Hyco, Virginia: R. L. Ragland, 1893. Envelope. Illustrated advertising cover (envelope) from R. L. Ragland. The illustration depicts a tobacco plant in full bloom. Text reads, "R. L. Ragland / Tobacco-Seed Grower, / Hyco, Halifax Co, VA. / The Largest Stock of / Select Varieties / In the World to Choose from / List free." Franked with the 2c Columbus commemorative stamp, Scot #231 and postmarked on 27 September 1893 with a South Boston, VA, Letter "A" fancy cancel (Salkind Le-A-21). Light wear. Very Good. Item #007710
Former Confederate officer, Major Robert L. Ragland, founded the Slate Seed Company at his Hyco farm. The firm was, for many years, the largest producer and distributor of tobacco seeds in the world. Following Ragland's death in 1893 (the same year as this cover) the company offices moved to South Boston and were operated by his son-in-law, William C. Slate. By 1916, the company supplied over 90% of the world's tobacco seed from the Hyco Farm. The company closed in 1962.