The pilot-house is of unusual size, and the arrangement on the boiler deck is excellent for convenience and securing space for stowage. We must acknowledge being highly pleased with the neat, pretty Jennie Hubbs, which receives its name from the niece, who is treated as a daughter of David Gibson, Esq. of Cincinnati, a charming young lady of seventeen. Will C. Hubbs, Esq., a brother of the accomplished lady, is a pilot on the boat.
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  17. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    Very cool history both of you thanks for sharing
  18. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Good job of adding informaton to these pieces @ExoMan . Get in here Bruce!

  19. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Thanks for the additional info on one of my favorite counterstamps. It's always nice to learn new things about these pieces. You're likely right about the coins being used as tickets or boarding passes. The stamp itself may have also been used to mark property aboard the ship.

    This is one of the really historical pieces out there, IMO. Anything of the Civil War era is special to me, and this one certainly is. Very much appreciate your reviving this old thread.:)

  20. longnine009

    longnine009 Hammer of the gods

    Thankyou Bruce and ExoMan. The union must've sucked all the luck out of the Jennie Hubbs before releasing her. :(
  21. john59

    john59 Active Member

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