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Auction: 20010 - The Philatelic Collectors' Series Sale
Lot: 1054

(x) British Honduras
Early Letters and Handstamps
1767 (28 May) entire letter from James Bourke to Samuel and William Vernon, merchants in Newport, Rhode Island, at that time a British Colony; the contents headed "Hondoras" include "I have one hundred Tons Logwood on board and am in hope to get the rest very soon. I have three men up the River and heard yesterday they are all coming down sick which if they do I shall be very badly of. I have had three men sick on board for this some time but they are better now." An exceptionally early letter from the area known as "Belize". An earlier letter is known from Roatan, also in the Bay of Honduras, though this today is a part of the Republic of Honduras. Photo

Note: The early settlers in the Bay of Honduras were known as "Baymen". These were loggers, who provided logwood, mahogany and other hardwoods for furniture for the European and American markets. The settlement was attacked by the Spanish in 1754-55, sacked and destroyed. The English re-occupied and fortified Belize in 1756. In 1763 a peace treaty with the Spanish allowed the English presence, although the Spanish tried to annul it soon afterwards. In 1779 the Spanish again destroyed Belize. Many men were massacred, other settlers were marched to Yucatan, shipped to Havana and held prisoner there until 1782

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