Today in Postal History


Martinique to United States
February 28, 1941

Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean between the Leeward and Windward Islands.
It was discovered by Columbus in 1502 but not settled until the French arrived in 1635.
It was taken by the British in 1762 but returned in 1763.
Posts were established in 1766.
There were brief periods when the island was held by the British.
During their occupation from 1809-1815 they did operate a British Post Office.

This is a cover from a 'dead' country which no longer issues its own stamps.

After using French stamps since 1851 followed by French
colonies general issues, Martinique got its own stamps in 1886.
These first stamps were created by overprinting French colonial general issues.

During World War II, the island sided with de Gaulle and the Free French.
It became a French overseas département on
January 1, 1947 and has used French stamps since that date.
Surprisingly, the last two Martinique issues were
an airpost issue and a postage due issue on June 2, 1947.
"Ah, what the hey, we ordered them printed so let's use them."

This cover is franked with seven stamps from the 1933-40 pictorials issue.
The village of Basse Pointe is portrayed on the 10c black on pink paper,
the 25c brown violet, and the 55c brown red (Scott 138, 141, 149).
The Government Palace in Fort-de-France is shown
on the 15c black on orange paper (Scott 139).
Martinque women are the subjects of the 35c dull green, the 40c
olive brown, and the 70c bright red violet (Scott 144, 145, 152).

The cover originated in Fort-de-France
on the west
side of the island about midway from north to south.
There are eight strikes of  a Fort-de-France CDS.

The cover was destined for Lewisburg just
a little east of the center of Pennsylvania.
Lewisburg is the home of Bucknell University.
The addressee was in the Officers Quarters U.S.S.
I'm not sure what that implies.


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