Smithsonian National Postal MuseumTitle: The Pichs CollectionSan Carlos Institute
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Smithsonian National Postal Museum The Pichs Collection, Exploring Cuba's History Through Postage Stamps
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Postal History
Aviation History

The North American Intervention (3)

When a U.S. Postal Commission was sent to Cuba to recommend what changes were needed to make the transition easier, from the existing postal system to the U.S. system, it was thought that the local rate for drop letters in Havana was 2 1/2 centavos de peso. (Drop letters are letters mailed in one locality for delivery in that same locality.) Orders were sent to Washington to provide 2 1/2 centavos de peso postage stamps, and 2,000,000 current United States 2-cent stamps were overprinted 2 1/2 centavos de peso and sent to Havana. However, it was discovered afterwards that the Spanish authorities had reduced the drop letter rate to 2 centavos de peso just before hostilities began, and the 2 1/2 centavo value was not needed.

Delail of stamp on envelope pictured below.

In order that the stamps not be wasted, the Post Office Department authorized the 2 1/2 centavos de peso stamp be sold for 2 centavos de peso, until the supply was exhausted.

Tome II, p7: Santiago to New York. 26 May, 1899.

The U.S. Post Office Department established a 2 centavo rate to the United States for mail from military personnel, provided it was docketed with the sender’s military affiliation. This cover is an example of the 2 1/2 centavos de peso stamp used on a letter posted in Santiago, Cuba, on May 26, 1899, addressed to New York. It was written by Dr. A.E. Wagner, Surgeon, U.S. Army. The 2 centavo rate was equivalent to the 2-cent domestic rate that was current within the United States at that time. The international single weight letter rate from Cuba to the U. S. for non-military mail was 5 cents, in accordance with Universal Postal Union conventions.

Postal History
Early History
Domestic Mail
International Mail
The North American

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