Rhode Island Postal History
International Mail

1904 Registered Letter - Barbados to Newport, RI
for Elder John S. Kimber -
(Quaker Minister)
(Scroll Down for History and Background Information)

The registered cover above was sent on April 30, 1904 from Barbados to Elder John S. Kimber in Newport, Rhode Island. It passed through the New York Registry Office on May 9th and was received at Newport on May 10, 1904. The stamp in the upper right hand corner pays the postage fees and is the 21/2 pence ultramarine "Badge of colony" issue of 1892 to 1903, (Scott #74). The cover bears an imprinted two pence "Registration Fee" stamp (of the same design). Both stamps are tied by a Barbados April 30, 1904 Circular Date Stamp (CDS). There is a New York Registry cancel on the face and both a New York and Newport, RI Registry cancel on the reverse.

John Shober Kimber was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 24, 1864. He was the son of Anthony M. and Margaret Cope Kimber. At the time this cover was sent, he was listed as the minister of the Friends Church in Middletown, (Newport Township) Rhode Island. (There is an Evangelical Friends "Quaker" Church currently listed in Middletown, RI.) John married Mary Haines Ecroyd, (b. 5/20/61-d. 7/31/51) on October 12, 1887 in Muncy, Pennsylvania. They had five children; John Anthony, Thomas, James Ecroyd, Margaret Williams and John Shober; the last born in Middletown. John Shober Kimber died on December 8, 1937 in Los Angeles, California. The 1910 census lists John as living in Middletown, RI and the 1920 census lists John and his family as living in Los Angeles. Therefore, as close as I can come to the family move is sometime between those two years. The 1920 census lists John as an evangelist.


Barbados is an island nation located about 100 miles east of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. It has an area of 166 square miles and the capital is Bridgetown, which is also the island's only seaport. Sugar Cane was the main cash crop until the 1950s, when the government began encouraging crop diversification and since that time tourism has become the mainstay of the economy.

The island was settled by British colonists in 1627 and in the early 1640s sugar cane was established as the island's main crop. Raising sugar cane required a large labor force and this led to the large scale importation of African slaves. By 1834 when slavery was outlawed, people of African descent outnumbered Europeans on the island by a factor of 4 to 1.

Barbados became a member of the West Indies Federation in 1958, however inter-island rivalries proved too strong and they resigned from the Federation in 1962. Barbados became an independent nation on November 30, 1966 and is a member of the British Commonwealth.

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