First Issues - 1861 to 1864

page 6.2

Confederate States

Confederate States SG1 Sc1
16th August 1861
SG1 Sc1
Jefferson Davis
Guernsey SG62 Sc59
Guernsey commemorative
1971 SG62 Sc59

This is the time of the American Civil War and the seceding seven states quickly established their own postal system, though at first many handstamps, provisional and local issues were used. The first stamp was issued on 16th August 1861. The condition of my Confederate States first issue is little better than my U.S. #1.

Graham Blackburn notes in his Gazetteer that a Confederate issue was the "only American stamp to be printed outside the USA" [5, p.75]. This was by Thomas de la Rue in Guernsey and the fact was commemorated in a 1971 stamp showing the 1862 5 cents isssue Sc6.

German States

Bergdorf SG2 Sc1 Holstein SG51 Sc15 Schleswig SG21 Sc8 Mecklenburg-Strelitz SG2 Sc1
Bergedorf Holstein Schleswig Mecklenburg-Strelitz
1st November 1861
SG2 Sc1
World's First Occupation Issue
1st March 1864
SG51 Sc15
10th March 1864
SG21 Sc8
1st November 1864
SG2 Sc1

A healthy crop of four German States in the period covered by this display, bringing the total to nineteen. Only one was in 1861, the other three in 1864.

The corner letters LHPA on the city of Bergedorf’s first issue (1st November 1861) stand for Lübeck Hamburg Post Anstalt the: the two states jointly owned the city.

Mackay identifies Holstein and Schleswig (1st and 9th March 1864) as the first Occupation Issues, arising from a dispute between Prussia and Austria. All the Occupation and Offices Abroad issues are dealt with in a separate display.

The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1st November 1864) was physically divided into two by Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Colombian State

Bolivar SG3 Sc3
World's Smallest Stamp
SG3 Sc3

Bolivar, a Colombian state, has the distinction of issuing the smallest stamp and thus the smallest first issue on record (or at least while Mackay was keeping watch [1, p.109]). The date in 1863 is uncertain. Narrowly beating Mecklenburg-Schwerin’s, 12x12mm and Brunswick, Bolivar’s measures 8x9.5mm. The 10 centavos green #1 is costly ($1,100 / $550 mint and used) but the 1 peso red shown (same size, same design) is keenly priced. [More on small stamps here.]

Indian State

Soruth SG13 Sc3 Soruth SGO1a ScO1
[1st November 1864]
1868 SG13 Sc3
1929 SG-O1a Sc-O1

Soruth is the first of the Indian Feudatory States. Stamps for the state of Scinde (1852) and a general issue for British India (1854) have already been shown, but a number of states also issued their own stamps. There is a distinction between Convention States (using overprints of British Indian stamps and valid throughout India) and Feudatory States (local stamps usually valid only within that state). Soruth (1st November 1864) was the first such issue with a primitive handstamp of three lines of Sanskrit. The stamp shown is a subsequent official reprint. There are two other areas within Soruth, Junagarh and Saurashtra. There was a set of officials in 1929, overprints of regular stamps.


page written July 2013