International Mail (7)
This folded letter was written at Havana on October 16,
1847. Placed aboard a vessel, it was carried to Cadíz,
on the southwestern coast of Spain.
Upon arrival at Cadíz, the receiving clerk stamped
on the face of the letter, “Islas de/Barlovento”
(meaning Windward Islands) and rated the letter at 7 “reales
de vellón” postage due. Seven reales de vellón
was the postage rate for a letter weighing between 6 and
7 “adarmes,” according to the Spanish Postal
Tariff Law of 1807. Between 6 and 7 adarmes was 10.762
to 12.556 grams, or somewhat less than 1/2 ounce.
Vol I, p1: Havana to San Sebastien,
Spain. 16 October 1847.
The letter was then sent on to San Sebastian, on the
north coast of Spain, where the receiving clerk backstamped
it, “S. Sebastian/ Vizcaya, 21 Dec, 1847.”
The letter took over two months to arrive at its destination.
This “Islas de/ Barlovento” marking, inaugurated
under Spanish Postal Regulations effective September 1,
1779, was applied to indicate to the rating clerk at the
incoming post office the origin of the letter in order
that he might calculate the correct amount of postage
due. It is known as a “demarcation” or “origin”
postmark. Several different types of this postmark are
known, however, this particular type was struck in red,
from 1814 to 1849.