Today in Postal History

Bechuanaland Protectorate to Cape Colony
September 10, 1898

This registered cover was posted in Pitsani.
Pitsani was 24 miles north of Mafeking on the Transvaal border.
In 1895 it was the staging point from for the Jameson raid,
one of the skirmishes leading to the Boer War in 1899.*

The envelope is a Queen Victoria 4d registered postal stationery envelope (H&G 7a).
The cover was uprated with 1897 overprints
The denominations comprise a complete set of the 1897 issue:  d vermilion, 1d lilac,
2d gray-green and carmine, 4d green and purple brown,
and 6d purple on rose-red paper (
SG 59, 61-2, 64-5).
This is a complete set of the 1897 issue.

Each stamp is tied by clear '1014' barred oval numeral canceller assigned to Pitsani.
There is also a PITSANI | S. AFRICA single circle datestamp at left.

There are Mafeking (10 September) and Port Elizabeth
(13 and 14 September) transit / arrival backstamps.
Port Elizabeth is about 650 km east of Cape Town on the south coast of Africa.

*Thanks to David Benson for correcting the
information on the events preceding the Boer War.


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