1854 Stampless envelope (without contents) sent from MOSUL, IRAQ MESOPOTAMIA, with postmark ”BOSTON/18/APR/5 cts” and manuscript endorsement ”STEAMER/MOSUL” at lower left. Reverse side manuscript date ”April 22nd `54”. Written by the U.S missionary Dwight. W. Marsh (1823-1896) stationed in Mosul (1850 - 1860) to his sister Clarissa Dwight Marsh. The cover was carried by river steamer along the Tigris after which it was taken per dromedary service to Beirut via Damascus through the Syrian desert (postal route opened by the British in 1843 between Beirut and Bagdhad). THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED TRANSATLANTIC MAIL COVER FROM IRAQ OF WHICH ONLY TWO ARE KNOWN (the other one franked with a U.S stamp offered in the next lot). Included in this lot is a further letter from the same correspondence: 1860, July 14, stampless four page entire letter (send outside of the post) from CONSTANTINOPLE to ST. LOUIS, MO. USA. Date lined ”CONSTANTINOPLE ON BOARD CUNARD STEAMER OLYMPIA, JULY 14, SAT. EVE.” Manuscript lower left ”Steamer / D.W.”. Written by the missionary Dwight W. Marsh (1823-1896) on his last return voyage from Mosul to St.Louis, Mo addressed to his sister. After having spent 10 years doing missionary work in Mosul and area. This letter is his last one written from the Middle East, as he never set foot there again. He mentions interesting chronicles of the events taking place at the time. Regarding the 1860 Lebanon civil war (23 may - 11 July 1860), he says ” our souls have been stirred this week by the news from Syria and the terrible massacre of Christians by the Druzes ” (Druze turning against the Maronite Christians. Around 20,000 Christians were killed by the Druze, and 380 Christian villages and 560 churches destroyed). He goes on ”it will have no slight affect on the future of Turkey. May God overrule it for good ”.