Today in Postal History

Orange River Colony to Germany
November 30, 1900

The Orange Free State first issued stamps in 1868.
The stamps on this cover were issued in 1900 during the
British occupation at the conclusion of the Second Boer War.

The Second Boer War started on October 11, 1899, and
was concluded by the Treaty of Vereeniging on May 31, 1902.
The cover was sent after the Orange River Colony had been established on October 6, 1900.

The cover went into the mail in Bloemfontein.
The five stamps were cancelled with four CDS.

The next step was censorship - probably conducted in Capetown.
The envelope was opened, the contents reviewed.
Then the envelope was resealed with an adhesive label marked
OPENED UNDER MARTIAL LAW. inside a double box.

There was also a purple double triangle stamp with PASSED | CENSOR. | PBF & C.
I'm not sure the last portion of the stamp is correct nor what it means.
Possibly Passed By (?) and Censor?
Help, anyone?

The cover then was postmarked at the G.P.O. CAPETOWN | CAPE COLONY on December 4.

The cover was destined for Leipzig.
The smudgy stamp on the rear may be a receiver for its arrival
at its destination but it is not clear enough for me to read.
The mark looks something like D (or B).13 | 2312 (December 23?) plus something else.

The cover is franked with a strip of five 1900 V. R. I. | 1d
overprints of stamps of the Orange Free State (SG 101).

The cover has a nice imprinted corner card of the South African Mutual Life Assurance Company.
The company is also known as Old Mutual.
The company was established in 1845 and is the only local insurance company to have operated so long.


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