The letter was sent in 1765 from Savannah in the colony of Georgia which had been established by Britain in 1732 to John Moultrie, the Governor of the British colony of East Florida which had been established in 1763. The reverse of the cover bore an extremely rare SAVANNA straight-line handstamp with a Bishop mark of AP 25. The item realised £45,541 in the auction, ten times its estimate. Doubtlessly this reflected the rarity of the Savannah postmark but the whole letter seems to be a remarkably interesting item. I find it particularly interesting in that it recalls a distant time when the British colonies still existed in north America and it brings to our attention the little known British colony of East Florida along with its sister colony of West Florida.
|Inventory of Moultrie's estate and tax stamp applied to it.
|General James Oglethorpe
Oglethorpe arrived with the first settlers at Yamacraw Bluff - what became Savannah - on 12 February 1733 (as depicted on a pre-stamped postcard issued by the United States Post Office in 1983) and established a camp there with the help of Chief Tomochichi. The first settlers numbered 116 persons. Having been ruled by the trustees of the founding company, Georgia became a crown colony on 7 January 1755. Slavery was permitted from 1749 and by the time of the rebellion of the Thirteen Colonies, Georgia had taken on the characteristics of the other territories.