Today in Postal History

Puerto Rico to Spain
October 14, 1878

This cover was sent from San Juan.

The date is from the oval sender's mark.
The sender's mark appears to have had a changeable date stamp
(you can see a portion of the 13 to the left and the 15 to the right)
perhaps similar to those with a rubber loop.
The sender appears to be Sobrinos Lequia S.A. but it is not too legible.
The name does not show up on Rowe's list of forwarders nor are there other indications
(contents, docketing, or origination) so it is probably just the cachet of the sender's firm.*
However, some forwarders were known to use their handstamp for their own mail.*

The sender requested transit via Inglesa (via England).
It probably did not refer to a vessel.*
The cover is addressed to Sr. Don Josč Ą. Casanova in Cadiz, Spain.
Surprisingly, there are no English transit marks
which suggests that it actually may not have gone via England.

The cover went through Irun, apparently a sub office of San Sebastian, on October 29.*
Irun is all but on the French border and may have
been the point of entry of mail forwarded from Britain.
English mail there would probably come overland from France via rail.

San Sebastian is at the southeast corner of the
Bay of Biscay just a few kilometers from the French border.
The entire area is in the center of modern day Basque separatism.

Next, the letter went completely across Spain to Cadiz
on the Atlantic about 85 km northwest of the Straits of Gibraltar.
It arrived in Cadiz on November 1.

The cover is franked with a pair of King Alfonso XII
25c deep green issued in 1878 (Scott 26).

*Thanks to Jim Whitford-Stark for his help in identifying the Irun CDS.
Thanks also to Monte Hensley for his info on the forwarder question
and the suggestion that the routing may not have been via England.
Thanks, too, to Richard Frajola who believes that the routing was
via England and also provided further comments on the forwarders.


Today in Postal History
January February March April May June
July August September October November December

Pastnotes Index - The First 300 and the Next 208
provides more tidbits about stamps and collectors.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.