"From my Collection"
Some interesting examples from our collections
Stellaland doesn't often feature in philatelic displays but our member recently acquired these examples from this short-lived state.
In the early 1880s the area that became known as Stellaland was under the control of competing Griqua and Tswana people,whilst Britain laid claim to the area as part of the emerging protectorate of British Bechuanaland.Feuding groups recruited volunteers including Boer mercenaries who were given land in return for their assistance.
These new inhabitants then decided to declare independence in the form of the Republic of Stellaland.
A postal service was organised and 5 stamps issued - 1d, 3d, 4d, 6d and 1s. Printed by lithography, these were vailid for internal use only. No datestamps or obliterators were used, cancellation being by pen.
From August 1884 onwards stamps are mostly seen cancelled with the date and initials of the postmaster.
The 3d orange stamp bears a manuscript cancel by Ferdinand Hartzenburgf 10 April 1885.
Following appeals from local chiefs for protection, Britain annexed Stellaland, a force under Sir Charles Warren reaching the capital Vryborg on 7 February 1885. The teritory became part of the Crown Colony of British Bechuanaland (now part of Cape Province) on 30 September 1885.
Francis Alexander Eaton replaced Ferdinand Hartzenburg as postmaster on 11 June 1885 and tthe postage stamps of British Bechuanaland replaced the Stellaland stamps on 2 December 1885.
The above example was probably cancelled in transit. Vryburg did not receive its first datestamp until 30 December 1885.