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Jamaica



FIRST STAMPS Britain from 1858 (issued 8 May in Kingston, and November at other offices).

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 23 November 1860.


CURRENCY

1860, sterling.
1869, 100 cents = 1 Jamaican dollar



Discovered by Columbus in May 1493, it was originally named St Jago. Captured from the Spanish in 1655 and settled soon afterwards. British possession of the island was confirmed by the Treaty of Madrid in 1670.


Jamaica was the first British Colony to establish a P0. A postmaster was appointed on 31 October 1671. Originally overseas mail was carried by merchantmen but the British packet service was introduced in 1702. However, through piracy and shipwreck, the packet service went out of business in 1711 and letters once again were carried privately.


The British GPO assumed responsibility for Jamaica's external mails in 1755 and retained this until 1860. The British packet service was restored but was closed down in 1840 when the service by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. was introduced.


Cancellation AOl was used at Kingston and numerals A27 to A79 at other locations (see map). Post buses (introduced in 1881) are the main means of distribution.


Jamaica became self-governing in 1944 and was part of the short-lived Federation of the West Indies in 1958-62. Became an independent member of the British Commonwealth on 6 August 1962.




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