Today in Postal History


Niger Coast Protectorate to United States
January 8, 1895

This registered cover traveled on the Queen's Service (On Her Majesty's Service).
It was sent by the Post Office in Old Calabar and
probably was used to deliver an order of postage stamps.

The Oil Rivers Protectorate was assumed in July, 1884, and confirmed in 1885.
A post office was established at Old Calabar in November, 1891.
Oil Rivers Protectorate was extended inland and
became the Niger Coast Protectorate on May  12, 1893.

The first stamps were issued January 1, 1894.
These stamps were overprints of Oil Rivers Protectorate stamps
which didn't go into use before the name changed.

This cover is franked with stamps from the first issue specifically
produced for the Niger Coast Protectorate issued in May, 1894.
There is a 2d lake and a 5d purple both with Queen Victoria in various frames (SG 53 and 55).

The stamps are cancelled with two Old Calabar CDS.

Registry was accomplished by two oval Old Calabar registry handstamps,
use of an envelope preprinted with a bold R, adding a registry serial number (probably 1025),
marking the blue cross on both front and back, and sealing with a wax official seal.
Note the blue cross is made over the wax seal.

The destination was San Francisco.
The first stop was the New York, N.Y. | Reg'y. Div. on March 4
where it received an oval backstamp and a new United States
registry serial number on the front (probably the 13565).
It then proceeded to San Francisco where it was stamped
MAR 8 1895

Pretty neat item, don't you think?


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