The Registered "First
Day of Issue" Cover above was
postmarked Kingston, Jamaica on
May 10, 1955 and sent to Mr. Everett
Studley in Providence, RI.
The reverse of the cover, (SEE:
Size Reverse of Cover with receiving
postmarks) contains a Providence
Registry Division postmark dated May
12 and an Elmwood Station
postmark dated May 13.
The stamps are the 2-pence,
and 6-pence tercentenary
issues of 1955 (Stanley
Gibbons #s 155, 156, 157, and 158) and depict
respectively; "Man of War at Port Royal,"
"Old Montego Bay," "Old
Kingston," and "Abolition
of Slavery Proclaimed 1838." Each of the stamps bear
a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and
the dates 1655 - 1955. They
are tied to the cover with a Kingston Oval
for "British West Indies."
Jamaica was originally settled by the Arawak
Indians from South America about 2,500
years ago. They named the island Xaymaca,
(Land of Wood and Water). Christopher
Columbus landed in Jamaica on May
5, 1494 and claimed the island for Spain.
The Spanish controlled the
island until May 10, 1655
when an English Armada under Admiral
William Penn and General
Robert Venables attacked and successfully captured
The original English
settlement was at Port Royal,
which became famous because of its Buccaneers.
One of the most famous of these was Sir
Henry Morgan, who began his career as a pirate
and later became Lieutenant governor
of Jamaica in 1673. On June
7, 1693 an earthquake
destroyed Port Royal and the
survivors resettled in Kingston.
In 1958 the "Federation
of the West Indies" was formed by
ten Caribbean countries including Jamaica, however the
Jamaicans voted against
joining the Federation in 1961
and on August 6, 1963 Jamaica
became an independent nation
and a member of the Commonwealth.
Jamaica is located south of
Cuba and is approximately the size
of the state of Connecticut.
The majority of the population,
(90%) is of African
heritage with (7%)
of mixed heritage. The economy
is service based with most of
it's foreign exchange deriving from tourism.