Stellaland

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Map_Stellaland.jpg
Map of Stellaland and surrounding regions

Stellaland was a short-lived Boer republic from 1882 until 1885, located in an area of Bechuanaland, west of the then South African Republic.

History

The republic was formally created on 26 July 1882 by David Massouw and 400 followers, under the leadership of Gerrit Jacobus van Niekerk (18491896). The town of Vryburg was founded and declared its capital. On 7 August 1883 it united with the Land of Goshen to form the "United States of Stellaland".

However, in 1885 the British sent in a force under Sir Charles Warren, who subsequently abolished the republic on 30 September and re-incorporated its territory into British Bechuanaland.

During its existence, it seems to have adopted three different flags, according to Flags of the World.

Philately

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Stamp_Stellaland_1p.jpg
1-penny postage stamp depicting the coat of arms

Stellaland issued five values of postage stamps in February 1884. They were crudely printed, using the coat of arms as design, and inscribed "REPUBLIEK / STELLALAND". Unused examples can be had today for US$20, but genuinely used copies are much rarer and usually fetch hundreds of dollars.

Sometime in 1885, "TWEE" (Afrikaans for "two") was overprinted on a few of the 4-pence stamps, halving their values. These are quite rare, selling at auction for several thousand dollars when they appear. It is not clear whether they were official government issues, or privately produced, perhaps as political propaganda, since the use of stamps had recently become nearly universal worldwide.

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