Earliest reported franked cover used from the Marianas

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A Single issue of six overprinted stamps comprise the entire philatelic output of the Spanish Mariana Islands. Under Spanish control and administration the stamps of the Philippine Islands were utilized prior to 1899 when the islands, with the exception of Guam, were sold to Germany. Guam, one of the islands in the group of fourteen islands, had already been captured by the United States on June 20, 1898.

In September, 1899 six different denominations of the then current Philippine Islands issue of 1898 were overprinted locally. The overprint consisted of a boxed handstamp that included the words"Marianas Espanolas" in the center. Each stamp was individually struck with the overprint in a vertical position. The normal overprint placement has the words reading down. The inverted placement resulted in the words reading up.

These stamps were available for usage on only a single mail that was transported off the islands before the sale of the islands to Germany. That single mail left the island of Saipan at the beginning of December, 1899 and arrived in Manila, Philippines on December 11, 1899. Mail Processed from that sailing received the datestamp of the United States Military Station Number 1, Manila, Philippine Islands, Received, dated December 11, 1899 upon arrival.

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