Today in Postal History


 
Gold Coast to Germany
August 8, 1898

This registered cover was posted in Quittah, a small village on the Atlantic coast.
It was the site of an abandoned English fort.

Jim Whitford-Stark has suggested that Quittah might be Keta (Kitta from an 1896 map).*
Keta is in modern Ghana about 20 miles west of Lomé on the border of Togo.
Keta is the native name meaning 'on the sand.'
The barrier island and lagoon at Keta match some other descriptions of Quittah.
This map of Togoland shows the Quitta Lagoon in the lower left.
Keta is fighting serious erosion to the sea.

In addition to the Quittah CDS, the stamps were cancelled with a numbered obliterator.
The number is B27 and is upside down on the stamps.*

The cover was marked 5d. but this was not a due marking
but rather the supplement rating by a postal clerk or the sender.

The postage supplement was met with two 1891 2˝d. ultramarine and orange Victorias (SG 14).
This was in addition to the price of the registered envelope which has a 2d. indicia on the reverse.

The sender requested routing via Accra and Liverpool.
The cover was received in the registry department in Liverpool on September 8.
It was forwarded to London where it was given an oval Registered cancel on September 9.
It was then sent on to Hamburg.

There are likely added transit and receiving marks on the back.

*Thanks to David Benson and Bill Claghorn for help on identifying the obliterator and its orientation.
Paul Barsdell has resolved the discussion concerning the history of the Quittah name.
He writes:  "U
p to 1957, when the Gold Coast was granted independence,
three different names for Quittah appeared on postmarks - Quittah (1875-1903 and 1911-1927),
Kwitta (1894-1909) and Keta 1907-1921 and 1928-1957).
As you can see from the dates, there was overlap of cancels with different names."

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