Today in Postal History


Cape of Good Hope (Cape Colony) Domestic Use
January 4, 1865

This scratchpad cover was sent from Port Elizabeth
on the southern Indian Ocean shore of Africa.

It went nearly 700 km west to Cape Town on the Atlantic Ocean.
It arrived in Cape Town on January 7.

The cover was postmarked with the round date stamps introduced in the 1850s.
Although illegible, the killer on the stamp was probably
one of the numeral types introduced in 1864.

At that time there were 500 post offices in the Cape Colony.

The letter forwarded an insurance check to the
Mutual Life Assurance office in Cape Town.
The sender was forwarding a draft to prepay his life insurance.
He also inquired as to how much would be required to prepay for a year.

The Mutual Life Assurance Company, founded
in 1845, is one of the oldest firms in South Africa.
It is still in business today as the Old Mutual Life
Assurance Company (South Africa) Limited

The cover is franked with a 4d. deep blue triangle
probably from the De La Rue printing in 1863 (SG 19).*

*Maarten Willems notes that the slightly bluish cast of the paper
suggests that the stamp might be from the 1853 Perkins Bacon printings.
Of course, this would be subject to a careful examination.


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