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Civil War Envelopes

Propaganda on an Envelope

 All images can be found

on our digital database, the

Heritage CATalog

Shortly before and in the first years of the Civil War, many envelopes in both the South and the North were printed with patriotic emblems, cartoons, and sentiments. The envelopes in the collection at the Ridgewood Public Library were collected by Lt. George Williams of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and donated to the Library by Rebecca Hawes, his niece, a Ridgewood resident, and an early supporter of the George L. Pease Memorial Library and its history collections. The envelopes were never used, but kept as souvenirs. There are only a few Confederate examples in the collection.

First Confederate Flag

Patriotic Symbols

Lady Liberty with National Symbols including the Liberty Cap, made popular during the American Revolution, and the fasces, a symbol of authority.

Confederate Symbols

Symbols include ships, a train, munitions, and agricultural products

Caricatures and Cartoons

The Croakers in Council
("croakers" are grumblers or doomsayers

The Union Rooster vs. the Piratical
(and puny) Confederacy

Zouaves were Union soldiers

Jeff is Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy

F.F.V. (First Families of Virginia )
being decimated by cannonballs

African Americans are shown standing up against slavery.


The War was fought on the seas, as well. The Confederacy was portrayed as a pirate--acting outside the law.