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
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