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Palau Islands



FIRST STAMPS under Caroline Islands 12 October 1899.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1983.


CURRENCY

Up to 1899, Spanish (peseta).
1899 - 1914, German (mark).
1914 - 1945, Japanese (yen).
1945 to date, American (dollar).



Also known as the Pelew Islands, they were discovered by the Spaniards in the 17th century. It is recorded that an East India Company's packet, the Antelope, was wrecked there in 1783. Originally under Spanish control, they were administered as part of the Caroline Islands (q.v.). Sold to Germany in 1899 and occupied by Japan in 1914. Became a Japanese mandate in 1919 and was captured by the Americans in September 1944. Became a trusteeship territory under the United Nations, administered by the USA. After the Islands voted in a referendum not to join the Federated States of Micronesia (qv), a Compact of free association was signed with the USA in 1982. By this agreement Palau gained internal sovereignty but left the foreign policy to be decided by the Americans.


Postal History
Very few early letters are recorded. It was not until German control that a regular mail service was introduced in 1901 by the Jaluit Company. This connected with Jaluit, Ponape and Yap in the Caroline and Marshall Islands (q.v.). Japanese stamps were used from 1914 to 1945 and American stamps from 1945 until the issue of their own adhesives in 1983.




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