The Ken Lawrence Gold Medal Exhibit Collection of Navassa Island.
16-page exhibit collection of Navassa Island, containing 22 items, this exhibit contains virtually the entire world's supply of 19th Century postal history and all of the most important items of 20th Century, among the highlights are: U.S. 2c Black Jack grilled issue (93) on cover with advertisement on back for guano dealer with specific mention of "Navassa Guano"; identity paper of an African American seaman named Daniel Smith, datelined "Bark Sylph Baltimore Decr. 3rd 1866"
certifying that he had served on the bark Sylph
from New York to Jamaica to Navassa to Baltimore; U.S. 1c Postal Card mailed aboard the southbound P.M.S.S. Co. liner Colon
and datelined "Near La Vasa"
used in July 1876 and carried from Navassa to New York where treated as an unpaid ship letter from a foreign country, this is the earliest reported mail from Navassa Island;
three of the four recorded examples of the "SHIP LETTER/NAVASSA ISLAND, W.I."
two-line handstamp including one on a 5c entire (U177) with 2c Postage Due stamp (J16), another marked 4c due with two 2c Postage Due stamps (J2), another paid with a U.S. 4c Green (211); 1893 cover from Haiti with pair of Haiti 5c stamps to New York, carried by the Adirondack
to Navassa and then by the Athos
to New York; 1896 use from Haiti to Leipzig, Germany which transited thru Navassa Island; 1891 use from Haiti via Navassa Island to New Caledonia with Haiti 1c, 2c and 7c stamps (26, 27 and 30); the only reported mail from Navassa between 1898 and World War II; 1944 use carried by blimp; last is U.S. Coast Guard ship Hollyhock
with postmark specifically mentioning Navassa Island (the only such cancellation), also 1597 copperplate print from Cornelis van Wyfliet (first atlas of the Americas, printed by Johannes Bogardus in Netherlands) showing Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and smaller islands including Navassa, overall excellent condition
VERY FINE. A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION OF NAVASSA ISLAND POSTAL HISTORY. NAVASSA ISLAND WAS THE FIRST UNITED STATES POSSESSION, AND HELPED FORM A BLUEPRINT FOR ESTABLISHING OTHER POSSESSIONS TO PROJECT AMERICAN POWER AROUND THE GLOBE. TRULY FASCINATING.
Navassa Island is between Jamaica and Haiti. On December 8, 1859, to forestall a Haitian attempt to take possession of Navassa, U.S. Secretary of State Lewis Cass formally recognized an American ship captain’s claim filed under the Guano Islands Act of 1856. No other overseas possession had received official recognition earlier, and none has been under U.S. administration for a longer time. Before the Civil War, the United States did not recognize the government of Haiti, formerly the French colony of Saint-Domingue. American claimants had begun mining guano on Navassa in September 1857. When a Haitian naval delegation attempted to take control of the island in May 1858, Buchanan ordered the U.S. Navy to send a warship to Haiti to protect the American guano operation. Subsequent official notice of American ownership provided legal justification for U.S. occupation and exploitation of the island’s resources, later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. By 1876 Navassa became a place to expedite transport of the mails from Haiti. Mail transiting thru Navassa is rare, as there was no official post office for most of the time; mail was simply dropped there in transit and picked up by ships on their way north, akin to how old whalers would handle mail.
Several items ex Ardiff, Gallagher, and Krupnick. The exhibit was awarded a Gold medal in 2020 at the Garfield Perry Stamp Show. A website PDF is available and viewing is strongly recommended.
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