Today in Postal History

China Domestic Usage
August 23, 1901

This registered cover was sent from Peking to Tientsin (now Beijing to Tianjin).
Tientsin is an entry city long known as a treaty port.
It is about 120 km southeast of Peking.

The cover is franked with stamps from the Imperial Chinese Post issued in 1900.
There is a 4 c. orange brown (oxidized?) and three 1 c. ocher (Scott 113 and 111).

The sender marked the cover Registered.
The post office obliged by stamping a boxed Peking
registry mark and adding a script serial number.

There are three nice strikes of an oval western Peking datestamp.

The destination was Tientsin.
There is a purple western Tientsin receiver but I cannot read the date.

The sender's corner card is for the Imperial Chinese
Railroad Company operating a line from Peking to Hankow (now Beijing and Wuhan).
Both are inland cities.
Hankow is about 1050 km due south of Peking.
The office is that of the Director of Exploitation (Director of Marketing?).

The rail line from Peking to Hankow had been built by the Belgians.

The addressee was Lieutenant Colonel C. A. R. Browne, R.E., Director of Railways, Tientsin.
This was in the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion and
foreigners had taken control of many significant services.

(My link to Colonel Browne has disappeared.
He did keep a diary of the Boxer rebellion
now in the archives of the Royal Engineers.
Help anyone?)

All in all, an attractive cover which probably
accurately portrays a domestic registration rate.


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