(Spanish Colonial Period) “FLORIDA”. Clear strike of Spanish Colonial red straightline handstamp on folded letter to Havana, Cuba, datelined “San Augustin de la Florida 28 Jan 1785” with sender’s directive “por primera via” (by first way available vessel), sent unpaid and charged “2” silver reales upon arrival in Cuba, cover with toning and minor worm holes on reverse
This cover is accompanied by a photocopy of a letter (with translation included) found in the Spanish archives, dated December 21, 1784, from San Augustine postmaster Manuel Fernandez-Bendicho to his superiors in Havana. In the letter he requests reimbursement for supply purchases he made for the establishment of the new post office — including a postmarking device — which is the one used on this cover. This substantiates that this handstamp was applied to this cover in Florida, not upon its arrival in Cuba.
Ex Risvold. Accompanied by an article by Adolfo Sarrias and Yamil H. Kouri on the postal history of Spanish East Florida