Today in Postal History


Fernando Po to Germany
April 23, 1897

Fernando Po is an island in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Cameroon.
It was discovered by the Portuguese in 1472 and acquired by Spain in 1778.
It was leased to the British in 1827 for use as an antislavery naval base.
It became a separate Spanish colony until it was merged into Spanish Guinea in 1909.

The British base closed in 1834 but its favorable
climate made it the center of British activity.
A British consul was first appointed circa 1850.
The consul became the British packet agent in March, 1859.
Although the agency closed in 1877, the island continued
to be a port of call for the British Packets.

Registration of this cover was indicated by the notation Regiotrada!, the boxed
registration handstamp with a script serial number inserted, and the pencilled blue cross.

There are two FERNANDO PÓO CDS cancelling  singles of the
King Alphonso XIII orange brown 10c and dark brown 12½c issued in 1896 (Scott 17 and 18).

The cover was carried by the British Packet to Liverpool where
its arrival was noted by the oval British registry stamp on May 25.
It was sent immediately to London.
London applied another oval registry stamp in red on May 25 and sent it on its way to Germany.

The destination was Bäden-Bäden about 35 km southwest of Karlsruhe.
In Baden-Baden the cover was forwarded however I cannot identify the new destination.
Help, anyone?


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