American Offices In China

During the nineteenth century, several nations maintained post offices in China. This was was part of a general carving up of Chinese sovereignty which went on throughout the nineteenth century. To facilitate those post offices stamps were issued. Italy issued stamps for use in China in 1917, France beginning in 1901 (and ending in 1945, the latest foreign Chinese Office issue), Great Britain in 1917, Germany in 1898, Japan in 1900, Russia in 1899, and the United States in 1922. For the United Sates these issues were largely symbolic. Our merchants sometimes used our post office in China but the main impetus to issuing stamps and maintaining postal facilities was not to be outdone in the imperialist division of China. Our government issued 18 stamps up to the $1 and they were the common perf 11 Washington Franklins that were Overprinted Shanghai which was where our main post office was located. The use of these stamps was limited and they were available mint from the postal agency in Washington. Used, they have always been scarce as not much mail came through our post office (most companies that did business in China used the Chinese post office). Finding a pretty used set is an accomplishment.

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