Today in Postal History


China to United States
September 13, 1905

This picture postcard was mailed from Peking (now Beijing).

It has seven postmarks on the face.

There are three Peking CDS inscribed in English.
One ties the stamp; the second is on the lower left.
The third is under the dials of the two machine postmarks.

There are two Japanese transit CDS on the lower left.

The first is an incomplete Shanghai Imperial Japanese Post office
indicating the card's receipt from the Chinese postal system into the IJPO.

The Shanghai IJPO CDS has a clear date of September 19.

The second is a Yokohama transit CDS applied when the postcard arrived in Japan.
The arrival date is undecipherable.*

The postcard came into the United States through Seattle, Washington,
noted by the first machine postmark, dial and wavy bars.
The Seattle date is undecipherable.
Seattle is in the northwest corner of the United States and
was the port of choice for Japanese trade.

It reached its destinaton of San Diego on the Pacific coast
in the southwest corner of California where it was postmarked
with a machine flag cancel on October 4.

The message is particularly interesting.
It is dated 9/12-05 and proceeds:

Dear Momma, Arrived last eve. from Tientsin at 4:00.  Alice Roosevelt and party expected tonight.  Big time sight seeing.  4 days Cecur [sic].  Tully.

At the time Alice Roosevelt was 21 years old and traveling
in the style of her father,  Theodore Roosevelt, who was president at the time.

The illustration shows the elegant Marble Boat at the Summer Palace on Kunming Lake in northwest Peking.

The card is franked with a 1900Chinese Imperial Post 4c
orange brown (probably the unwatermarked Scott 213).

*Thanks to David Benson for straightening out the transit from Peking to Yokohama.


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